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We are traveling in Mexico again this winter of 2012
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Return to Guanajuato

Just a little refresher on the Guanajuato. It was founded in 1554 and is located in one of the richest silver mining areas of Mexico. It was originally built over the river of the same name which flowed through tunnels underneath the city. After years of raising buildings to accommodate yearly flooding a dam was built and the river redirected into underground caverns. The tunnels were then lit and paved with cobblestones for automobile traffic, and this underground road network carries the majority of cars driving through the city today.

Actually I think that the old buildings we can see along the road

and the colorful houses built on the hills surrounding the center of town are the attraction. Who wouldn’t enjoy seeing them. Just like a postcard picture.
Off we went heading towards the parking lot right in the middle of town near the big theater. But somehow managed to take a wrong turn – actually that’s not too hard when going through the tunnels. We were heading up one of the hills. The road got narrower and rougher. The corners sharper.
Yes - I was hanging on to the "Oh S**T" bar.
So The Driver made sure we headed down hill. Soon we were back on the level and into the tunnels again. The houses built on the top of the tunnel walls fascinate me. Some are built out on stilts others flush with the walls.

What the heck? Great! we turned a corner and were behind a group of bicyclists on a Sunday ride. A motorcycle cop with his lights on kept the traffic behind them.

We were the first car behind the cop driving at five mps! And then missed the turn to tunnel leading to the parking lot. Crap. All we could do was keep going until we were out of the tunnel and the bikes pulled over.
We had a couple of choices straight ahead or to the right …. Hesitation. A young man came running over to us. Bill rolled down his window to ask directions – by now the horns behind us were honking and the cop was staring at us. In very good English the young man asked if we were looking for parking. “Yes, the one behind the theater.” “Okay, I’ll take you” he said as he jumped up on the VERY narrow running board and grabbed the roof rack. “Back up and go right. Keep going right.” Off we went with him hanging on and Bill being very careful not to scrape him up against a tunnel wall. Through the tunnels and through the streets back into the tunnels – always right, right. We made a big circle and finally came to the turn off. He took us right to the parking lot and even found us a space. Really neat guy.
Walked up to the plaza past one of the old churches – and this time noticed this old “door” with steps on the side of the building.
You can also see where there was a window at one time.
Always something different to see. Continued towards the plaza and saw these paintings – only US$20 with frame – yes we did. Just like the texture and colors.

Lots of families and vendors around.

The little plastic toys are all over - every kid has one.
Lots of great buildings with iron balconies and bright colors

and fountains around. Flowers hanging from the iron window boxes and balconies

And always the shoe shine men.
As we were walking towards one of the huge churches we passed this Priest and his altar boys.
This church was all covered with scaffolding last year when we were here – Didn’t realize it was so pretty and intricate.

The courtyard of the church was packed. Six or seven tables with blue plastic tarps over them were set up. Behind them were whole families, from the babies to grandmas selling everything from cakes to tacos and rosaries.

Inside the church a mass was going on and the choir was singing.

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