I finally whittled my thousand photos taken in Guanajuato down to 135. Both my grand nephew Ryan and I had a fabulous time. We really didn’t know each other as he was born when I was 49, and by that time, I’d been married for 10 years and had inherited 8 stepchildren. We were doing arts and crafts shows which kept us on the road 278 days of the year one year, before we found our niche and settled down into it. In our 13th year of doing shows, we were doing 4 to 7 shows a year and doing better than that year when we were almost constantly on the road. I’ve strayed away from the point, that being that Ryan was in Iowa, we were in California, so when we did see his folks, the visit was fleeting and he was a little boy playing with his brother in the basement. Then later, when I went to visit my sister (his grandmother) he was in college or away doing apprenticeships. So, when he graduated from college, I gave him this trip to Mexico as a present. It was really a present for myself as he turned out to be a charming, enthusiastic, smart young man with a penchant for travel. This was his first trip out of the States and he was thrilled with everything. The fact that he is vegan turned out, in his words, to be less of a problem than in the states. More about that later. Here are the photos of our 4 days in Guanajuato. We were on a fabulous tour with nine others and luckily Ryan found a couple of “playmates” in the group…one the 28-year-old son of the tour director and the other a seventy-something trickster named John. You’ll see him in a hard hat next to Ryan. You can click on the first photo to enlarge all photos and see them as a slide series. Click on the arrow to go on to the next photo. Some will have captions. Go get a coffee or a martini, settle down, and share our trip:
Please note you have to click on the first photo and then the arrows to see captions: (If your wifi speed is slow as mine is, give them a few minutes to download and then all the images will be clear. I didn’t and had to wait for individual photos to clear up as they appeared fuzzy at first. I’ll be interested in hearing if any of you had this problem. I published them at a high resolution so they could be increased in size but made for a big file, I’m sure.)
Click on the first photo to enlarge and see all of the captions.
The town is built in a valley surrounded by mountains, so there is a lot of up-and-down action. Most people live in houses with only loooong stairways up to them. Everything has to be carried up these stairways by hand or back. In some cases there are small alleyways that donkeys can make their way up.
Guanajuato is a UNESCO world heritage site, and as such, most of the buildings in the central part of town are protected from change.
Most of the roads are underground. Here we are approaching one of the tunnels.
Coming out of them is a bit like how people have described death as “approaching the light!”
Ryan barely fit through the doorway to our room.
I told him to take off his cap as proof of this.
This was our room.
Our first trip was to the hacienda of 17 gardens. Now half hotel, half original hacienda, with the gardens being restored. You’ll see more of them on my flower of the day postings.
A closer view.
Cistern for the house. Since this was is a mining town, the mine trailings went into the river, raising its level and causing flooding.
This was the water filtration system for drinking water for the house, hopefully removing the harmful minerals that poured down the river from the mines above and below.
Signs of modern life.
Love this grating over the drainage system.
This is its creator
The nine muses on the opera house were ordered to be made in Ohio. Each represented a different muse. Nine were ordered, but only eight arrived. (Six are on the front of the building, one around the corner on each side.)They were installed leaving no room for the ninth.
They ordered the ninth to be made with a slight difference. This was the solution. Can you find the ninth muse?
I’d love to know the name of this plant.
Students congregate on the steps of Teaatro Juarez day and night.
This statue is high up on the hill above the opera house.
There was a fabulous gourmet restaurant right across the street from our hotel that made the most wonderful concoctions.
When they discovered Ryan was vegan, they brought out two huge cup-sized mounds of guacamole and doubled our bread platter.
The pianist played his music from his ipad. The next night, Ryan told me to look. He was watching a novella with subtitles as he played! We talked to him afterwards. He says it is no problem for him to split his mind and do the two things at once. I think it is amazing!
Every night, the streets were filled.
These Elizabethan-garbed performers roamed the street all day and night, collecting crowds to come see their performances, the first part of which was conducted in the street. Then people formed a chain behind them to follow them into the Juarez Theater.
More color. More hills.
Remember these? Still present in Guanajuato.
This was the elevator! To be used only by the aged and infirm. It took about 2 minutes to go up one floor. i must admit I took it twice..both times after an entire day of walking. I walked down.
There is an entire museum and a huge yearly festival devoted to Don Quixote. There were dozens of sculptures of him all over town in every style imaginable. This one is rather straightforward.
????Your guess is as good as mine.
Love this unintentional selfie of Ryan and me.
Here’s the big guy again.
And more Don Quixote.
And more. . .
Chandelier in the opera house.
A page written by Cervantes.
An old man directed our tour director’s attention to this tiny detail of a sculpted bird perched on just one of the decorative flourishes on this building.
One of the muses.. of painting
The “new” town is built over the old town, some of which still exists on the level of the tunnels. Here a plexiglass sheet was placed over what would have been a stone ceiling so we could look down into it.
The eighth and ninth muses.
The back of our favorite sculpture.
Seats in the Juarez Theater/Opera House
Pat’s cool shoe was in stark contrast to the intricate inlay in this floor.
This is the kissing alley. These two balconies were so close that lovers could lean across for a rendezvous. Legend says that a father killed his own daughter when he discovered she’d been meeting a young man below her in the social order from the balcony where you see the girl in this photo.
Food from a patio restaurant
Pigeons everywhere…You’ll see.
My solution to drying out Ryan’s hat after a rain deluge he got caught in while out partying with Carlos Jr. one night.
Carlos Jr’s favorite drink, “La Bandera” or flag.. since it is the colors of the Mexican flag. The salted glass is sangrita, the white or clear one is tequila and the green is key lime juice. He alternated sips of each.
The “House of Witches,” which once catered to renting rooms to University students, many of whom claimed to experience strange events.
This display was actually set up for this purpose. So macabre, but Ryan got in the spirit. Note the difference in size between the coffins of that day and ones necessary to accomodate the giants of today.
and this one before.
When they removed bodies from the graveyard because there were no relatives left to pay the fees, they found the bodies were mummified by minerals and conditions in the soil. Enterprising to the end, they put them on display in El Museo de las Momias. I decided to concentrate on hands an dfeet.
Ryan the morning after his night out with Carlos. He came in soaked at 2 and we talked until 4. He skipped breakfast.
This duck came all the way across the lake to see us, hoping for crumbs. Sadly, we had none.
The ever-present steps.
Ryan and friend John about to descend the 600 steps into the mine. And ascend them again! I gave up after the first 25.
Father Hidalgo, famous for shouting the grito that started the Mexican Revolution. 1000 Spaniards–men, women and children, were slaughtered inside this granary, where they had sequestered themselves for safety. Later, Father Hidalgo and the other leaders of the revolution were caught, decapitated and their heads displayed on spikes around the roof of the granary. Whether you are a hero or a villain is often determined by whose side you are on. Horrible atrocities on both sides.
This restaurant next to the two town reservoirs was obviously named for the “House of Witches” nearby.
Figures in the Granary Museum.
The ever-present pigeons.
This man was making these fabulous pipecleaner animals. I bought five, Ryan two. Wish I’d bought them all. Mine are all insects. I gave the spider away to Pasiano’s son who came with his dad to collect us from the bus the day we came home.
Food booths in the market.
Pastries. Ryan waned against the flies he could detect buzzing around, so I bought him what I thought was a special Mexican treat sealed up in a basket safe from flies. It turned out to be a block of chocolate too sugary for my taste. He ate 1/4 of it before Carlos Jr. informed us it was chocolate meant to make hot chocolate. Always something new to learn.
Where I seem fated to stay the next time I go to Guanauato.
This woman made a special vegan plate for Ryan.
This alebrijes we didn’t buy. I bought a mosquito, a spider, a fly, a bee and a perky ant sporting orange tennies! I’ll do a blog on them later.
A crowd gathered on the steps of the theater for a mime performance. We were eating at the restaurant across from them.
This fish trap looks remarkably like one of Bob’s sculptures. I’ll show a comparison in a later blog.
This gorgeous dove sat on a railing of a second story balcony waiting for diners to notice it.
This was our dessert in that restaurant. Nouvelle Cuisine.
Don’t know what she wrote on, but the pen was handy.
he enjoyed it so much, he ordered another.