|Getting out of Dodge (I mean Guanajuato) was not as bad as we expected. The drive to Dolores Hidalgo is breathtaking. It is a two lane high mtn. (10,000 ft) road, that kind of makes the Going to the Sun highway look like a piece of cake.. You look over cliffs and can hardly see the bottom. We stopped just out of town to see the magnificent Valencia Church. It is built right beside the silver mine, that made this town such a treasury of wealth.
Arrived in Dolores Hidalgo, visited the Talavera pottery shops, and great needlework and wool shops. On to San Miguel, to find another maze of tiny cobbled hilly streets----------the street we needed was closed for repairs, so had to jog around to try to locate the B and B. Casa Liza is delightful. Antonio Banderas stayed here, when filming Once Upon a Time in Mexico.............he had the very large guest house at the back. We have the tiny corner room, at the front.................nevertheless it is too cute for words. Seems the owner and I have the same taste-------------we like STUFF. So many neat little touches. Funny, the book shelves contain many of the books I have at home.
Went to the main square (about 6 blocks)to see the beautiful church of San Miguel de Archangel. The church was designed and built by a itinerant native Mexican, who drew the plans in the sand, for the workers. He also designed the dome of the Belle Artes, after seeing a picture of Les Invalids in Paris. Amazing work. The church looks similar to Gaudi's work in Barcelona. We then went to have Churro's and Choc. (Yes, Chris, I was thinking of YOU with every bite.................LOL!!) Sitting in the shop, there was a large group of Mexican women, having a very good time. One lady had a little girl about 3 yrs. She came over to me, put up her arms and sat on my knee for some time.............I said, I am going to take her with me to Canada. Her mother says............well she can speak English (I had been speaking Spanish to her) as she lives in the USA. Later the mother and cousin, come over and sit with us, and ask were in Canada we live..............we say near Edmonton..............they laugh, as the cousin's brother just moved there 7 months ago. She calls him on the phone, but can't get him. So we do much picture taking of everyone, many hugs and kisses and hope to keep in touch, as they plan to visit him. Such lovely warm people..................a fun evening.
We have done a lot of exploring and seen many interesting sights. The washerwomen of El Charro, is just around the corner. The Mercado is a shoppers delight. David even haggled for a beautiful rug, woven in Oaxaca (this is a switch, seeing back in 1969, if they gave him a price, he offered them more)................we feel we saved more than double what we would have paid at home. We have lucked out and seen a great wedding at the main church (with Mariachi band), then a few blocks away was another wedding. We had a great time in the park, just watching the kids----with real imagination, playing with cardboard boxes, plastic boxes to pull ea. other and sliding down the Church stairs..................(NO computer games for these kids)................we had fun speaking Spanish to them too.
Today joined a house and garden tour of three big homes here. The money raised ($15 person) goes to provide library books for the children of San Miguel, to help them learn English. Each night is a wonderful concert in the Jardin (Main plaza, near the church)..........there are families everywhere, balloon sellers, clowns, ice cream and corn stands....................this is what Latin life is all about. Tonight was the Army de Mexico Band and two opera singers...............it was sort of surreal. Hearing them sing under that beautiful church. It was kind of like opening night of Aida at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome (remember that Rand??), you kind of can't believe you are really there.
Wed. will be a big day (national holiday) for the birthday of Ignacio de Allende, they are gearing up for parades, dedication of the World Heritage site plaque, singing, dancing and fireworks......................I think this might be better than New Years Eve.