. The story goes that the Loretto nuns wanted to use the upper level of the chapel for a girls choir. Traditionally only men sang and they used a ladder to access the upper level. The nuns were not happy with this so they prayed "the novena" and a misterous carpenter arrived and set to work with only a hand saw, a hammer, chissel and hot water to bend the wood. The staircase has no central or side supports and has 2x 360 degree twists and could support 2000lbs. Once the staircase was complete he vanished and never collected payment. Today we went to Tent Rock National Monument a wonderful park with volcanic structures and did an amazing climb through crazy canyons. Was like raiders of the lost ark. Finished off the day exploring art galleries along the famous Canyon Road. Santa Fe is the worlds third biggest art dealership after NY and Paris.
29/11/2012: Headed for the town of Taos approx 100kms north of Sante Fe. Much like Santa Fe, a jewel in the barren landscape only smaller, but still had the lovely town square and all the art galleries.
On the way we stopped at the church Santuario de Chimayo where visitors can take a handful of holy dirt from a well, believed to be blessed with miraculous qualities, we hope it works, we need all the help we can get!!
We also visited a traditional Pueblo, the residents have decided to got back to the way of their ancestors and live without town water or electricity. And on the other side of town are another group of people, enviromentalists I guess. They have built their houses totally out of recycled material. Old tyres, glass bottles and half bury the structures with dirt. Some of the houses looked like they were out of the Hobbit.
Have enjoyed our stay in New Mexico, but time pushing us on so next stop TEXAS - yee ha!!
Just like bugs bunny, we turned left at Albuquerque and headed for Santa Fe. We stopped at the historic town of Madrid which was a prosperous coal mining town, however when they exhausted the supply it became a ghost town. The whole town was owned by one man and he had a manager to oversee the deserted buildings. In 1975 an artist Mel Johnson and his wife visited the town and fell in love with the rugged landscape and the pure light. They asked the manager if they could move into one of the abandoned buildings. He said yes but you will have to pay rent $40/ mth. They have lived there ever since and other artists moved in so now a complete community. They filmed the movie Wild Hogs in this town. Closed the whole town down for 4 months and the business people nearly went bust. Plus the movie company gave them a pittance in compensation. Dont mention John Travolta's name in Madrid. Santa Fe is a lovely city, the local building code requires all the buildings to adher to the traditional adobe design. The city was founded in 1610, and is the second oldest city and oldest state capital in the USA? We visited the beautiful Loretto Chapel, famous for its miraculous spiral staircase that appears to be supported by thin air