Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

From Aguascalientes, there is a very convenient direct flight to Cancun.  Since the wedding is at a private beach south of Playa del Carmen, we chose to stay in town, not that any of it is our cup of tea, so we were a little surprised that we enjoyed our evening strolls on the pedestrian La Quinta (Fifth Avenue).  Nearly none of the internationals wear masks, while almost all the nationals wear them.  Per Danny's advice, we had our very first COVID test at Salud Digna 260 pesos each.   

The wedding was a truly a picture perfect occasion.  I cannot compete with pictures, so won't try here.  What a joyous occasion!

We made a quick getaway the day after the wedding.  The Cancun airport was so busy, John said we are never flying there, no matter how cheap the flights are, haha.

So long Aguascalientes, we'll miss you! Aguascalientes, Mexico

View from the rooftop of Hotel Meliora By Bunik. View from rooftop of our hotel in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

The Beach. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Our hotel room had a kitchenette and was conviently located next to a Walmart that was getting ready for Christmas. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Dinner on our balcony = Radler + Guacamole and Chips. Radler + Guacamole and Chips - Playa del Carmen, Mexico

La Quinta (Fifth Avenue) was busy every night. La Quinta - Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Wish we had bins of Jamaica leaves in the supermarkets in Raleigh. Jamaica Leaf Bin - Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Beautiful setting at Punto Venado for Maritza and Jake's wedding. Maritza and Jacob's Wedding - Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Maritza and Jacob's Wedding - Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Maritza and Jacob's Wedding - Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Maritza and Jacob's Wedding - Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Maritza and Jacob's Wedding - Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Maritza and Jacob's Wedding - Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Maritza and Jacob's Wedding - Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Maritza and Jacob's Wedding - Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Maritza and Jacob's Wedding - Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

A weekend trip to Zacatecas, Mexico

The ex-mining town of Zacatecas, a UNESCO city, is only 120km from Aguascaliente and the hometown of Danny's resident house sitter Hector.  We just had to check it off the list.  

On a Saturday morning Hector had off work, the four of us squeezed into a Volkswagen Polo rideshare(blablacar) headed to Zacatecas.  At 8000ft, Zacatecas is one of the highest cities in Mexico, a capital of silver mining, and was responsible for 20% of the world's silver production in the early 18th century.  All that silver gave Zacatecas a collection of very impressive buildings in the city center, and three world class museums.  

Saturday evening it seemed like the whole town was strolling in the streets, very much a festive air.  To think I even had a shred of hesitation when we were trip-planning because of state department warnings, I can be so gullible sometimes. 



Hector , Danny and Sun-Ling walking towards Zacatecas city center. Hector, Danny, and Sun-Ling - Zacatecas, Mexico

The Colonial Era Templo Santo Domingo, respendent with side altars reaching to the ceiling. Templo de Santo Domingo - Zacatecas, Mexico Templo de Santo Domingo - Zacatecas, Mexico

City Center being a UNESCO World Heritage site, signage is restricted to on-the-wall paint. Nice. Zacatecas, Mexico

Zacatecas is a top tourist destination. The TI is well stocked with various self-guided walking tours, which we found very useful, and openair tour buses abound. Zacatecas, Mexico Zacatecas, Mexico

The Art Nouveau Calderón Theater. Calderón Theater - Zacatecas, Mexico

The Museo Rafael Coronel has a world class collection of Mexican masks, 4000 of them, and marionettes. Masks - Museo Rafael Coronel - Zacatecas, Mexico Mask - Museo Rafael Coronel - Zacatecas, Mexico Masks - Museo Rafael Coronel - Zacatecas, Mexico Puppet Theater - Museo Rafael Coronel - Zacatecas, Mexico Marionettes - Museo Rafael Coronel - Zacatecas, Mexico

I, as you know, am fascinated by aqueducts and bullrings. Zacatecas has an old aqueduct (upper left) that runs right past the old bull ring (now part of a hotel). Old Bull Ring - Zacatecas, Mexico Acueducto - Zacatecas, Mexico

We scored some vegan tacos from a food cart at a Saturday night fair. Vegan Tacos at Santa Bracho Cocina Vegetal - Zacatecas, Mexico

Folks strolling by the Cathedral and Plaza de Armas at night At Night - Zacatecas, Mexico

The Museo Pedro Coronel had a large collection of works by Juan Miro. Museo Pedro Coronel - Zacatecas, Mexico

And the highlight of the Manuel Felguérez Museum of Abstract Art was a collection of murals originally commissioned for Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan. Manuel Felguérez Museum of Abstract Art - Zacatecas, Mexico

The museum was previously a prison. Manuel Felguérez Museum of Abstract Art - Zacatecas, Mexico

My head is quick to start spinning in a museum of religious art, but the well-signed Museo of Guadalupe - just a short bus ride from Zacatecas - kept my head in place for several hours. Templo De Nuestra Señora Del Carmen - Guadalupe, Zacatecas, Mexico Ivory Sculpture of Jesus - Guadalupe, Zacatecas, Mexico

The highlight for me of the museum was stepping into the choir of the adjacent Templo De Nuestra Señora Del Carmen for an amazing view. Templo De Nuestra Señora Del Carmen - Guadalupe, Zacatecas, Mexico

Templo De Nuestra Señora Del Carmen - Guadalupe, Zacatecas, Mexico

Templo De Nuestra Señora Del Carmen - Guadalupe, Zacatecas, Mexico

Zacatecas is an old mining town in the hills. Here are some shots around town. Photo Shoot - Museo Rafael Coronel - Zacatecas, Mexico Zacatecas, Mexico At Night - Zacatecas, Mexico MTBers/Cyclists - Zacatecas, Mexico Zacatecas, Mexico Zacatecas, Mexico

Monday, November 15, 2021

Around town in Aguascalientes, Mexico

Outside festival time, Aguascalientes is tranquilo, not unlike Raleigh, good place to live, unexciting for visitors.  There are a handful of minor but enjoyable museums, churches, markets, and vegetarian restaurants that we made the rounds to.  

The most surprising thing about Aguascalientes is the various venues it has.  The old train station area has been redeveloped into a huge complex of permanent (velodrome, museums, university, concert hall, retail, etc.) and temporary uses.  In the short time we were there, a marathon and a parade were staged there.  At the opposite side of center,  there are two bullrings, a charro (cowboy/horseman) stadium, a mega open-air fair venue, an indoor palenque (arena that stages concerts as well as chicken fights).  This is all in addition to the usual performance arts theaters/centers.  Everything I enumerated here are only what we happened upon on foot.  Who knows what else they have?!  What cultural riches?!

The city sign. Aguascalientes, Mexico


Vegan/Vegetarian Restos are not as easily found in Aguascalientes as in Guadalajara, but we found a few. Avocado Punk. Vegan fast food. Check out these vegan tacos. It's all in the fixin's ain't? Vegan Tacos - Avocado Punk, Taquería Vegana - Aguascalientes, Mexico Deep fried Cualiflower at Casa Onca. It's very similar to Gobi Manchurian. Deep Fried Cauliflower -  Casa Onca Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant - Aguascalientes, Mexico

Vegan tacos and vegan lunch plate from Rame Fonda Vegan, just around the corner from Casa Onca. Plato Vegana (top) and Tacos Veganas (right) - Rame Fonda Vegana - Aguascalientes, Mexico

Chile Relleno Plates at Mercado Teran. It doesn't get much better than this! Chile Relleno Plates at a Food Stand in Mercado Teran - Aguascalientes, Mexico Food Stand in Mercado Teran - Aguascalientes, Mexico But it does get better with these Chile Relleno Plates at Mercado Morelos. Each plate comes with a Chile Relleno (roasted poblano chile stuffed with cheese), plus beans, rice and salad. Condiments: limes, chopped onions, oregano, red salsa. Plus a big stack of warm tortillas. Chile Relleno Plates - Aguascalientes, Mexico

Takeout Vegetarian Burritos from Los Burros Cuchos Takeout Vegetarian Burritos from Los Burros Cuchos - Aguascalientes, Mexico

Fabric Installation at Museo Espacio - Aguascalientes, Mexico Museo Espacio - Aguascalientes, Mexico

Prodigal Son Stained Glass by Saturnino Herran - Aguascalientes City Museum. Prodigal Son Stained Glass by Saturnino Herran - Aguascalientes City Museum - Aguascalientes, Mexico

The area around the old Railway station was the start and finish line for the Aguascalientes Marathon. Maratón Aguascalientes - Aguascalientes, Mexico Marathon  Finish Line - Aguascalientes, Mexico

Here's the Railway Station. Train Station - Aguascalientes, Mexico

The Ruins of the old Roundhouse have been preserved. Roundhouse Ruins - Aguascalientes, Mexico

Looking towards the Velodromo. Looking towards Velodromo Aguascalientes - Aguascalientes, Mexico



Church and building architecture. This first one is Templo San Antonio, exterior and interior.
Templo San Antonio - Aguascalientes, Mexico Aguascalientes, Mexico

A stylish streamline corner building. Streamline Corner Building - Aguascalientes, Mexico

The very sharp Teatro Cinema. Teatro Cinema - Aguascalientes, Mexico

Corner shoe store with giant shoe. Aguascalientes, Mexico

The interior of Mercado Teran. Plus some good looking veggies. Aguascalientes, Mexico Aguascalientes, Mexico

Murals in the Government Office. Mural - Aguascalientes, Mexico Mural - Palacio de Gobierno - Aguascalientes, Mexico The new Bull Ring aka Plaza de Toros Monumenta Plaza de Toros Monumenta - Aguascalientes, Mexico And finally, it's the week of the annual fair in Barrio Encino where we were staying with my cousin.

Barrio Encino Fair - Aguascalientes, Mexico

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

From Aguascalientes, there is a very convenient direct flight to Cancun.  Since the wedding is at a private beach south of Playa del Carmen,...