Saturday in Guanajuato means tourists – lots of them; most from other parts of Mexico coming here to enjoy the historical and cultural offerings of this World Heritage site. And the number of visitors promises lots going on: more street performers, more music, more food stands, more sellers of souvenirs, more opportunities to people-watch. So a plan was hatched: I was off to city center to enjoy the activities and squeeze in a couple of errands. Bob would remain at the house to scout out a place for dinner. We arranged for a meet-up spot for when I was finished and we would try out the restaurant that sounded the most promising.
What follows is mostly pictures. If you are the type that cringes when someone suggests you come over to see their travel photos, you may want to exit now as the first part of this post is pretty much that. Or, if you are someone that rolls their eyes when you realize that you are going to be clicking through food photos, you may want to skip the end portion of this post. Consider yourselves warned…
Looking back up toward our street. We travel 5 of these step sections (in various forms) to get down to the main area of commerce.
Sometimes we take advantage of this park to catch our breath. I like they way the trees are shaped.
Stopped at the post office to mail a letter. This is the ONLY mailbox at the main post office in Guanajuato, and the only place we have found to send off our mail. Fortunately it’s not too far from the house.
A couple of winding blocks later I come to the Teatro Juarez. The steps were packed with people resting and listening to costumed University of Guanajuato students shouting out tourist information.
Festival flags on a street nearby.
One of the street artists portraying La Calavera Catrina.
Callejón Del Beso, the Alley of the Kiss. The passage is so narrow (27 inches) that a person can stick her/his head out the window of a building on one side of the passage and kiss the person across the way. There are many tales and legends that go along with this alley. One has it that if you kiss you lover on the third step you will have everlasting love. (Thus the long lines…) Not sure it this is confirmation or not, but Bob and I kissed on the third step last time we were in Guanajuato and we are still going strong.
On to Mercado Hidalgo and our favorite tortilla seller. Tortillas are made once a day. When they are gone, you are out of luck.
Passing the “candy aisle” as I head back out to the street. The international truth of the impulse buy.
One of the tunnels that lead up and down throughout city center.
Before leaving the area I stop at the bakery. First I pick up a tray and tongs.
Then I scout the shelves to see what will tempt me. We have developed a few guidelines: Never buy cookies. Pastries that have flaky (phyllo-type) crusts are much better than those that don’t. Any bread is amazing.
Down the street from the bakery I notice a mining cart used as planter.
And then I am at the Basilico do Guanajuato.
Where I notice a member of a wedding party waiting to enter the sanctuary.
One more stop before heading to our meeting place: the artisan’s gallery and market. This large space features artists from all areas of the state of Guanajuato, and the work is amazing. I am making a list.
At the Jardin de la Union – which is actually only about 10 minutes from our house. You may have noticed the iron benches in all of the parks, These are the legacy of Portofiro Diaz, a former President of Mexico and a declared Francophile. He wanted the parks of Mexico to reflect the refinement of parks in France so he commissioned iron benches be made for them. Incidentally, his brother, who owned an ironworks, got the contract.
Mariachis getting ready to perform.
Our chosen dinner spot. We look over the massive and highly tempting menu and decide to go with Menu Degustacion: “A gastronomic tour of our restaurant in a twinkling of an eye.” It is seven courses paired with wine. We’re in!
Course #1 Shrimp ceviche with coconut milk, basil, cilantro, serrano pepper, citrus and mango; smoked at the moment. I am embarrassed to say that I missed a photo of course #2 which was lychees stuffed with goat cheese and smoked salmon. I was just too into the experience I guess.
Course #3 Sweet corn cream with vanilla bean. When the martini glass came to the table there was just a cube of cinnamon and sugar in the bottom and the hot soup was poured over.
Course #4 Sesame seed encrusted tuna served with an oriental salad, accompanied by two styles of sauce.
Palate cleanser of lemon and mint sorbet. Truly, I could have stopped here but there was more to come.
Course #5 Beef tenderloin filet covered in Mole with corn, mashed banana and onion rings.
Course #6 Selection of cheeses with seasonal fruit, balsamic reduction and apple compote. Note: the green scoop is Gorgonzola ice cream. I loved it. Bob not so much.
Course #7 (and by now I am stuffed and sort of embarrassed that all this food came my way – but look at it!) Cinnamon and sugar Buñuelos with cinnamon gelato, piloncillo sauce, and caramel sauce.
And after a short respite over a cup of coffee we head back up the steps…
Up the inclined paths…
And finally to our street where the lights of the tunnels tell us we are home.