San Luis Potosi - day 11
Trip Start Jan 31, 2005
14Trip End Mar 01, 2005
Our stay here has been so enjoyable that we extended for a second day. The weather is perfect, the city is clean, our hotel is within a couple blocks of two main plazas, it was an easy decision to make this a two day stop.
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. People were coming to the churches all during the day, even past 9:00 PM to get blessed with the ashes. We attended the Carmel Church which is fantastic. There is a side chapel with the altar of gold leaf from the floor to the ceiling. The style is like we saw in some churches in Europe, very ornate.
It was like a huge fair in the plaza outside. Mostly food vendors that sell a large variety of items such as malted milks ($.50), french fries, hot cakes, pastries, mexican specialties. Everything is so colorful
Allow me to back up to the trip down from Tula. We left Tula at 11:05 and arrived in San Luis at 3:30. Enroute we met a colorful guy from Racine who is on a two-week vacation in Mexico. He and a buddy are heading to the Pacific to fish. After he heard that we had no kids, he wanted us to adopt him. But he seemed to cool to the idea when I said that I wanted his retirement checks. Driving the first sixty miles of the route was not so great due to the washboard surface. Had to travel slowly until we got to Hwy 57. It was then 100 kph.
Our hotel is but two blocks from the main plaza. The cost is only $16 per night. Got my cycle through the front door with the help of the local motorcycle traffic cop. It is parked five feet from the main desk!
We took a guided one-hour tour of the city in a small bus made to look like a trolley car. It was in Spanish, of course. Picked up enough of what was said though to make it real interesting. We learned that the city is approaching one million inhabitants, while the state is about 2.5 million. Gold and silver were discovered in early conquest times so the Spanish were here in numbers, making this an important center. It early times it was the capital of the region that extended as far north as into Texas. It has more churches than you can imagine, 168 we were told
Our guide book says that this is an important industrial center but not to let the appearance of the areas around the city keep us from stopping in the center to enjoy this colonial jewel. We have to agree.
The cycle hasn't moved since parking it in the hotel lobby. It is a good thing that we can walk to everywhere we want to go. The downtown area is not conducive to driving due to the narrow, old streets and the traffic. You can imagine that most corners are blind with few stop signs. The main arterials are mostly three to four lanes wide and have traffic lights but get off them and it is another story. Pedestrians have the right of way and they are everywhere. We do enjoy the presence in our area of many pedestrian only streets.
Will close for this time. It is off tomorrow to San Miguel de Allende.