Favorite thing: I was very displeased with the mexexperience website we used for our reservation and Ill tell you why. 1 we paid $53 dollars in fees to the website for an automated reservation system. 2 When i was making the reservation I asked for the ROOM ONLY option. ANd when we checked in I found that they had charged me for room and breakfast everyday. A difference of $15 a day. ( I paid $80 for the room when I could have paid $65) And lastly 3. I was taken ill a few days before the trip and we wanted to reschedule but the website, not the hotel, had a no refund cancellation policy. I will not use that site again.
Favorite thing: Guanajuato's is easy to navigate on foot and almost all attractions are located in the compact city center. I have spent in town two nights and one full day and had enough time to visit almost all the city attractions. By the way, two full days may be a better choice for those who want to take it a little easier. At least one night stay should be considered to enjoy the night view of the town from El Pipila Monument and dinner in one of the cozy plazuelas.
One A What Toe, (Guanajuato) is such a beautiful small city, it's not too hard to take at all. Located north of Mexico city in the state of Guanajuato, this state was historically one of Mexico's richest. After silver was found in Zacatecas, Spanish prospectors combed the rugged lands north of Mexico City and were rewarded by discoveries of silver, gold, iron, lead, zinc and tin.
For two centuries 30% to 40% of the world's silver was mined in Guanajuato. Silver barons in Guanajuato city lived opulent lives at the expense of Indians who worked the mines, first as slave labour and then as wage slaves. Eventually the growing well-heeled criollo class of Guanajuato and Quere'taro began to resent the dominance and arrogance of the Spanish-born in the colony. After the occupation of much of Spain by Napoleon Bonaparte's troops in 1808 and subsequent political confusion in Mexico, som provincial criollos began - while meeting as 'literary societries' - to draw up plans for rebellion.
Guanajuato is a city crammed onto the steep slopes of a ravine, with underground tunnels acting as streets. This impossible topography was settled in 1559 because the silver and gold mines found here were among the richest in the world. Many of the colonial structures built from this wealth remain intact, making Guanajuato a living monument to a prosperoous, turbulent past. But it's not only the past that resounds from Guanajuato's narrow cobbled streets. The University of Guanajuato, known for its arts programmes, attracts 15,000 students each year, giving the city a youthfulness, vibrancy and cultural life just as attractrive as the colonial architecture and exotic setting. The city's cultural side peaks during the Festival Internacional Cervantino, usually held in October each year.
Fondest memory: One of my fondest memories of Guanajuato, is how peaceful a place it is. The main Zocalo they call the "Piece of Cheese" because of its wedged shape, and like most main Zocalo's that I've seen, they keep the trees surrounding it, well clipped. In the early evenings, crowds of black birds congregate in these trees, creating a racket with their songs. It is the main meeting spot, and you will find friends and entire families enjoying the evenings here.
I learned this trick about walking up hills from the shepherds of Wales. Most of us waste energy while climbing steep slopes because we never straighten the legs. The knee is always bent. This means the weight of our body is supported by the muscles of the leg. Bent legs never gives the muscles a chance to relax. This technique shows you how to transfer your weight onto the bones in your leg which relieves the leg muscles.
The trick is to straighten out the hindmost or trailing leg by pushing the knee back so it "locks" and the leg is fully extended. You will experience a "settling-back" feeling as the leg bones "lock" and take the weight. This momentairily shifts the weight of your body onto the bones of the leg- allowing your muscles to relax. - these brief rests add up when going up a long or steep hill.
The hill must be steep for this trick to work. Guanajuato offers plenty of opportunity.
While I was here, I stayed with a family in a homstay program. although its not the norm, it was so much more culturally enlightening to stay with a family and see how they lived. If anyone wants to find out more about the family I was with (they board 8 people at a time, from all over the world, and their house is very big, many rooms, yet still extremely true to the City-and they own a restaurant, so you ae sure to eat your moneys worth!!!) just let me know.
This is one of the best travel memories I have, because I got to live like a local, walk to and from school every day, eat the meals they are accustomed to, and experience the culture. When I came home, I quit my job at the Government and went back to school , because I realized there was more to life than pushing paper....
Favorite thing: In the heart of the centre, you find the picturesque Union Garden. Together with the Juarez Theatre (see “must see activities”), The Church of San Diego (see further) they form one of the most appealing spots in the city. They are the heart of the city, its most important meeting place, beneath the carefully pruned, picturesque Indian laurel trees of the Jardín de la Unión, the triangular garden that was once the church’s forecourt. In 1883, the iron benches installed and the bandstand erected, where today concerts are held periodically.
Favorite thing: Visit the nicest alley in the city, the so-called 'Kiss Alley' (Callejón del Beso) and is situated near de Plazuela de Los Angeles. It is a traditional narrow alley, which at its most famous point has two balconies, which are just 68 cm (27 inches) apart; here is the site of the legend that tells the tragic story of two young sweethearts. The legend of this street is about a loving couple whose families had a hate on each other. They only saw each other on their balconies, which were in front of each other. One day, her father catches her trying to kiss her lover. Her father punished her by keeping her in the house and never went out again. Nowadays, people go to this street special to kiss each other… NOTE: those two young sweethearts from the legend are not we (Elsa and me), but we did what we had to do when visit this spot ;-)
The Church of Our Lady of Guanajuato became the Basilica in 1957. Its façade is mannerist-baroque in style. Within the church, you can see a sculpture of the Virgin of Guanajuato, the city’s patron and a gift from King Carlos V of Spain and his son, Felipe II, in 1957. It was also the year of my birth ;-)
For more info and pictures, look in my Church of Our Lady travelogue please…
Favorite thing: Visit the Plaza de la Paz. The gently sloping “Peace Plaza” is triangular is shape one of the city’s oldest plazas. It is located in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato (see further). The Plaza has been through numerous of changes over the centuries. Nowadays it boasts a beautiful bronze statue (see further) by Jesús F. Contreras, dedicated to Peace (1898), as well as beautiful flowerbeds. The plaza itself is lined with the city’s most beautiful palaces and townhouses.
Visit the Pipila Monument that was erected in 1939. This rose-coloured sculpture is in honour of Juan José de los Reyes Martinez. “El Pipila” as he came to be known, was also the hero of the struggle for Mexican Independence who, by setting fire to its portal with a torch, made possible the taking of the Alhóndiga de Granaditas, on September 28, 1810.
For more pictures and info, check my Pipila travelogue please…
Favorite thing: No, this is not the mountain of Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro were you can see the statue of Christ. In fact, it is the monument of Cristo Rey (Christ the King) on the top of Cubilete Hill in Guanajuato. The construction of the monument started at 1923. The complex itself is the work of the Mexican architect Nicolás Mariscal Pina, whilst the statue is the work of the Mexican sculptor Fidias Elizondo and shows Christ the King with his arms extended, flanked by two angels who hold a crown of thorns in one hand and a royal crown in the other. The sculpture measures 20 meters (66 feet) high and weights 250 metric tons. From its circular plaza, one can enjoy a splendid view of the entire Bajio valley.
Favorite thing: The origin of the University of Guanajuato goes back to the arrival of the Jesuits and their founding of the College of the Holly Trinity in 1732. In 1828, it became property of the Government of the State and went renamed into the State College. In 1945, it gained university status. This impressive neoclassical style building, made of green stone, currently houses the Rector’s Office and administrative and academic offices, as well as a number of the University’s Schools and Facilities.
Favorite thing: Take a visit to the University of Guanajuato or at least, going above through the many steps. It is even so hard then climbs a pyramid and you are exhausted that you prefer to stay a few minutes upstairs before going down again. Maybe a good idea for your fitness to do this every morning ;-)
Favorite thing: Guanajuato’s magnificent baroque style Temple of San Diego was build between 1780 and 1784. In the 19th century, its spectacular gilt altarpieces were replaced with neoclassical versions. The church also houses an important collection of recently restored paintings, dating from the 19th century and earlier. More and better pictures will come on my next visit.
Favorite thing: Yes, this is a picture taken in Leon, although, this page has nothing to do with Leon ;-) Sorry as I have to use Leon as my Guanajuato page, but Guanajuato is not in the VT-list yet. Very strange, as you know that Guanajuato is the Capital City of the State of Guanajuato. As we see the list of U.S. even the most stupid places are on the VT-list. Sometimes places I am not sure about people live there ;-) Nevertheless, Leon is a brand new commercial city where in fact nothing is to see. However, they are famous for their leather boots and they export a lot to the U.S. Maybe that is why the city is on the VT-list. Now, when the new VT is coming up, Guanajuato will be on the list as well. In the mean time, I will place my Guanajuato page here. Later I will change it and put the few pictures I have (it is not possible to take pictures from a place where is nothing to see) from Leon here on this page. Thanks for your understanding…