To Zacatecas

Trip Start Nov 08, 2007
Trip End Jan 03, 2008

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Friday, November 30, 2007

Zacatecas was awesome.  We had the best time there so far on the trip.  It's a little town of about 150,000 people that sits pretty much in the middle of Mexico.  It's pretty hilly, and its at about 7,500 feet above sea level, so you get winded pretty easily.  We stayed at the Hostel Villa Colonial, which had a great location, great staff, great rooms, a great roof patio, and great people staying there.  There's also a great bakery right around the corner where you can get a couple big pastries for like 8 pesos (like 80 cents).

We stayed in Zacatecas for three and a half days, spending a good deal of our time just walking around the city.  I never knew there were cities in Mexico like this.  Its beautiful there, and there are plenty of Spanish colonial cathedrals and temples that are absolutely stunning.  The people of the region are known historically for their stone working skills, and it shows in the intricate stone carvings on the main Cathedral in the center of the historic district (where we stayed).  We visited more temples and churches than I can remember...  We also took a tour of an old mine called El Eden.  Ill let the pictures do the talking.

There are also plenty of museums in Zacatecas.  We went to two of them, one of which was originally a monestary or church, then it was turned into a prison, and finally it was turned into an abstract art museum.  This was a personal highlight of my visit - I really liked the works by the main artist on display, Manuel Felguerez (the museum is called Museo De Arte Abstracto Manuel Felguerez).  And it was also pretty wild to walk on the catwalks of an ex-prison and look at art instead of inmates.

At some point we met up with a guy from Germany, Joerg, who we spent a lot of time sightseeing and drinking with (okay - so it was me doing most of the drinking with him...  but HE'S the one who bought the tequila, it wasnt my idea...).

One day we took a trip to some ruins that are close to Zacatecas called La Quemada.  Becky, Joerg and I all went together and there was another girl on the trip from France, Celine.  I had never been to any ruins before, so to me they were pretty impressive, although my understanding is that theyre just "okay".  Thats probably a good thing, cause it wont be a let down seeing more ruins since they can only get better.  We spent about 3 hours walking around the ruins, and it was actually a very nice hike up to the top and back down the other side of the small mountain on which they sit.

Celine speaks very little english, so its been fun speaking with her in Spanish (although my Spanish sucks, so its mostly Becky speaking with her).  My spanish has actually started to get a bit better with her around because Im forced to use it.  Sometimes Becky refuses to translate for me...

We also met a couple girls from Oregon (Eugene and Portland), two other girls from Switzerland, and a guy and a girl from New Zealand.  One night a bunch of us went out drinking tequila, mezcal (kinda like tequila) and singing karaoke.

After 3 days in town we decided to move on to Guanajuato, and we ended up catching a bus out of town around 2pm.  We had to catch a bus to Leon first, and then to Guanajauto.  The bus to Leon was the worst bus weve ever been on.  It smelled, and the asshole driverkept stopping.  Hed tell us that we were stopping for like 5 minutes, but wed be sitting there for close to a half hour.  And I think there was something wrong with it as well, cause we were going REALLY slow up some of the hills on the highway.

Anyway, weve moved on to Guanajuato, and, as it turns out, Celine and the girls from Oregon have arrived here as well and are staying in the same hostel.  Ive been trading emails from Joerg and he might arrive later on this evening.

Ill write about Guanojuato later...  Its pretty cool, but PACKED with people.  Its another old mining town and theres actually a bunch of roads that are underneath the city made from old mining tunnels, pretty cool...
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