world heritage

world heritage

Mexico Guanajuato Travel: Guanajuato, a Colonial Jewel in Mexicos Heartland

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During my language study trip to Guadalajara, Mexico in February of 2010 I spent 2.5 days in the beautiful mountain town of Guanjuato, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a 4 hour trip on a luxury bus from Guadalajara I arrived in Guanajuato. Sujei and Roberto, both from Tourism Guanajuato, were my two local guides who showed me around this unique city. We started with a visit to the La Valenciana mine and the baroque church of the same name. Then we drove up on a local mountain that features a monument to El Pipila, a local hero in the war of independence against Spain. From up high we had an absolutely gorgeous view over the colourful houses of Guanajuato. After lunch we checked out the impressive buildings of the university and the cathedral of Guanajuato before I went back to my hotel, the Quinta Las Acacias, where I had a chance to interview the owner of this beautiful boutique hotel. In a video tour I got to see many of the 22 unique hotel rooms and I heard some interesting stories about this more than 100 year old building. Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican painter, has an entire suite named after her. The next day Sujei took me to a local award-winning pottery factory, where the 75-year old owner gave us a tour through his extensive manufacturing facilities. His products are shipped all over the world. We even saw his private art collection. A visit to La Alhondiga was next, Guanajuatos centuries old granary that looks more like a fortress and played an important role in the fights against the Spanish during the Mexican War of Independence. We then took in the colourful ambience of the local municipal market and after lunch we headed off to Guanajuatos famous Mummies Museum where dozens of naturally preserved mummies are on display a fascinating yet gruesome experience at the same time. In the evening I enjoyed the lively atmosphere of the Jardin de la Union and linked up with an Estudiantina group a group of local university students that goes serenading through the city at night with followers in tow. The musicians stop and sing in different alleyways while the audience follows them along. At the end of the evening I took a public bus through the famous tunnels of Guanajuato back to Quinta Las Acacias. On the last day Sujei and Roberto took me mountain biking into the Sierra above Guanajuato. We finished off with a picnic on a spot from where we had a phenomenal view over the surrounding mountains. After a brief visit to the Diego Rivera Museum (Guanajuato is the birthplace of this famous Mexican muralist) we had lunch overlooking the main square of Guanajuato before I headed back on the bus to Guadalajara. For all sorts of other travel articles from different locations please visit: http://www.travelandtransitions.com/stories_photos.htm