The Grieps have arrived in Mexico! 😀
Like I mentioned in the last post, my parents are visiting this week. We will be traveling around central Mexico to see all of my favorite spots, as well as, take part in the cultural festivities for Semana Santa.
Day 1: Arrival in Mexico City and Welcome Dinner
On Saturday afternoon, my parents flew into Mexico City. I had taken a bus there so I could greet them and drive with them to Querétaro. 🙂
Driving Mexico City to Queretaro:
To begin, the 2.5 hour journey from Mexico City to Querétaro was an experience in itself. Word of caution, driving in Mexico City is not for the faint of heart! There is no signaling, cars are weaving in and out of lanes, plus there is a ton of traffic!
Luckily, we downloaded this mobile application called Waze on our phone.Waze is a navigation device, which calculates the best possible route by factoring in current traffic conditions and construction sites. It was so helpful in safely leading us out of the hectic city. 🙂 Even better, as a Waze driver, you pick a character on your navigation map and interact with other drivers that are nearby.When we finally arrived in Querétaro, we dropped off our bags at my apartment and took a taxi into town. 🙂
Taxis here cost around $4 and are the best option when you plan on going out at night, especially for a few cocktails. Better safe than sorry!
For our welcome dinner, we went to El Meson de Chucho Roto.
This is one of the most traditional restaurants in town and is located in the beautiful Plaza de Armas, across from the Governor’s Palace.
For appetizers, we had homemade guacamole with fresh corn tortilla chips and salty chicharron(pork skin), as well as, a typical Oaxacan dish of cochinita pibil, which is seasoned and slow-roasted pork topped with pickled onions and salsa. Yum!
We also had a few cocktails, including some lime margaritas that surely knocked both my parents on their butts. That tequila was a kicker! 😉
For dinner, we shared two molcajete, which are large hot stones filled with a variety of grilled meats.
The first was Molcajete “Chucho el Roto”, filled with chicken, chorizo sausage, grilled onion, cactus and salty queso fresco.
The second was Molcajete “Tierra y Mar”, filled with bacon-wrapped shrimp and steak. The ingredients were stuffed inside fresh warm corn tortillas and topped with salsa, pickled vegetables and refried beans. So delicious!
After dinner, we went to the lookout in Querétaro to view the city skyline and the historic aqueduct. The illuminated arches popped amongst the twinkling lights of the city. What an incredible view and the perfect end to our day. 🙂
Day 2: Bernal, Tequisquiapan and Live Mariachi Music
Early Sunday morning, we headed toward the small pueblo of Bernal.
Bernal has an old Western vibe, with cactus scattered across the landscape and deep earthen tones coating the building facades. Highlights of Bernal include their scrumptious blue corn gorditas and La Peña, which the 3rd largest monolith in the world. 🙂
Tempting…but not on an empty stomach. 😉
For breakfast, we headed to Gorditas Doña Coco to try those famous little fatties. 😛
We had gorditas stuffed with mushroom, eggs in chili sauce, seasoned beef, potatoes with chorizo, and huitlacoche or corn fungus.
For drinks, we sampled homemade strawberry milk and hibiscus water. Everything was delicious!
The whole meal was a whopping $6 as well. What a deal!
After breakfast, I gathered the troops and we headed toward La Peña.
We walked around the base of the mountain to gaze at the impressive sight.
It was a great morning in Bernal and the town was just as picturesque as I had remembered. 🙂
From there we headed to Tequisquipan. This is another lovely pueblo with a gorgeous central plaza and tranquil environment.
Since today was also Palm Sunday, we arrived in Tequisquiapan at the beginning of a church procession. Everyone was gathered around the priest and a Christ statue for an opening prayer and blessing.
From there, we casually walked through toward the gorgeous pastel pink church in the central plaza.
In the heart of the plaza, there was an outdoor mass being held for Palm Sunday. Despite the large crowd, the place was incredibly peaceful and quiet.
After walking around for a bit, we decided to check out Rincón Mexicano. This balcony restaurant overlooked the plaza and was the perfect viewing spot for the outdoor mass.
For lunch we tried some delicious micheladas, or Mexican bloodies and a sample platter of flautas, guacamole, cecina de pollo and quesadillas. Cecina de pollo is dried and salted chicken, which was surprisingly moist, and flautas are crispy rolled tortillas that are filled with chicken and cheese.
The food and drinks were delicious, and we felt incredibly welcome in this small little town.After a long day, we spent the afternoon relaxing by my pool. 🙂
For dinner, we headed to Pegueros in the town of Pueblito.
The atmosphere of the restaurant was lively, with colorful flags streaming across the ceiling and funny caricatures lining the walls.The owner immediately greeted us and offered us complimentary sopa de azteca, plus a warm welcome to his city. What hospitality! 😀For dinner, we had traditional enchiladas Queretanas. For this entree, fresh corn tortillas are cooked in a tomato sauce, filled with salty cheese, and topped with meat, carrots, potatoes, pickled vegetables and sour cream. In this case, we tried the grilled steak and chicken. Amazing!
The mariachi music was incredible and this was a terrific end to Day 2 of our trip.
Here is a short clip of our dinner experience. Enjoy! 😀