Mexico week 3: Visit the beautiful city of Guanajuato
Our first weeks in Mexico are already over. We already explored Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Playa del Carmen. We love discovering new places in Mexico all the time. We feel at home everywhere. This week, we flew from Cancun to León Airport and from there to the beautiful city of Guanajuato. This city is truly fairy-tale like. Find out how we experienced week 3 in Mexico here!
A little adventure
After our visit to the impressive Xcaretpark, we thought it was time to visit another amusement park. We chose Xplor because it seemed to us the most adventurous park. And that is not a lie! You can zipline, swim in caves, raft and even cruise through the jungle in a jeep. And it was this that made our adventure a little too adventurous. An idiot drove into the back of our jeep, causing Sigrid a whiplash. The fun was over. Fortunately, there was still the extensive Mexican buffet, which was included in the entrance fee. That made up for a lot.
A few days and a new suitcase later (Sigrid bought a new suitcase for her hand luggage because her original suitcase was bursting with clothes and souvenirs), we left for Cancun airport for our first domestic flight. We were on time for check-in, which was a good thing because, like everything else in Mexico, it was very slow.
We noticed how other travellers had problems with the man behind the check-in counter. They had to redistribute their suitcases in terms of weight or pay an extra amount of money. With our well-filled suitcases, we too got a bit nervous. Fortunately, at the last minute, we were able to avoid the grumpy man behind the counter and walked straight on to the friendly lady at the other counter. Everything went smoothly at the check-in. Hooray! The flight, too, went off without a hitch.
Three hours later, we were at León Airport with our suitcases. Here we had to arrange a bus or taxi to get to the centre of Guanajuato an hour away. There were no buses to be seen. Taxi it is. Apparently, you do not have to arrange your own taxi here, but it is done for you when you first buy a ticket for the taxi at the airport. This is new.
It was also clear that the people here did not speak a word of English, unlike in the previous cities we visited. With our best Spanish, we tried to explain where we were going. A hotel just outside the centre of Guanajuato. The taxi driver seemed never to have heard of the street or the hotel. Let’s try it with the GPS. After some searching and sighing, we finally found our destination. A beautiful, well-kept hotel with extremely friendly staff. A moment of blissful relaxation.
Wonderful city of Guanajuato
We had high expectations of Guanajuato. This city is praised by locals as “historic”, “beautiful”, “cosy”, “like in a fairy tale”… And we must honestly admit that this is not a lie. Guanajuato is the most colourful city we have ever seen. The houses have all the colours of the rainbow and the streets are decorated with colourful flags. This just makes you happy!
See a doctor
There are hardly any tourists here. The locals don’t speak English, so it’s the place to practice our Spanish a bit. This has its advantages but also disadvantages. When you fall ill, for example… Sigrid had been having a sore throat for a while and it was getting worse. After a few days of using cough syrup and medication without much result, we made another attempt to ask the pharmacy for other medication. The friendly woman at the pharmacy did not speak a word of English either, but she made it clear that we better see a doctor so that Sigrid could maybe be given antibiotics.
Strangely enough, there was a doctor above the pharmacy, and even more, it was completely free! Unfortunately, the doctor did not speak English either and explaining the symptoms became a mishmash of “Tos, dolor, antibiotics, por favor”. After filling in some formalities and a short examination, the doctor prescribed some medicines. A pill for the fever and pain, a pill against the infection in the throat and a pill of antibiotics. That is how we understood it. Back ‘home’ we looked up the ingredients of this medication as Sigrid is allergic to penicillin (an ingredient often found in antibiotics). Leaflets are not included with the medication in Mexico. Weird, isn’t it? So far, we have not experienced any side effects from this medication and it is starting to work. Thank God!
Have you ever seen a real mummy? And did you know you can find mummies outside of Egypt? You can find many in the Mummy Museum (El Museo De Las Momias)in Guanajuato. At some point in history, people had to pay money for a cemetery. Therefore, some bodies were exhumed and these mummified bodies emerged. Horrible, isn’t it? Even more horrible are the bodies themselves. To be honest, we found the whole museum very strange and even a bit sinister. We therefore chose not to share these photos here. And as if that was not scary enough, all the mummies have a frightening expression on their faces. You can see them screaming from pain. There are even mummified children. Not suitable for sensitive visitors! Get out of here fast and on to something more cheerful.
On March 21st Guanajuato celebrated the Benito Juarez festival. This man is considered Mexico’s most beloved leader ever. It is celebrated vigorously in the streets of Guanajuato. This was followed by the flower festival, which actually comes from Viernes de Dolores (Good Friday). The streets are transformed into colourful markets where you can buy all kinds of flowers. Prayer spots have also been created everywhere with images of Mother Mary framed by candles and flowers. For the children, eggs in baskets are on sale in anticipation of Easter, which will soon be celebrated. Lively music and confetti are being thrown everywhere. This celebration is one of togetherness and one of the most important celebrations for the people of Guanajuato, that is clear. It’s great that we could be part of the festivities!