Our next stop after the state of Jalisco, was the state of Guanajuato where we spent time in the town of Guanajuato (same name as the state), a brief stop in Dolores Hidalgo and a week in San Miguel de Allende where we visited a friend.
The Unesco World Heritage city of Guanajuato was founded in 1559. It was definitely one of our favorite cities in Mexico because of it’s colonial buildings, stunning plazas, brightly colored houses and the presence of Art everywhere.
The tunnel system in the center of town is quite impressive! In our research we had read that “what ever you do, don’t get into the tunnels because it’s a maze and you will never found your way out”. So what is the first thing we do? We get in a tunnel!! Thank God, our GPS led us directly to the campground through tiny tiny steep streets.
Not to toot our own horn but Joe is a great driver and I am a pretty good navigator so besides the occasional arguing, screaming, wrong turns, bad directions, u-turns, application failures, backing up … we seem to always make it to our destination!
San Miguel de Allende
Like the town of Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende (SMA) is a Unesco World Heritage Site. It was one of the first item on the list of places we wanted to see in Mexico. San Miguel’s main attraction is it’s well preserved historic center, filled with buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Some say it’s the prettiest town in Mexico and we may have to agree. Walking down the cobblestone streets admiring the striking Baroque and Neo-Gothic Architecture, the warm earthy colors, stoping for cocktails on a rooftop terrace or sipping coffee in one of the many courtyards filled with plants, is what San Miguel is all about.
As early as the 1930’s, expatriates have moved to San Miguel to reinvent their lives. Now 15,000 of the city’s population of 80,000 are expats, roughly 70% of them are from the United States.
Thanks to its somewhat remote location San Miguel has remained intimate and welcoming. With it’s vibrant Art and Cultural scene, incredible climate, great restaurants, shops, bakeries, cafés, boutique hotels, language schools, cooking and art classes, yoga, who would not want to live here? for a fraction of the price it would cost in the US or Canada.
And to make our visit even more memorable, we had our own private tour guide. My friend Louise moved to San Miguel about 2 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Thanks to Facebook we had reconnected just before we started our journey. I had not seen her in close to 20 years but it felt like we had seen each other the week before.
She is just that kind of a person! On our first night in San Miguel, Louise invited us to her beautiful apartment in one of the historic buildings with thick stone walls. We had cocktails on her incredible rooftop terrace overlooking the famous Parroquia de San Miguel Archangel and blooming Jacaranda trees, followed by homemade Chiles Relllenos and lots of wine!
Louise and I caught up while Joe was lounging and watching Tennis on TV with his new friend Coco. Throughout the week, Louise took us along a few of her social outings around town, introduced us to some great restaurants, let us use her washer and dryer, found a technician to repair Joe’s cell phone screen and cooked us a great pasta dinner.
Thank you Louise for your hospitality, your are still the hostess with the mostest and a wonderful friend!