Off on another road trip – this time to Querétaro, about a 2 hour drive from Guanajuato. (FYI: Querérato, like Guanajuato is both a state and a city within that state. This sometimes causes confusion as both the city and state are typically referred to by a single name. If you live here it doesn’t seem to be a problem; people pretty quickly figure which of the two you are talking about. It is the non-locals who have to scratch their heads a bit before getting the distinction.) Querétaro is pretty much the ying to Guanajuato’s yang as it’s modern feel and robust economy (largely based on IT/data centers and aerospace manufacturing and research) provides a young and progressive vibe. But that doesn’t mean it is without a wealth of historical, cultural and artistic opportunities to enjoy. In fact, we found so much to see and do that we extended our stay by one night and still feel like we have barely dipped our toes into the Querétaro waters.

We like to do our initial investigations on foot. Just blocks away from our hotel was Plaza de Armas with its wide variety of dining options. We decided to grab a quick lunch, staying with cuisine typico; Bob had chili relleno and I ordered enchiladas Querétaroan. Next we headed down the way to go to the artisan’s market/shop but found they were closed from 2-4p. Siesta time? So instead we strolled the Portal de Dolores, where we chanced upon Maria, the best known muñecas de trapo (rag doll) in Mexico. The story behind this doll is quite interesting and if you want more you can check out this link: Maria Doll.

On to Museo de Arte, housed in the former monastery of San Agustin; the building is a marvel of Baroque architecture.


Vividly colored vaulted ceilings.


Tiled domes.


Beautiful and highly detailed carvings on towers.


And pillars that camouflage water spouts!


On our way to Plaza Zenea for some bench time we passed shop after shop of wedding/bridal party dresses. Love the romance of a full skirt.


What the well-dressed Catholic bride is wearing this season: complete with rosary and Bible.


Some stores had more than one floor of dress options. The top of the building reminds me of a crown – like Prince Charming?


While at Plaza Zenea we admired the Temple of San Francisco.


And we wished we could have seen the view from one of these roof gardens that overlooked the square.


Fabulous idea noted: free Internet access sites that are moved about through the city. When we went by that little place was packed.


Alameda Hidalgo Park, across from our hotel, is about two city blocks square and filled with play areas for children and families. The park is undergoing serious renovation and updating so we couldn’t enter, but I did peak through the fence and was impressed with the extent of the changes being made.


The broad boulevards that surround the park are filled with people. There is music playing from overhead speakers. Fountains on the sidewalk tempt children to come and play on warm days.


Went on a hunt to find some of the delicious nut mix we enjoyed at happy hour the previous evening. Quite a few stores (clothing as well as food outlets) have popcorn machines near the front doors and the aroma was very enticing. Good gimmick!


Wandering through the side lanes and alleys often resulted in surprising sights. This fountain with a statue of a traditional dancer is one example.


And in Plaza de la Corregidora there is the statue of doña Josefa Ortiz, a hero of the revolution. The mother of 14 children, during her lifetime she was labeled an insurgent and radical. I think I would have liked her.


And following that, as an quirky synchronicity, I came upon this protest by telephone workers.


Adiós, Querétaro.  We will be back