- GUANAJUATO STATE -
© Etudiante Vagabonde. Photography : Colorful street in Guanajuato city
November 1st, 2018
5 people and 1 wheelchair in a small car for 8 hours on the road. I let you picturing the journey we had this day. But Guanajuato is definitely worth it ! It has been the most beautiful city I've seen in Mexico so far.
This weekend was a bit special in the country because it was celebrating the famous Dia de los Muertos (Day of dead). We chose to discover this traditional day in the city of Guanajuato, in the heart of Mexico.
November 2nd, 2018
After turning around the city center three times, we finally found a parking to leave the rented car a few hundred meters from it. We started to walk in direction of the center, which was quiet challenging with the wheelchair for my friend, because Guanajuato is built on the mountains, which means every street either goes up or down.
This colonial city dating from the 16th century is located in the center of Mexico, in the state of the same name. Guanajuato was built in a narrow valley surrounded by mountains rich in minerals. That's why during the colonial period, the city was one of the most influential.
Guanajuato was also the site where the first battle of the Mexican War of Independence occurred in the 19th century.
We walked around the main squares, starting from the Plaza de los Angeles to the Basílica colegiata de Nuestra Señora. We were walking past walls of all colors from yellow to purple to red. Each street hid another, which made me think to a labyrinth.
In the late afternoon, the festivities started. The famous Mariachis groups made the city vibrate the whole evening by traditional songs accompanied by their guitars. People were singing with them, sitting on the stairs in front of the main monuments of the city.
All around the center were arranged giant characters with beautiful costumes. The street in front of the Basilic was nicely covered by decoration on the ground.
About the Day of the Dead
El Dia de los Muertos, in Spanish, is a public holiday during which the Mexican families gather to pray for loved ones that have already died. This national celebration starts on October 31 and ends on November 2.
It is commonly celebrated in the central and south part of Mexico. The tradition is to to visit the deceased on his grave with his favorite beverage and food as gifts.
We went a few steps down and we discovered another part of the city; tunnels were built under the city center. Indeed, most of the city's thoroughfares are situated underground.
The circulation was closed today to make way for a costume contest and some traditional dances. We admired the original handmade disguises that the dancers wore, some made with old plastic bottles and other with real banknotes. We wandered between the foodtrucks that were selling their "Burger de Muertos" and the different souvenir sellers.
We ran into the Hidalgo market by chance this night, when we were visiting the center. The local in which the main market of the city is located was originally built in the 20th century to be a train station. The market extends over two floors. On the first floor we found a lot of food products, especially fruits and vegetables. On the second one we found a lot of handicrafts and souvenirs. Everyone bought the traditional poncho and a lot of Chritmas gifts. The prices are really fair for souvenirs.
Monumento al Pipila
Wondering where we could climb to get a better view over the city this morning, we started to go up and up in narrow streets until we noticed a giant statue, called Monumento al Pipila, on the opposite hill, where some people were standing at the foot.
So in the late afternoon we decided to climb the other hill to get to this monument which offers a great mirador from where you can admire all the colors of Guanajuato from above. We stayed few hours so we could see the city illuminated by night. Unfortunately we couldn't observe the sunset this day because of all the clouds covering the city.
The climb is really worth it; the spectacle of colors is already fascinating from below but the view over all those red roofs is even more impressive from above.
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