Aside from its network of tunnels, Guanajuato is famous for its confusion of narrow streets and "callejones", which are really just alleys too narrow for motor vehicles. We were unprepared for this and immediately got lost searching for our hotel. Eventually a local climbed onto the back of our car and, shouting orders from the rear bumper, guided us through a couple of tunnels and bunch of twisty little streets to the staircase that led up to the Hotel Chocolate, which was perched on a steep hillside at the top of a row of tiny hotels and restaurants. It was sweaty work lugging our baggage up what amounted to about nine flights of stairs to the hotel lobby, then to our rooms which were three flights further up. But the view was spectacular and we enjoyed our brief time there.
|Hotel Chocolate. The views from this quirky hotel were splendid.|
We could only stay one night at the Hotel Chocolate so we moved down to the Hotel San Diego, which was across the street from the Jardin Union. We could see all the festivities from our third story balcony and of course it seemed like the band was playing right outside our window.
The narrow streets and classic architecture of the city give it a distinctly European flair that was an enjoyable change from the more modern and Mariachi flavored Guadalajara. Because of the confusing streets and tunnels, and the fact that the car was parked miles from our hotel, we hired a guide to give us a tour of the city. This turned out to be a great way to see the place. With the four of us, the guide and a driver in a van, we visited many interesting places and quickly got acquainted with the lay of the land. After the tour we were able to explore central G-town without getting lost.
|The church bells in town toll every fifteen minutes 24-7-365.|
|A pair of mermaids guard the entrance to a home next to the Hotel Chocolate.|
|Guanajuato Cityscape. The building with the beautiful facade on the left is the University of Guanajuato.|
|Main mercado in G-town.|
|Parrots waiting to be sold at the mercado.|
|A whimsical interpretation of Cervantes' Don Quixote.|
|A bust of the Man of La Mancha|
Pipili became the city's most famous hero when he strapped a large stone on his back as a shield against Spanish bullets and set fire to their fortress way back when Mexico was fighting for independence from Spain. He is everywhere in Guanajuato.
|Pipili, the hero of Gunajuato stands guard on a ridge overlooking the city|
Guanajuato is by far the most interesting and beautiful city we have visited in Mexico. We would have liked to stay longer and learn more about this fascinating town, but after three days it was time to move on to Morelia.