Monday, January 26, 2009

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

I now understand why one travel magazine listed San Miguel de Allende as one of the top ten places to visit in the world. The city welcomes you with a warm embrace, with sun painting the earth-toned buildings, taxis driving down narrow cobblestone streets, people talking and laughing from the rooftops. Our apartment is in the middle of a hill to the west of downtown, from our rooftop terrace we can see views of the churches and magnificent Parroquia.
As soon as we settled into our apartment, we went for a walk, exploring this city that 2,000 expats call home.

The houses and apartments are all interconnected, you never know what you'll find behind each wall, each midevil door.I almost cried when I first laid eyes on the Parroquia, it was so stunning as the sun turned it red. Sometimes I don't know how things can be so beautiful, I have to look twice to make sure they are real.
We found a restaurant nearby, hidden within the arches of a colonial building, which played jazz music, the entire roof made of windows. We had flank steak tacos and a Mexican soup called Fideo, or Vermicelli. When we were finished eating we went back into the main "Jardin", to find a live marimba band playing in the gazebo, people of all colors, shapes and sizes grooving to the beat.
Even David and I joined the festivities and did a salsa dance in the shadow of the Parroquia, and yes, it really does have a shadow. (inside joke)
This is an amazing, magical place. Even Mexicans flock here every weekend to enjoy the restaurants, bars, Jardin, and views of the Parroquia. I don't feel awkard here being the only one with the camera.
As night falls, the streetlights cast an eerie glow on cobblestones, watch your step!

This isn't only a tourist destination, or a vacation, but a lifestyle we're experiencing here. People move from the frantic hustle and bustle of the United States to learn Spanish, take photography classes, do yoga, write, meditate, and just "be". In just a few minutes I'm going back up to the rooftop terrace to watch the sun settle on the land like a blanket, and just read and relax.

This is so far removed from the violence of the drug cartels on the border. I feel like I'm in paradise here, in the middle of Mexico.


Lisa said...

Oh wow, Kristin. It's a million miles away, and so beautiful. You guys also have a really good eye for photographs. They're great! All the music....wish you could post video of the musicians so we could hear the sounds!!!

Paula said...

Wow! These are some amazing pictures! Too bad the U.S. generally has gone for so much cheesy and unstylish architecture, instead of looking at buildings as the beautiful art form they can be. I think the beauty of one's surroundings affects how one feels inside. If I went to Mexico, I'd likely go there. Your descriptions make the vibe come to life.

McJumpguez said...

David looks like a model in those pictures!
Oh yeah, I've always thought that myself "what are behind those doors" cuz you just never know. It was fascinating, when I lived there, to be invited into a few of the homes. Many were photographed for magazines. It truly is a beautiful place, but I just couldn't stand living there =/ But I think you guys could =)