The Best of the Bajío: Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende

Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende

Guanajuato

Monday morning, we started off with a light breakfast before beginning a road trip toward the small mining town of Guanajuato.

Thanks Sue and Judy for the crullers. 🙂
IMG_0458During this trip, we officially decided there is no speed limit here in Mexico. The rules of the road seem to be non-existent. 😛 Hah.

Even as Dad sped 30 km over limit, cars were flying by him on the left side. That being said, both Mom and Dad are rock stars at driving here. We arrived at our destination safe and sound. 🙂

In Guanajuato, we stayed at the Hotel Misión Guanajuato. 
IMG_0475 IMG_0464 IMG_0473 IMG_0472Dad found his doppelganger…Don Quijote. Hah. 😛
IMG_0474This hotel was originally a hacienda from the 19th century when silver mining was prevalent in this region. The architecture and woodwork inside the room was incredibly rustic and beautiful.
IMG_0469We arrived to our room as well to find a lovely note accompanied by a rose that wished a pleasant stay in the hotel. So sweet! 🙂
PicMonkey CollageffAfter unpacking, we took a taxi into town. Taxis are around $3 and are essential in Guanajuato. Since this city was an old mining village, the winding narrow cobblestone streets that fill the city are not drivable by car. In an effort to preserve the town’s quaint charm, the city has constructed underground tunnels through which most of the traffic navigates. So cool!
IMG_0477My parents immediately fell in love with this city. The colorful buildings in the town drape over the mountains and overlook the historic city center, which gives the town a European charm. Just gorgeous!
IMG_0481 IMG_0506 IMG_0484 guana IMG_0503For lunch, we went to Truco 7.
IMG_0485This restaurant is full of antiques and chachkis, plus offers traditional Mexican fare at a reasonable price.
IMG_0490 IMG_0494For an entree we tried chicken mole with seasoned rice, chicken mole enchiladas, and chicken enchiladas in a green sauce.
IMG_0491 IMG_0492 IMG_0493Mole is a sauce prepared from combining chilis and spices with a variety of other ingredients. This particular mole had a strong dark chocolate flavor with a hint of sweetness. It was perfect for dunking crusty loafs of fresh bread.

After lunch, we walked around town to check out the sights. The highlights of Guanajuato include the Juarez Theater, Temple of San Francisco, and the terrace overlooking the town.
IMG_0501 IMG_0498Additionally, there is a legend in Guanajuato similar to that of Romeo and Juliet. It is the story of two lovers from feuding wealthy families who secretly meet on a balcony each night to share affection, against their families wishes. The story ends tragically when one night the father catches the daughter and ends up stabbing her to death. :/

Nowadays people recollect this legendary Mexican Romeo and Juliet couple by standing in that same narrow alleyway to kiss. It is said that kissing here will guarantee you seven years of happiness. Mom and Dad…pucker up. 😛
PicMonkey CollagefffHow adorable!

After walking around for awhile, we headed to the lookout platform above the city, which is reachable by tram. 🙂
IMG_0526The view is absolutely priceless!
IMG_0534IMG_0530In the afternoon, we went to Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera. This was originally the home of a wealthy silver baron from the 19th century. The 17 distinct gardens on the property are gorgeous and the Spanish baroque furniture in the home is slightly eerie, yet intriguing.
IMG_0540 IMG_0541 IMG_0547 20150330_16551420150330_170111 IMG_0559After walking the villa property, we headed downtown for a nice dinner.
Look at this creepy guy we saw on the way there. :/
IMG_0562We went to La Oreja de Van Gogh for dinner, which was located in the beautiful Jardín de la Unión.
IMG_0563
The dinner was not very traditional, but still tasty. We shared some beef nachos and Dad ordered a garlic shrimp dish that arrived wrapped in a tin foil swan. Hah. 😛IMG_0565 IMG_0566After the meal, we sat on their outdoor patio to watch Lucha Libre wrestling and enjoy the crisp night air. 🙂
IMG_0568For a Monday, the city was still full of excitement, including the traditional Callejoneadas that sang folk music and danced through town. Such a wonderful night. 🙂
IMG_0570 IMG_0572

San Miguel de Allende

On Tuesday morning, we enjoyed a delicious traditional Mexican breakfast of chilaquiles and creamy hot chocolate before leaving Guanajuato for the town of San Miguel de Allende.

Chilaquiles are tortillas smothered in tomato sauce and topped with chicken, salsa, cream and fresh cheese.
IMG_0573 IMG_0580After a short 45-minute ride, our first stop in San Miguel de Allende was actually located outside of the town at El Charco Botanical Garden. 
IMG_0596 IMG_0591This garden houses a variety of cacti from all over Mexico and is set alongside a beautiful canyon, which is the perfect opportunity to get some fresh air and connect with nature.
IMG_0589Here I am, leading the troops. 😉
IMG_060020150331_111025 IMG_060220150331_111447 IMG_0610After walking around the gardens we went into the town to visit La Parroquia and relax in the plaza.
IMG_0618 20150331_125948Everyone in town was resting on benches, either drinking a coffee or enjoying an ice cream. It was a great chance for people watching, which is one of our favorite past times. 🙂

After getting home to Querétaro and take a little nap, we headed out for a tasty dinner of beer and tacos. 😀

We went to Tacos El Pata, which is a very casual restaurant with a tasty selection of taco fillings and sauces.
IMG_0630IMG_0625We ordered steak, rib meat and tacos al pastor, which is a grilled seasoned meat cooked on a spit. They gave us an array of condiments, including salsas, garlic, spicy mustard and fresh limes, as well as, warm corn tortillas. Perfection!
IMG_0628IMG_0629Another end to a fantastic day! 😀

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