February 9, 2011

* A Day in Queretaro

Santiago de Queretaro, or Queretaro as it is commonly known is the principal city in the Mexican State of Queretaro, about an hours drive from San Miguel de Allende.  Wonderul Wendy and her Wonderful Car took us there through the Wonderful hills and small villages of the country side.

Queretaro was settled by the Aztecs, and a population of 1500 lived in this area as early as 200 AD.  Today, having endured battles and critical historic events, Queretaro is a city of industry and one of the fastest growing cities in Mexico.

Much of early Queretaro has been obliterated by wars and battles, leaving the visible historical structures no earlier than the 1500's.  The historic centro area is truly a treat.  Colonial architecture, an abundance of plazas and trees, small streets around the main plaza which are closed to traffic and many wonderful outdoor restaurants where you can sit and watch the world go by without the noise of traffic.  A great place to shop if you are so inclined, Queretaro offers unique independent shops in the central area, as well as the 'big box' stores like Costco in the outlying districts.  Underground parking is available smack dab in the middle of town, so you can save your energy and enjoy strolling through the shops, cafes, and historical sites.    What struck me most is the 'small town' feel which exists in centro.  Sitting on a quiet street in a lovely restaurant or strolling in the no traffic areas and plazas, I forgot I was in a bustling city of over a million inhabitants.

Naturally, we itched to hit the craft shops in search of any creative goodies we could find, so for a couple of hours we went our separate ways to explore and see what we could find.  We met back at the main plaza and Wendy took us to one of her favorite outdoor restaurants, with live music, and a five course meal, which by the way, was incredibly delicious, for about $7.00 each.  We had a fruit drink (sorry can't remember the name of the tiny fruit), which they place whole in a blender and it makes a beautiful accompaniment to a meal.  The fabric which is available here is also incredible.  With all the traditional celebrations and fiestas, sparkle and glitz is the thing to wear.  No lack .... I spied material in a shop yesterday which literally took my breath away ... I gasped when I saw it.

Wouldn't any young woman be thrilled to wear one of these.  This calibre of formal attire is the norm here.

An incredible old colonial casa, now a first class hotel.
Row upon row of ribbon in the craft shop.  The amount shown here does not hold a candle to the stock they carry in a large fabric shop.
San Francisco church and one of the main plazas.

An incredible sculpture representing a runner in traditional Aztec attire.
Do we look like we are enjoying ourselves or what!?

The dog fountain.  I love it.  A dog on each corner!
A courtyard restaurant to wile away the hours.

A romantic little corner overlooking the courtyard in an old hotel.  How lovely to stay there.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” ~ Mark Twain

6 comments:

  1. Hi Donna, I so enjoy jumping over to get an update on your coming and goings. Most of all I love to see your photos recording your excursions. They are not only beautiful but educational too. If you had worn a navy blue sweater on your trip to Queretaro, I would have said it was the dress code for the day. You and your lovely friends look so content and happy. It is obvious you had a fun filled day of shopping and enjoying time with friends.

    I also enjoyed reading memories of days in London enjoying tea and other events with your mom and dad. You and my daughter would get along so well. She is a tea drinker and purchases hers from a little store in Ventura that imports tea from England.

    Not very exciting on my end; paid the monthly bills and got a hair cut.

    Hugs,
    C

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  2. Oh thanks for coming over, Carolyn. I always enjoy your comments so much. Your daughters tea shop sounds wonderful. Nothing like that here - although there are the most wonderful freshly dried chamomile flowers available here. I've never tasted better. Paying bills and a hair cut it not that bad. I'll bet you look gorgeous. ;o)

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  3. Donna, everyone should come and go shopping with you. I want to put on that pink ruffly dress (you know, if it fit!) and run through that ribbon shop! Loved your photos and stories.

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  4. How lovely...I love the colours and that Aztec runner is incredible.

    Amira would love those dresses. And "yes", it looks like you're having lots of fun...five course meal and live music for $7/ea...hmm, I've been hanging out at wrong places.

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  5. Hi Katie. Isn't that pink dress something! Thanks for the visit.

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  6. Hi Salma ... The Aztec runner took my breath away. Marvelous. Amira would have freaked out in that shop! And, about rainbow ... sorry 10:00 pm to 5:00 am doesn't work for me. :o) :o)

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