Real de Catorce–on video!

The Tripps keep documenting their Mexican adventures–this time, they take us along (through to the magic of YouTube) to Real de Catorce, a breathtaking Pueblo Mágico 4 hours from Saltillo.

If you haven’t been to Real de Catorce, what are you waiting for?

Or, if you’re not convinced yet, let’s go with Hannah and Doren!

 

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The Truth About Living Abroad

Reposted with permission from eleeadventure.com

 

“It is the corrosive daily frustration, the inability to communicate or to establish meaningful relationships that is so soul-shrinking.” – Edward T. Hall in Beyond Culture

Living abroad. The romantic idea of it-men with accents, learning a second language, lower cost of living, expanding your horizons-is often nothing compared to the messy reality. What’s living abroad really like? Here’s the truth, according to me and my three years of living in Saltillo, Mexico:

1. It’s exhausting. My Spanish is good and I don’t have to “translate in my head” anymore or formulate mental responses before I speak. However, speaking Spanish will never be second nature, like speaking English is. It will always cause some level of discomfort or nervousness or second-guessing, and that is precisely why living in Mexico is exhausting. At the end of a long day where I had little or no interaction in English, I can look back and tell you the conversations that caused me a considerable amount of stress.

One might be with someone new. I haven’t had enough interactions with them to determine  if they’re a fast/slow or clear/unclear speaker, if they use a lot of slang, what sort of accent they have, etc., so I’m kept on the edge of my seat and don’t let myself mentally relax at all. A second example of a conversation that causes me stress are those in more formal situations, like at the bank, at immigration, or the time when I had to file a police report over a stolen credit card. I often find myself begging Carlos to accompany to places like this when I know there might be lots of specialized vocabulary used in the transaction that I’m not very familiar with.

If I’ve had one or two of those conversations in the same day and also gone to work that day (100% Spanish), it leads to one tired Emily, which leads me to my next point…

2. It’s isolating. If I’ve had a mentally exhausting day, or worse, a mentally exhausting week, I try to avoid any unnecessary Spanish interactions (i.e. get-togethers with friends, parties, etc.) until I feel mentally prepared again. Sometimes it only takes me a few minutes to recharge, but sometimes it can take days. While I’m recharging, I like to exercise, go to Starbucks and HEB by myself, read, and hang out with Carlos. I know this feeling of needing to recharge stops me from hanging out with friends sometimes or taking as much initiative in my relationships as I otherwise might, and that makes me sad. Am I protecting myself and trying to prevent cross-cultural burnout? Yes. Is there a better way to do it that wouldn’t leave me feeling so alone? Probably, but I haven’t been able to find that balance yet.

3. Your “sense of belonging” is seriously skewed. It’s one thing to out of place in Mexico, but at the end of the day, I’m not Mexican and never will be. I feel out of place when I use my turn signals while driving, when I wear shorts to the gym, and when I defend Republican politicians. I feel out of place when I don’t wear make-up (so, 5-6 days a week), or heels to a wedding, and when I still have to recite the Lord’s prayer in English every week at church. Yes, it’s one thing to feel out of place in Mexico; perhaps it’s even expected. But what I wasn’t prepared for was feeling that I don’t belong anymore in Texas. I’m thankful that my immediate family and close friends “get it.” Some of them have seen where I live and where I work and they know how Mexico has changed me and why I love it. But it never fails that at least once when I’m in Texas for a visit, I have a conversation with someone who asks about my job and I tell them that I work with underprivileged kids at a community center, where we show them the love of God and try to give them the tools to stay in school. And then their response is something like, “Wow, cool. So did you know we’re getting a new Starbucks in Round Rock?”

I really don’t fault anyone who hasn’t experienced life in a developing country. It isn’t for everyone, and just because I’m doing it doesn’t make me a saint or martyr or cooler than you. My point is that sometimes, when trying to share from the heart about why living in Mexico has changed my life, I’m met with blank stares and responses like the above one. And that makes me wonder if I’ll ever completely belong anywhere again.

4. You miss out on a lot. I’m very fortunate that Saltillo is within driving distance of Austin. However, I’ve had a full-time job the whole time I’ve lived here, and pretty much the only holidays and long weekends that line up the same in both countries are Christmas and New Years. That means I haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving with my family in 4 years, and Austin is just a couple of hours too far to drive home for a normal weekend or to celebrate a birthday.

I just gave you four reasons why living abroad is hard. So why do I do it?

Well, I live here by choice. No one made me come, and no one is forcing me to stay. I am married to a Mexican, own a house here, and have a job, yes, but I know that if I told Carlos, “I absolutely can’t do this anymore,” we would find a way to move to the U.S. ASAP. I stay because living in Mexico has made me better for four main reasons.

First, it has made my mind sharper by having to switch back and forth between Spanish and English on a daily basis. Secondly, it’s made me more confident socially; I tell myself that if people think I’m weird, overeager, or ask a lot of questions, they’ll probably just chalk it up to the fact that I’m American. Third, it has made me more observant: I have studied and subsequently learned Mexico’s social rules and customs enough to fit in. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it has broadened my worldview. The world and its wonders, problems, and triumphs is so much bigger than the U.S., and I see that now firsthand.

If you live abroad, you’re going to struggle, whether it be with the things I’ve found difficult or with others. It’s inevitable. It won’t be all foreign accents and cheap street food and “oh my gosh Spanish/Italian/French is so beautiful and romantic-sounding.” But if you can find a way to appreciate the foreign accents and, in my case, tacos, and the way you can express yourself better in said language than English on certain occasions, then you might just make it living abroad. And you might do more than make it-you might craft a life more beautiful and stretching and full than you could have ever imagined.

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Mexican Visas–the Nitty Gritty

I field a number of questions about visas–which to get, how to get them, how long they´re good for, etc.  I used to be good at answering these questions, but then Mexican immigration changed a lot of the parameters since I applied for my visa.

So now I´m basically clueless.  My apologies for my lack of solid information.

However, our friends over at Expats in Monterrey made a handy chart–in English!  So go over and check them out here.

Plus, they also give some great ideas for a weekend in Monterrey!

Exploring Monterrey with Kids

 

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In Mexico, all schools take a two week vacation on Holy Week and the week following. Those with jobs—apart from the tourism industry—have vacation the Thursday and Friday before Easter. All over Mexico, everyone who can heads to the beach. Or the mountains, or the ranches—anywhere to get away.774b

Like everyone else, my family wanted a vacation. However, we hate
fighting crowds. Where is the best place to go
when everyone flocks to the beach? The cities. Over the course of these few days, Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey suddenly become uncongested, smog-free, cultural wonderlands.

While planning our Monterrey getaway, we had to keep in mind four different vacation styles. My husband hates crowds. I love to wander, preferably around a museum. My six-year-old daughter hates wandering. In her ideal vacation, she would never leave the     hotel´s pool. My three-year-old is usually up for anything, but (even though he doesn´t think so) he often needs a nap.

Given these realities, our choice of hotel was crucial. We chose the Holiday Inn at Parque Fundidora. It is within the gates of the park, which is an attraction in itself. So if the rest of my family wanted to be pool lizards, I could be free to wander. For a city that gets plenty of sun, Monterrey´s hotels have shockingly few outdoor pools. According to the internet, this hotel´s outdoor pool was the prettiest, and that sealed the deal for us.

Now, once there, what to do?

Parque Fundidora

IMG_2118Monterrey is fiercely proud of its industry, and this park showcases that industrial pride well. Parque Fundidora (Foundry Park, in English) is built on the site of a former steel foundry. Part of the original foundry has been converted into a museum. It´s a sight when lit up at night. Take advantage of their nighttime tours!

This park comes alive when the sun goes down. Each of the three evenings we were there, we spent about an hour wandering the park. Watch out for bicyclists—just $30 pesos rents a bike for an hour, and hundreds of people prefer to tour the park by bike. There are playgrounds for the kids spread throughout the park, bounce houses aplenty, a giant ferris wheel, and a small lake that rents paddle boats. As if Parque Fundidora didn´t have enough attractions of its own, the entrance to Plaza Sesamo, a Sesame Street-themed amusement park, borders Parque Fundidora. Plaza Sesamo would have taken the better part of a day itself, and was unfortunately not on our agenda this time around.

Paseo Santa Lucía

IMG_2004The Paseo Santa Lucía connects     Monterrey´s downtown with Fundidora Park, thanks to a blue canal, wide sidewalks, and grassy embankments. From one end to the other, it stretches for about 2km, with fountains and playgrounds interspersed. Closer to downtown, restaurants have tables right on the canal.

The best way to get downtown from Parque Fundidora (or vice versa) is to hop a ride on one of the boats that leave frequently from one end or the other. The ride each way takes about a half hour—so much easier than the hours it would take my kids´ legs to walk the same distance! At Parque Fundidora, the boats dock just behind the Holiday Inn. At the Macroplaza, take a flight of stairs underneath the Northeast Mexican history museum, and you can´t miss the dock—and the line that goes with it! Don´t worry, it moves fairly quickly.IMG_2095

Macroplaza

The boat ride ends at the Macroplaza. All Mexican cities have one main plaza, typically spanning one square city block. Monterrey´s Macroplaza is aptly named. While it is the standard one block wide, the Macroplaza is 5 blocks long. It boasts the Northeastern Mexican History Museum, the entrance to the Paseo Santa Lucía, the Government Palace (and connected museum), the City Theater, various courthouses, Monterrey´s cathedral, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
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We took about an hour to walk from one end of the Macroplaza to the other. While my husband and I thought this was a great way to pass an afternoon, the kids were not so amused. A little more than halfway to the cathedral, we stopped for popsicles, sat in the grass under a tree, and watched the traffic. This maneuver bought us a bit more patience on the kids´ part, so we could enjoy the cathedral and the Museum of Contemporary Art, relatively whine-free.

Cathedral

IMG_2076On the far side of the Macroplaza from the Paseo Santa Lucía is Monterrey´s cathedral. People from Monterrey have a tradition of visiting seven different churches during Holy Week. Despite our aversion to crowds, we joined the throngs pouring into the cathedral. The wooden latticework around the side doors give a nod to   Monterrey´s Lebanese population, and the murals around the altar manage to incorporate both Monterrey´s industrial pride and biblical Holy Week scenes—it´s odd, yet distinctive. To me, that mural seemed to sum up the city´s essence.

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Right next to the cathedral is Monterrey´s Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO). With
only three galleries, the MARCO was a great size for our kids to enjoy the museum without getting overwhelmed. With changing exhibits, there is something for everyone. The guys spent at least an hour in the Stanley Kubrick exhibit, while my daughter and I enjoyed Kati Horne´s photography, checked out the permanent display upstairs, and, of course, the gift shop while waiting for the guys.

Dinner

Almost opposite the cathedral, we spied a small franchise of our favorite restaurant in Monterrey—the Sierra Madre Brewing Company. They brew an extensive selection of quality beer. Microbrews are far and few in between in Mexico. Now that we´ve found one, we frequent it as often as possible. Despite labeling themselves a pub, they are family-friendly and offer a children´s menu.

Day Two

Hotel Pool

Day Two was dedicated entirely to swimming in the hotel´s pool. This was essential to our trip, because797

1) Mexicans believe that it is absolutely necessary to get wet at some point on the day before Easter.
2) after walking their legs off the day before, my kids would have gone on strike if we    didn´t spend a full day at the pool.

Once we had our fill of the pool (and the other children and their poorly-aimed squirt guns), we explored Parque Fundidora some more, in search of bounce houses and nachos.

Day Three

Planetario Alfa

050The Alfa Planetarium is Monterrey´s Children´s Museum. They boast four floors of exhibits for all age levels, plus a prehispanic sculpture garden (unusual this far north), and an IMAX screen, playing two different movies a day. While the kids were initially excited about the idea of a children´s museum, it took them awhile to warm up to the activities. The second floor had a Tinker-Toy exhibit, and they did have fun playing with the Tinker-Toys, although the exhibit wasn´t as hands-on as I would have hoped. Upstairs, they had a room dedicated to Clifford the Big Red Dog. I was afraid this would be too babyish for my six-year-old, but they jumped right in, and worked the store, drove a boat, fed Clifford enormous bones, and sat down a read a few books. They would have been content to spend all afternoon there.034

My husband got a little overwhelmed with the Easter crowds, so we met up with him again in the prehispanic sculpture garden. The Planetarium does have a cafeteria, but we brought a picnic lunch and ate outside on the picnic tables (which get hot in the sun!). After lunch, we braved a few more rooms, but they were geared for older kids, so we breezed through those. After paying one last visit to Clifford, we headed home.

Did we exhaust our options? Not even close. We´ll certainly be back, and on other visits, we may see:

  • Bioparque Estrella—a safari-style zoo about an hour outside of Monterrey. They also offer camping, either in tents or cabins!
  • KidZania—A kid-sized city. Children work various jobs, open a bank account, and spend the money they “earned” at those jobs. I´ve been told that it´s a lot of fun, but it´s on the pricy side, so be prepared!
  • Grutas de García—a system of glittering caves just northwest of Monterrey.
  • Cumbres National Park—full of hiking opportunities, plus some intense outdoor activities for families with older children.

What are some of your favorite things to do in Monterrey? Feel free to comment below!

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Furthermore, if anyone else in or near the Saltillo area would like to share their favorite places in or near Saltillo, send your reflections/thoughts/summary, along with pictures to saltilloexpats@gmail.com.  I look forward to hearing others´ perspectives!

So Many Holidays!

I´ve heard a number of people recently be bewildered about “how many holidays” we have in Mexico.

Now, I haven´t done an exact count (I will soon), but I´m willing to bet that the US has just as many holidays as Mexico.  They simply fall on different days, and if you´re not expecting them, I understand how they can catch one off guard.

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When do standard days off fall?

Days in bold are official holidays, and if one has to work on those days, holiday pay is legally required.

January 1–New Year´s Day

February 5–Constitution Day (now observed the Monday before the 5th)

March 21–Benito Juarez´s Birthday (observed the Monday before the 21st)

Thursday and Friday of Holy Week (before Easter)

May 1st–Labor Day

May 10th–Mother´s Day (doesn´t matter which day of the week the 10th falls on, nearly everyone gets off on the 10th)

May 15–Teacher´s Day (only schools are closed this day, most other people have to work)

September 16–Independence Day (some companies give both the 15th & 16th off)

November 2–Day of the Dead (lots of people do have to work this day, but then they´re                                entitled to holiday pay)

November 20–Anniversary of the Revolution (observed the Monday before the 20th)

December 12–Guadalupe Day (in this part of the country, it´s not observed much.  But                                    elsewhere in Mexico, most companies have Employee Appreciation Day on                              the 12th with open houses at the factories (no work))

December 25–Christmas Day

So if your housekeeper is asking for a paid day off and you think she´s crazy, check the list–I bet she knows her holidays!

(Note:  if you know that you´ve had a conversation with me on this subject, you´re right.  Its not just you.  I´ve had this conversation with a LOT of people in the last few months!)

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OK, so the official count is that Mexico has 10 official days off–not counting Guadalupe Day, Teacher´s Day, those little non-obligatory ones.  The US has 8 official days.  So I guess you´re right.  Mexico has more.  But not by much.

(Unless we count President´s Day and Martin Luther King Day as two seperate holidays.  However, since most people don´t get them both off, I lumped them together.)

January 1st                                                                                                                                     President´s Day/Martin Luther King Day                                                                                 Good Friday                                                                                                                               Memorial Day                                                                                                                                     July 4th                                                                                                                                               Labor Day                                                                                                                           Thanksgiving Day (and the following day)                                                                               Christmas Day

(While I´ve checked with my husband AND the 2015 Labor Calendar, please do correct me in the comments section if you see that I´m wrong or forgot a holiday.)

Chin Up, Buttercup

Unlike other areas of Mexico, Saltillo does experience changing seasons.  Coming from the northern US, it took me awhile to catch on, as the change of the seasons here is much more subtle than it is there.

014  The one sign that says “fall” to me here in Saltillo is the arrival of the butterflies.  Monarch butterflies, en route between their summer home in Canada to their wintering grounds just north of Mexico City, pass right through Saltillo.

And they are passing through this week.

On Tuesday, I was getting down about seeing the clouds and fog roll in again.  Then I looked up, and saw five monarchs fly right over my patio.  Why worry about the rain tomorrow when I can enjoy the monarch butterflies today?   020

So if you´re feeling a little down, look up.  Catching just a glimpse of those orange and black wings in sunlight makes me catch my breath.  They´re so fragile, yet they fly thousands of miles.  Within a butterfly´s lifespan, they surely can´t make more than one round trip, can they?  Yet they all meet up together in the mountains in Michoacan.  How do they do it?  They´re downright awe-inspiring.

Be inspired.  Look up this week.

Catrina Museum

Mexican culture is toeing a fine line between embracing Halloween and holding firm to its Day of the Dead traditions.  The popular figure of the catrina appears to build a bridge, easing the tension for those who feel that the two holidays are incompatible.  To learn more, we visited the Museo de la Catrina.  

100_5299  The Catrina Museum, self-proclaimed as the smallest museum in the world, is celebrating its fifth anniversary this weekend.  Five years ago, the Morales Fuentes family made a collection of catrinas, or well-dressed skeletons, for a contest.  After the contest, they tried to sell their creations.  However, as much as Mexican culture claims that it enjoys making fun of death, Mexican families apparently do not want constant reminders of death on display, staring them down in their living rooms.  Therefore, the Morales Fuentes family converted the lower floor of their house into the delightful, macabre museum it is today.

The catrina was originally conceived by the 19th century artist José Guadalupe Posada.  At the time, the gulf between the rich and the poor was even more pronounced than it is today.  José Guadalupe Posada printed the catrina–skeletons dressed in high-society fashion–to make fun of the rich.  The catrina was his way of showing how the rich had fogotten their roots.  Or the simple fact of “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”  Posada´s work may have faded onto oblivion, had it not been for the interest of Diego Rivera.  Rivera popularized the catrina, making her the 20th century poster child for the Day of the Dead celebrations.

100_5294  Our informative tour guide regaled us with legends of famous catrinas, such as the Black Widow who had 30 husbands, and consequently became very, very rich.  Much like the Evil Queen in the Snow White, she guarded her wealth jealously and refused to share it with her daughter.  Filled with terror at the thought of her daughter getting her hands on the Widow´s money, the Black Widow killed her daughter.  Oh, the tales to be told at the Catrina Museum!

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Beyond the colorful catrinas, they also have a room dedicated to death photography–photographs of dead people propped up to look alive.  After all, it often happened a hundred years ago that someone would kick the bucket before their relatives were able to get a decent picture taken of their dearly departed.  The solution–bring the body and take a picture.  If this room fails to give you the willies, continue down to the end of the hall where they have a genuine mummy on display.

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If you still want more death-themed fun, the Catrina Museum offers their “Legend Nights” once a month.  $120 provides you with a nighttime guided tour of the museum, and viewing of Mexican Terror Film of the Month, complete with pan de muerto and hot chocolate.  Call 844-414-3148 for reservations.

Despite the bits of gruesome here and there, the museum itself is boldly and cheerfully decorated, and the catrinas–whose job is to make fun of death–do their job well.  If you need to acquaint yourself with Day of the Dead traditions, or are simply in the Halloween spirit, the museo de la catrina is well worth a visit.

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Where is the Catrina Museum?

100_5287  Head south on Allende straight through downtown Saltillo.  (It´s a one-way street heading south.)  After you pass the Bird Museum on your left (Museo de las Aves de México), the Catrina Museum will be on your right.  As you pass the Catrina Museum, Allende ends and traffic is forced to turn left.

The tour guides suggest parking on the street by the museum.  If there spaces, I´m sure it is a fine option.  I perfer a parking lot on Allende two blocks below the Bird Museum, just before the Tepanco Restaurant, on the left side of the street.

The museum is open from 10-5.  However, this week (the last in October) there are many school groups visiting, so public visiting hours begin at noon.  On the 1st and 2ed of November the museum will be open for a solid 36 hours to celebrate their 5th anniversary.  Admission is $30 for adults and $20 for children.

Furthermore, they´re sponsoring trick-or-treating on Halloween, touring “Houses of Legend”.  They´ll depart from the museum at 6pm on Oct. 31st.

And, if you want to find the Catrina Museum on facebook, click here.

Nickeled and Dimed

Most truths that are obvious don´t need to be learned, right?  And yet, every once in awhile, the obvious can smack me up alongside the head.

The first few months I lived here, I remember being very frustrated with every grocery store trip.  Often I´d forget to bring change with me–and change is crucial for any Mexican grocery store visit.  Ironically, not for paying groceries–large grocery store chains are the one business that always has change.  Never have I had a cashier at a large grocery chain ask, as I hand her a $200 bill, “do you happen to have change?”

100_5208  No, the change at the grocery store is for the baggers.  They all work on a volunteer basis– baggers are not paid by the store.  It used to be a job reserved for school kids.  The job market in Mexico being what it is, it´s next to impossible for students to get jobs.  The students that work as baggers have to have very good grades and they have to prove that they are maintaining those grades.  However, by only “hiring” students, baggers were thin on the ground during school hours.  Which is why we now see an army of senior citizens manning the bagging counters.  These senior citizens have been referred for the job though government social services.  They need the job, because their government pension either isn´t making ends meet or is simply nonexistent.  Therefore, whenever I show up at the grocery store without change and accidentally stiff the baggers, I feel terrible.

In many parking lots, men will rush up to help load the groceries into the car and to take the cart back to the store.  The parking lot attendants may be on the official roster of the grocery store´s baggers, or they may just hustle the parking lot, looking to pick up a few tips.  After already tipping the baggers, I began to resent tipping the parking lot attendants, as well.  It came to the point that I´d clutch onto the shopping cart in the parking lot and start yelling, “NO–I DON´T NEED ANY HELP!” as soon as I saw an attendant coming in my direction.

Then, one day when walking down Guadalupe Victoria, perspective smacked me up alongside the head.  On any given day, there are a number of people playing accordion, sitting in their wheelchairs, or holding babies and asking for handouts between the Alameda and the Plaza de Armas.  Now, I´ve heard all the pros and cons about why people should or shouldn´t give handouts.  Those stories wouldn´t be spread so widely if there wasn´t a bit of truth to them.  But sometimes I give handouts.  Sometimes I don´t.  I´m not looking for judgement here.  But on this particular day, I had quite a bit of spare change, and happily tossed a bit into someone´s cup.

That was the difference–I happily gave the panhandler the change, whereas a few days before I had been grumbling about the cart attendant.  Wait a minute!  That cart attendant was providing me with a service and working for his tip.  While there may be many reasons for the panhandler to be on the sidewalk, suffice it to say that she was not working.  My attitude transformed dramatically when this reality dawned on me.  I no longer grumble about the cart attendants.  Instead of cheefully tossing coins to the lady on the sidewalk, I now happily–without the least bit of resentment–tip the baggers and cart attendants.

And maybe I do still toss some coins in the panhandler´s cup every now and again.

But more often, I´m saving them up so I can tip the baggers and cart attendants well.

Apple Season in Los Lirios

 

IMG_1177  Despite being surrounded by desert, Saltillo is officially labeled a temperate zone (according to information at the Desert Museum).  This temperate zone extends into the neighboring county of Arteaga, making it a perfect area for apple orchards.  Have you noticed the huge crates of “Saltillo apples” at HEB?  Yep, they´re from Arteaga.  In this part of the country, it´s tough to get produce more locally grown than that!

IMG_1185  For an afternoon excursion out of town, consider Los Lirios, smack in the middle of apple country.  It´s about a half hour outside of Saltillo.  The drive itself makes the trip worthwhile, winding through the pine-covered mountains, skirting orchard-strewn valleys.

IMG_1183  There´s not much to the town of Los Lirios, but there are crates of apples for sale on every corner–honey, too.  The streets are narrow and more people drive through the town on the weekends than those streets were meant to handle.  So drive with patience.  Or, better yet, park and walk around.

100_5195  Restaurants seem pretty nonexistent in Los Lirios.  But they certainly have plenty of corner stores, so a light picnic lunch is easily found.  To be sure of a hearty meal, stop at one of the cabrito stands in the town of Arteaga first, before getting on the highway.

Enjoy the quiet, enjoy the views, enjoy the apples.

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How does one find Los Lirios?

From Saltillo, take Fundadores out of town, towards Arteaga.  Keep heading east, past Arteaga (unless you decide to stop for cabrito, of course).  Head south on Highway 57, toward Mexico City.  After maybe 5km, take the exit to Los Lirios (watch out for northbound traffic on 57 when exiting).  Then meander through the valley for about 23 km.  Los Lirios is about 5 streets big, but the road goes straight through town, so it´s hard to miss.

If you continue on the road (turning left when the road dead ends in town), that will take you to the Cliffs of Insanity and (much farther along) to Cola de Caballo.  Those are also great trips, but deserve their own post.

 

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Photo disclaimer:  while orchards are easily seen from the road, the orchard owners are not likely to be happy about random tourists wandering through their orchards.  We were invited to a friend´s orchard last week, which is why I was able to take the orchard pictures.

Cow Parade

100_5178Calle Guadalupe Victoria has some new tenants!

For a few weeks, Saltillo is hosting a “Cow Parade”.  This idea was begun in Switzerland and gained fame in Chicago 15 years ago or so.  Cities around the world have sponsored artists to paint these fiberglass cows and set them up on sidewalks throughout the city.

In Saltillo, instead of being interspersed throughout the city, they´ve been herded onto Guadalupe Victoria, within a block or two of the Alameda. Unfortunately, the art on these cows is not native to Saltillo.  Mexico City had these cows on parade in 2005 and they´re on loan here in Saltillo. They´re a fun addition, so swing by downtown before September 15th and see them!

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