A Slight Change in Plans!

A chance meeting with Julie, an expat Canadian living in Bucerias, while enjoying a cerveza on the beach the afternoon prior to leaving Puerto Vallarta left us contemplating our initial travel plans. We were heading to San Miguel de Allende with a stop over for a couple of days in Guadalajara to break up the long bus ride. However, our plans quickly changed when told of the rich cultural experiences we would be missing by heading in that direction. Similar to our research, Julie advised that San Miguel was like a Mexican Disneyland for foreigners, (mainly retired Americans) and chilangos (those from Mexico City), with the foreign influence pervasive. Yes, it does have World UNESCO Heritage designation, impressive colonial architecture, and is it a major art Mecca, however there are apparently few sights in the compact centro historico when compared to other cities and towns in Mexico.

The beauty of the type of travel we enjoy is that we can change direction on a whim when potentially more enriching experiences present. Our appetites were whetted with visions of authentic Mexican towns, indigenous arts, crafts, architecture, and history, not to mention the once in a lifetime primo experience of visiting the Reserva Mariposa Monarca. The highlands of Michoacan are invaded annually by millions of monarch butterflies that make their 3,000 mile journey from the Great Lakes to hibernate during the cold Canadian winters.

So with that our travels now see us heading to the west central highlands beyond Guadalajara to explore some of the many ‘Pueblos Mágicos’ and do some butterfly voyeurism.

The Magical Towns Program is an initiative to promote a series of towns around the country that offer visitors a “magical” experience by reason of their natural beauty, cultural riches, or historical relevance. The Mexico Tourism Board acknowledges that Mexico’s magical element, and not only its sun and beaches, is what keeps many tourists coming back. Thus, they created the ‘Pueblos Mágicos’ program to recognize places across the country that imbue certain characteristics that make them unique and historically significant.

“A “Magical Village” is a place with symbolism, legends, history, important events, day-to-day life – in other words, “magic” in its social and cultural manifestations, with great opportunities for tourists.”

IMG_2186
Metropolitan Cathedral
IMG_2202
Teatro Degollado

Guadalajara is a huge metropolis, with well over 4 million people in the surrounding urban area. It is a cultural center of Mexico, and considered to be the home of mariachi music and sombreros. It is also known for tequila, but more on that later! The city’s economy is based on services and industry and is the communications and high-tech hub for northern half of Mexico.

IMG_2190

IMG_2201
Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres
image

 Governor’s Palace with Metropolitan Cathedral towers in background

IMG_2191

Staying in the historic downtown core, the oldest section of the city, we strolled through the many beautiful squares and public parks, exploring huge cathedrals and museums. The area is rich with history and was the base of Miguel Hidalgo, a leader in the revolution for the independence of Mexico. A huge fresco that literally stopped us in our tracks adorns the main interior stairway leading to the upper chambers of the Palacio de Gobierno. In one hand Hidalgo brandishes a torch while the masses at his feet struggle against the twin burdens of communism and fascism.

IMG_2188Also known for it’s temperate climate we found mornings and evenings cool and afternoons warm. Similar to other large cities, the downtown core is seething with people during the day, however the area clears out after business hours, except for those unfortunate homeless, and things begin to look and feel a little seedy. With the cooler evening temperatures and being aware of our surroundings we were more than happy to seek the refuge of our nearby hotel.

Next post, all you ever wanted to know about tequila, and then some!!!

Author: Theresa & Bob

We love to wander, aimlessly at times it seems, and will keep moving as far and as long as we can. Serendipity has provided many wonders along the way, when least expected, and we love the anticipation of the 'next great find' just around the corner.

6 thoughts on “A Slight Change in Plans!”

  1. Ola Amigos!!!! so exciting to read your posts…..thank you! Glad to hear that you are having an exciting time!!!! Can’t wait to hear about tequila!!!! Be safe!

  2. Hi Theresa: Thanks for the post. Sounds like you are having a great time and finding some new sights to see. Like hearing about your adventures. Thanks Lynda

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    1. Thanks for travelling with us Lynda! Yes, everyday something new comes along-so far so good, feeling safe and enjoying the ride.

  3. Hi Theresa and Bob! Jane shared this blog with me! Awesome travels. We are fellow nomads but sidelined right now as Randy awaits hip replacement surgery. With his Parkinson’s it hasn’t been a great winter, especially not being south! So I follow your blog with a little envy but hoping to get back at it soon! Safe travels! Beautiful photos! We spent two months in Cabo area last fall and love Mexico and its people and culture. Have you learned Spanish? Karen Edgeworth

  4. Hola Karen! So excited to hear from you and welcome aboard, as you know being “status nomadic” can have its challenges but the rewards are immeasurable. Sorry to hear about Randy’s hip problems, hopefully his new hardware will see you both back on the road soon. We will definitely get together when back in the Spring (are you currently in Kingston?)to exchange war stories. Until then hasta luego and sending good karma for Randy’s successful surgery, sooner than later. Give Randy our regards and let know we are thinking about him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s