This is the story of my 6 months of studying in Arizona in 2010 and subsequent travels in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An efficient, history-packed day! Day 12 (25th January)

You caught me sitting in a open air yard-like structure in a hostel in Querétaro, completely exhausted. However, its only 8 PM, and I figure that if I go to bed now the other people in the dorm will wake me up when they go to bed, plus I will wake up way too early tomorrow. So I try to stay awake a little longer.

Today has been a really good one! :) Woke up in Guanajuato, packed my stuff, and went to the rooftop kitchen to get some breakfast and make some lunch to bring on the road. My plan was somewhat complex, but started out with a cap to the bus station. From there, I took a bus to Dolores Hidalgo Cuna de La Independencia Nacional. Yeah, thats apparently the formal name, meaning "The cradle of the independent nation". This was were the Mexican revolution started the 16th September 1810.

Dolores Hidalgo
When I got there at 10.30, after a 1.5 hour bus trip over a mountainous pass, I stored my luggage in a locked room adjacent to a little shop in the bus station in Dolores. Perfect that they had it - I wasn't sure how to spend the day, if I had to carry everything. Its a little heavy... But yeah, so I pulled out a pamphlet about the city that I had found in the Hotel in Guanajuato. Pretty lucky, as my guidebook seems to think that this is not such an important place. I walked around for a bit, and really it is a charming little city. Statues and churches all around, and little old houses in many colors. Most interesting was The Museum of Independence, which pretty much explained the whole story of Mexico. While I am not much into art museums, history is another story! So my visit here also explains why I can now remember the date of independence...

My lunch
On a bench in the park I enjoyed another highlight of the day. The sandwich I had made for lunch! :D Plain bread with cheese, ham, tomato, lots of avocado, and a bit of salt - it was just perfect! Afterwards I re-stashed on water and salty crackers, and went back to the bus station to get my luggage and a bus to San Miguel de Allende, where I had decided to stop by as well. This despite the fact that I had already been told that my schedule from Guanajuato over Dolores to Querétaro in the end was a bit ambitious, but it was only 1 PM, so I figured it would work out just fine. :)

San Miguel
Another 1 hour bus ride, and I arrived to San Miguel. Another important city historically, and another charming town (well, with some 150.000 inhabitants), way too many of which are American and Canadian. Like with Ajijic at Lake Chapala I feel like the city looses something when that authenticity disappears, but I must say that San Miguel was probably the most beautiful town I have visited in Mexico so far! Small streets, lots of trees, old houses, amazing colors... I caught a bus from the station to the center, and started by checking out the public library. I think that must be the meeting place for the non-mexican, at least it was very crowded with these people. However, a very charming place with a café and a beautiful yard where people were reading and studying Spanish.

Then I walked around for a bit, went in and out some of the churches and shops, and got an ice cream to enjoy in the main square. I wasn't really in the mood for more museums, so instead I headed down towards a park that was mentioned in the guidebook. I smelled it before I saw it, as I hit a wall of flower fragrance. Nice. :) The park was very green, not so big, and cut through by little cosy walkways. I enjoyed the fresh air for a while, before heading back to the center to find a bus back to the bus station. I picked up my luggage in a room similar to the one in Dolores, only 3 times more expensive (though 15 pesos isn't exactly a problem). In total I spent 3 hours in San Miguel, before I jumped on my last bus of the day, to Querétaro, with a friendly bus driver who turned kind of creepy when he started taking pictures of me.

All in all a very packed day, but I feel like I didn't just skip through these city too fast. I saw most of what was there to see, and got an impression of the atmosphere. I would like to stay longer in San Miguel, but it doesn't bother me that I just went through it this time. :)

So now I'm in the hostel, San Gallito, where I have a bed in a mixed dorm. I am equipped with earplugs... I have one of those over-protected mattresses with a plastic cover that makes a lot of noise when I turn around. At least I am in the lower bunk with a curtain around, so I hope and think, though against the odds, that I will get a good nights sleep! :)

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