Best. Bus. Ever.

Trip Start Dec 29, 2007
Trip End Jan 19, 2008

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Our bus for Morelia leaves at 8:30 AM, so we rose birhgt and early to get ready. I walked down to the esk to check out. Everything was fine until the clerk began asking me a lot of questions about my desiret o make another reservation for when were came back to this area at the end of teh trip. After frantically looking into my phrase book, I apologized and said "Amigas hable Espanol." I know that's atrocious Spanish, but she understood me and nodded, smiling. Or she was just humoring me. I don't know. I ran back to get Lili and Kevin. Between them, we were able to get things arranged. Of course, this wasn't my last experience for the day with the language barrier. I got coffee at the bus station and once more ran into trouble. I think she didn't have change for my 20 pesos. I might have been short changed, but that's ok. I'm still learning. I'm still learning.

The bus is very nice; HUGE reclinging seats with padded leg rests that fold down and make it like a Lazy Boy recliner. They gave you a sandwich and a drink of your choice, along with headphones, and showed two movies. I can see a little of the landscape out of the windows. Low income houses with tin rooves on ranches of cattle on parched mountainous land.

We arrived in Morelia, and it appears the city has more wealth than Guadalajara. We took a cab to Hostel Allende which was on a very narrow street. The building is clearly old, nestled among the rows of other older stone structures on a narrow cobbled street. After some time to get the receptionist to take our reservation (he helped four people that just walked in front of us before helping us), we finally got one of our rooms as the other wasn't ready. We put our bags in the room and asked the recptionist how to get to where Luis Miguel López Alanís (, the Monarch Guide had suggested we go to get the tickets. This turned into a wild goose chase around the central plaza just a few blocks away from hostel with a gorgeous cathedral in the center, and me repeatedly telling Barbara that the kiosk we passed three times couldn't be teh right one, we finally tried to kiosk. What do you know? She was right. Mea culpa. We bought our tickets for $500 pesos a piece (appx $50 USD) and proceeded to take a ton of pictures of the cathedral and explore the little artisan shops. We decided we wanted to go check out the cathedral, so changed into pants and shoes. The cathedral had an english speaking tour guide, and it was really beautiful. I think it was started in the 1600's and completed in the 1700's. It has several famous pieces of art including a statue of Jesus. I t was originally constructed with Jesus on the cross looking to the heavens. But as it was constructed of bamboo and a waxy resin, the heat in Morelia caused the head to bow. This statue, with Jesus's head bowed on the cross became an iconic figure that is repeated throughout Catholicism now.

As we left the cathedral, we heard a clacking sound, and there were dancers in the center of the square. At the time I saw them I didn't know what they were about, but later I found out it was the "Old Person's Dance." They were very athletic, jumping and using their canes and wooden shoes for the percussion. We ended the day with dinner at Onyx, a swank Mexican fusion restaurant. The prices were comparable to a cheap night at TGI Fridays but the food was much higher end. I would definitely recommend it. We sat outside, the square lit up for Christmas, and musicians in the central gazebo. Little boys and girls would come up to our table every 10 minutes trying to sell us dolls. After dinner we watched the band for a while and then went to bed back at the hotel.

Thin walls = thanking God for ear plugs.
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