OK…no promises for 2020 and not traveling.
At the end of 2019 and a couple of weeks after my Poland/Czech Republic/Lisbon trip I headed off to Mexico to meet up with my friend Jano. Taking a non-stop from Oakland to Leon and then a car from Leon to San Miguel was pretty easy way of getting to San Miguel de Allende. They were a tiny bit late to pick me up but I did arrive before the scheduled time…bajiogo.com
Jano’s friend has a lovely home very close to the center of San Miguel and we were lucky enough to be able to rent it for the week. It came with its own housekeeper/cook and wading pool…too cold.
I hear it’s for sale now.
San Miguel is a lovely Spanish colonial town…full of Americans. It’s in the mountains, so doesn’t get too hot and there are some excellent restaurants at a reasonable price. The art scene is pretty good. We went to an artisan complex on the outskirts of the town (Uber and taxis abound) where art, jewelry, and crafts are in abundance. Highly recommended.I also recommend a day trip (or more) to Guanajuato which is about 1 hour from San Miguel. It’s a lot more lively, colorful and, in my opinion, more interesting. A friend of Jano’s…Jorge (George)…accompanied us there where we visited Diego Rivera’s home/museum, rode up and down on the funicular and had a really nice day.
Back in San Miguel we were lucky to be there when the Mexican finalists for the Metropolitan Opera auditions performed. The performance was in a small church with wonderful acoustics and we managed to sit right behind the singers and the pianist. Amazing!
Heading off to Mexico City on the luxury bus for about a 3 1/2 hour ride. We had a bit of trouble once we got there in finding a taxi. Evidently Uber’s aren’t welcome at the bus station. Our taxi driver had no idea where we were going and we drove around asking people who misdirected us or else and no idea either where we were going. After about an hour we finally came upon our Airbnb…and couldn’t get into the drive because they were making a film in the adjoining park. Crazy. At long last, we arrived and then couldn’t get into the apartment. The code didn’t work…Yikes. After calling the host who was not on premises she said she would have a locksmith come and meet her there. Evidently the battery was kaput.
So…Jano and I left our bags with the concierge and headed off to get a drink…oh yes, and some food. After a couple of hours I got the call that things were working and we headed back. What a grumpy tired pair we were. The apartment was fine but we weren’t too happy with the neighborhood. It was centrally located, so really OK.
Mexico City is fantastic. So much to see. The pollution is bad but I didn’t seem to many people with filter masks on…and we didn’t use one. We had scheduled an Airbnb “experience” to visit the anthropology/archeology museum and our guide was really amazing. Lots of artifacts from the Inca days and Teotihuacán. It’s a very large museum and it was definitely a blessing to have Monica show us around and explain everything.
We visited several other museums, attended a Romeo & Juliet ballet presented by who knows? No information on the production or performers. They performed at the castle and it was quite a chore finding it and finding where the entrance was. Anyway, at long last, we arrived just as it was starting. The poor dancers were dancing on a marble floor and performed in socks. The choreography didn’t call for many leaps or lifts…thankfully. We had met a lovely French Canadian woman, Francois, on the anthropology museum visit who came with us. Prior to the performance we had a very good meal at a hotel restaurant where we were the only diners.
I headed out to Teotihuacán for another Airbnb “experience” with several people. I was picked up at our Airbnb and it took over an hour to get out there. We toured the entire site and had a chance to hike up the pyramids…which I DID NOT.
We had a excellent lunch and headed back. A very nice day with some interesting and liberal people. We had quite a conversation on the way back concerning Dummy Don.
In the evening Jano and I headed down to the Zocalo the very large center square. Prior to the colonial period, it was the main ceremonial center in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. Lots of people watching opportunities. Families out for a stroll, skateboarders, etc. We had some tapas and drinks and visited the ruins that are right next to the cathedral. Or at least walked around them since they were closed at that time.
Heading for home…if I had to do it again I’d spend more time in Mexico City and less in San Miguel.