For my last week in Mexico I decided to do a bit of traveling with some friends to get in some final sight seeing. We left from Puebla on Monday morning and took a quick six hour bus ride to a small city north of Mexico City called Guanajuato. When we arrived we caught a cab to our hotel and were surprised to be taken through a series of tunnels instead of streets. We checked into our hotel and then had a quick dinner before turning in for the night to prepare for our mini vacation.
Our first day was spent wandering on our own, finding various museums and sights to see. The city is very reminiscent of old Europe with narrow narrow streets and gorgeous architecture. It is built in the mountains and instead of flattening the landscape like we so often do in America, the cityscape follows the contours of the land. Because of this landscape many of the city’s streets are tunnels underneath the mountains. We didn’t do much tunnel exploring since it was hard enough to find our way around the part of Guanajuato that is above ground, but it was interesting to see this different way of building a city. During our day we saw Diego Rivera’s childhood home, a museum of the 19th century and even the famous mummies of Guanajuato!
Our second day we did a little local shopping and some more exploring, but in the afternoon we signed up for a tour of the huge statue of Jesus that is located on top of a mountain outside the city. Our bus picked us up around four at our hotel and brought us to the city center, where in true Mexico fashion, we waited for about half an hour for the rest of the tour and the bus driver to arrive before we could leave. Once on the way the rest of our tour group started complaining about having not eaten yet and requested that we stop at some point so that they could buy dinner (not part of the tour.) Andrea, Emily and I looked at each other and without speaking decided that there was nothing else to do but settle in for the long haul and assume this tour would take at least an hour longer than the brochure claimed. After a very long and winding trip up the mountain we got to the statue of Cristo Rey which was just magnificent. Our guide explained to us that the masterpiece weighs more than 200 tons and recounted some of the miracles that are associated with this enormous statue. We had a few minutes to walk around and take pictures and then we headed back down to the city. Of course stopping along the way at a restaurant (where we sat on the bus and watched everyone eat) and a shop where the bus driver’s friend made pottery, prolonged our trip a little but we made it back to Guanajuato eventually. After such a long day we decided to collect a feast of various street foods we encountered on the way home and hibernate in our hotel room and watch movies for the rest of the night.
Our next destination was Mexico City for some pyramid climbing before we all headed back to America. We met up with some of the other students from America and spent all day on Friday exploring the ancient mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan. We could walk all along the main street and were even allowed to climb up smaller side pyramids as well as the Pyramid of the Moon which is one of the two large pyramids in the civilization. I had done a lot of research on the city and it’s inhabitants for my Mexican Culture and Literature class so to finally be able to see the ruins in person was incredible. Definitely a successful last week in Mexico!