Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014
We had lunch in a mercado that had be changed to fifty type shops for tourists rather than a working mercado like the ones we went to in San Luis Potosi with George. Zacatecas is a big holiday destination with lots of hotels, restaurants to pick from and shopping. The old town has a warm intimate feel some of the buildings date all the way back to the 1550's though much of the town was expanded in the 1700's when gold and silver were big. There is still an active mine in the region.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Today we take the bus up to Zacatecas for two nights. It is the northern most of the colonial mining towns. It was a very rich mining area. They mined for all the metals, gold, silver, copper. They still have an active mine as well as a mine you can tour.
Our last Look at the church towers that are central to Real de Catorce. They are rung every fifteen minutes with a different tone for each mark of time. On the hour there are the number of rings for the hour. At morning mass the come all long ring happens. the sound becomes but one thread in the many of a small pueblo. Donkeys bray, dogs bark, footsteps can be loud on the cobblestone streets, music and songs flows from restaurants and along the streets. The intermittent pick up trucks allowed on some street roar to life and brakes or fan belts squeal. Much of Life happens on the street so even late at night and early there is the warm chatter of latino voices.
Friday, April 25, 2014
We took a jeep ride on the old road to Estacion de Catorce in the valley to north of town. This is the way. Everything was brought to Real de Catorce before the tunnel was put in on the other side of town. The first road was even narrower and was only for donkeys. When the trains arrived the old cart routes became obsolete but donkeys and mules still carried all the goods up the steep canyon roads. Modernization came with four wheel jeeps from WW I and Ii. The road was made wider. The jeep we rode in was 1956 vintage. Some goods are still carried by donkey. As you can see the road is only wide enough for one jeep and one donkey. Our guide and driver Bonifacio had much to tell us about the local history. Christina, from the hotel came along too. She spoke English and had only arrived two weeks ago. It was her first time on the jeep ride.
Although there was a new cell phone tower in Real de Catorce the wi fi was too minimal to try to post. Even back here in San Luis Potosi it can get bogged down quickly. I am unable to go back into my text to make corrections for that reason. Please forgive my mistakes in punctuation and spelling.
This is the main street in the small town of Real de Catorce. Although the street was lined with venders of all types we could smile and say no and all was fine. We were there in a quiet time of the week so we quickly recognized the same people out on the street. There are only 900 hotel rooms in town. Our hotel, Meson a la Abundancia, had only 12 rooms, an excellent resturant, and very helpful staff. The building used to be the Treasury when the town was a very rich silver mining area from 1780 until early 1900's. The walls were three foot thick stone. Inside was a courtyard joining the three story building with wooden steps and a cafe on the middle level. The room keys were antique iron keys that we had to leave at the desk whenever we went out.
I finall have time to sit and paint in Real de Catorce. This is designated a Magical Town. It is! The two boys watching are locals. Their father runs the local lending library which is housed in a water tight case here on the plaza just beside where I'm sitting.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
|Many children participated in the four hour walk|
I sat in the VIP seats that we purchased in front of the mask museum and across from the Teatro de Paz. With our official press passes we were able to get up and walk with the parade to take pictures if we wished. I decided to stay seated while Fred and George took spots closer to the parade start at El Carmen Church. Martha did not have a press pass and was unable to get to our seats because she was busy with family and arrived after the start. Huge crowds came to watch.
On Thursday we went to San Miguelito Church to see the alters and the reinactment of the Adorational Santismo Sacramento. Members of the church dressed as the disciples. Fred was allowed in to take photos of the washing of their feet by Jesus. People went in and out of the hurch the whole time. Vendors, as usual, were set up with food, Easter eggs, candy and toys. By the church was a table with candles and bread.
Friday, April 18, 2014
At the headquarters for the Procession of Silence there was a museum.
These are examples of the hand woven silk scarves that the women wear during the procession.
They have intricate knotted designs on the ends. The women hand them down to their daughters to wear each year on this special occasion.
These men are working on the base structure of a float for the procession. every year they make new designs on the base.
the Alter tops are kept in the church during the year to be brought out specially for the parade.
All during this week different alters are set up in churches and in front of the homes of the devout catholics.
The vendors in front of san francisco Church on Palm sunday had a large selection of palm decoration for home alters.
George is on the right taking his photo.
Afterward we went for a beer in the restaurant next door which has a wonderful view of the cathedral towers.
Monday evening at La Plaza Fundadores the light was beautiful.
Several vendors were making bubbles to attract children to their toy carts. This young woman was the prettiest one.
The last of the light on the cathedral brought even more crowds out to enjoy the scene.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
We went over to Moreles park which is far enough west on Carranza that went took a taxi for $2. George said it was the quietest he'd ever seen it as this is a very popular park for families to enjoy a bit of time outdoors after work. While I sketched Fred and George found the bike/ skateboard arena where the street kids were working on their bike tricks. They got lots of great photos.