So many sites and so many stairs…
Over the past two weeks we have strolled the cobblestone streets and winding alleys of Guanajuato. And oh there are so many steps..
We aren’t doing a ton of sight seeing on this trip so far. We are more focused on learning Spanish, relaxing, eating, and enjoying the daily life in Guanajuato. We like to take strolls in the afternoons and explore slowly. Some of the sites that we take in daily include smiling faces of grandmothers, children walking to school in pristine white collared uniforms, college students with backpacks and iphones, buses and cars buzzing past us, fruit stands galore, mama y papa bakeries, and of course the bright happy houses that are quintessential to this town. We also see lots of history, heritage, pride, faith, music, and culture.
One of the first things we noticed when we arrived and peered off of our balcony was El Pipila, a large orange colored man atop a far away hillside seeming to curse the sky. We finally visited this monument this past Thursday. The countless stairs leading up to the statue were grueling (as we’ve come to expect here) and seemed to symbolize the hard battle fought by the Mexicans in the Mexican War of Independence. As we walked I swore I heard El Pipila laughing under his breath as we huffed and puffed our way up and up (“You think THIS is hard!?” he says).
The story goes that the Mexicans were fed up with the Spanish taking their hard-mined silver and leaving them with poverty and scraps and so in 1810 they began to rebel. One day early on in this rebellion, Juan José de los Reyes Martínez Amaro, nicknamed El Pipila, decided to march alone to the Alhondiga (building) where the Spanish had barricaded themselves along with the city’s silver. A flat stone shield on his back and a torch in his hand, he burned the wooden door of the stone fortress and set the whole place to flames. This would be the first victory of the Mexican War of Independence. On the base of the statue it reads “Aun hay otras Alhodigas por incendiar” (there are still other Alhondigas to burn). It is a daily reminder of the tremendous struggle that came before the peace and calm that is now Guanajuato.
This town is littered with tons of historical gems that would be a paradise for both of our dads. We don’t know a ton about them but we do know that they are beautiful and significant to this town. Here are a few of those gems:
Oh and here are some pics of the friends we’ve made on our daily walks…
Next stop is Guadalajara! We are excited to find out what new gems are in store for us. Buenas noches amigas!