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Dec 7, 2009, 12:01 PM

Post #1 of 9 (7267 views)


Cathedrals have a way of calling!

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One of several mornings I awoke to 72-degree weather, clear blue skyís and the distant drone of the city, mixed with cathedral bells making itself known it was another day in the city of Morelia. It was an invitation for me to walk la calle principal, Ave. Modero, whoís wider than the usual wide sidewalks in some 8 other large cities traveled, to date, was akin to a 4 lane highway rarely experienced most anywhere. The heavy shadows cast by some of the more venerable, very tall limestone, ageless, baroque, gothic, and medieval structures, is in itself memorable. When the ancient shadows fall and pierced by ones presence, as so many who have since died and of those who continue to breathe the air and bring new life to it, etched in the limestone are legends of endless generations greeted through its portals for hundreds of years and more.

Itís Centro Histůricos large bold strength, with its intrusive fingers, reach out grasping the imagination through the ancient yawning and moaning of ageless buildings still standing to retell its stories like tall, antiquated soldiers, dressed in their finest, leaning over its masses and braced with proud old medals whose age catches the eye of visitors and those born to its city.

While there, an International Music Festival echoed, from different parts of city plazas, and community squares. One street near the aqueduct called Calzada de San Diego or Fray Antonio de Miguel, led to one of the most internally beautiful churchís called La Virgen de Guadalupe. It was renown for the heaviest gold leaf glittered alters imaginable. It was stunning!

At the end of this at least 3 block Calzada, which was painstakingly, artistically and beautifully decorated in its entirety with pictorial floral, seed and nut collages which laid on the ground from its entrance to its other end. At that end, there was a staged live band tribute to Englandís Beatles and Rolling Stones and rocking the undulating audience, singing along and dancing to the steam this hot group vaporized its audience with.

When the group stopped playing close to sunset, we stopped and talked to two women to ask where the Casa de Salsa was, and they snickered and sort of laughed with us when they pointed out it was this huge metal door right next to where we were standing. In the exchange of laughter and conversation, I mentioned I was looking for a pair of small speakers so we could play our CDís on our portable CD player.

One of the slim, petite, tight jeaned women, which carved her assets well, smiled and affably volunteered to take us to El Centro and help us find the speakers. It was our first experience on a small combi/colectivo, which stacked us all together with other locals. Our street was announced and off we went to the Mercado. It was allot of fun getting there, like a local.

After shopping, thirst inevitably opened our eyes toward quenching this thirst and fervor for something cool. It was Saturday night and a massive crowd of people where assembled on Ave. Madero, la calle principal, in front of the gigantic main Cathedral. Every Saturday night at nine pm, a Cathedral lighting ceremony takes place, so we decided to go to Sanborns on its corner across the street and quench our thirst. As usual, in some Sanborns there is live entertainment at the cocktail lounge and yes, the drinks were cold and the Margaritas had a nice snap to them.

It was then that we were able to get to know our new adopted friend, whose long name was something like Maria Helena de la Cruz. She had a pensive quick smile, as if quick consideration was digested, and from it the flash of her teeth made it welcomed. Maria was a real surprise to us. In her adjusted, intermittent speech patterns, she hedged and at times struggled to make herself clear even though I enjoyed and took it as an opportunity to practice my perfect Spanish ;-) we all engaged in a good time together. Maria still had more surprises for us when she casually put on the table that she was a professor in two universities and held a PHD in economics. She was smart, good looking, petit and well carved, as a result of her yoga endeavors.

As the evening Cathedral celebration ensued outside while we viewed it from Sanborns terraced porches, we were feeling real good by then and Salsa dancing became a definite must. We left Sanborns about eleven-ish, caught a cab and went to a club called Portafina. The club was rocking and more impressive, it was none-smoking. We danced and carried on until the wee-hours and packed Maria Helena de la Cruz in a cab and sent her home, calling it another day of good times, friendship and adventure found in the hollows of limestone structures which are a fortress to its city kind and all that has occurred for centuries.

Note: Iím not the best of writers, nor do I pretend to be. But yes, I would like to share with you other bits and pieces of our month long travels. Some outstanding experiences in Morelia, Patzcauro, Santa Clara, La Mariposas, Oaxaca and its beachís. Such as Puerto Escondido, Zipolite, Puerto Angle and the impressive environs of Huatulco and the friends we made along the way. Maria Helena along with others are still friends and there are some interesting, moving developments yet to follow.

MODERATOR, please donít let these threads to be stepped on by lurking, ďdominating,Ē antagonistic, sly, poison pen trolls who come off the wall, with something akin to ďA turd by any other color is still a turd.Ē Gracias


Dec 7, 2009, 4:33 PM

Post #2 of 9 (7239 views)


Re: [Oscar2] Cathedrals have a way of calling!

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I am glad you are enjoying your stay in Morelia. Don't forget in your descriptions of the Centro this is the ciudad de la cantera rosa, city built of pink quarry stone, giving it a kind of unique appearance. I live just up the street about a block from the Santuario de Guadalupe and am enjoying the festivities currently underway you have mentioned, though every day is a pleasure living here in this city. I got caught up in the Monarcas futbol game Saturday and missed that Beatles/Rolling Stones music, I would have liked to attend.

Take care and please have a wonderful time touring this area.


Dec 8, 2009, 9:56 AM

Post #3 of 9 (7202 views)


Re: [Peter] Cathedrals have a way of calling!

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Itís good hearing from you Peter, but I arrived Nov. 7 and left Morelia 15 days later due to scheduling and that ever pressing bug to get out and explore the Republic snatched my imaginations need to know more, completely won over. I too, stayed as close to El Centro Historico, as possible. It was near the corner of La Calle Principal-Ave. Madero and Dr. Miguel Silva. Our decision to stay at a particular hotel/suites four blocks from the epicenter where the heart of Morelia beats with the tremor of feet pounding the pavement is the aliveness one feels while sniffing and feeling the environment is something we needed. I see your location is also at the heart of all that is needed and desired by just walking out your door and within a few short blocks, comida, ambiento and more is on your table. Parke de la Rosas is a very popular hangout for bebidas y comida and people watching, as well. Your abode is very close to this park-AH! It has an outside dining, Euro feel to it. Your are correct, I know Iím remiss in describing the beautiful, this powerful eclectic city possesses but one only has to spend some quality time in its midst to start feeling and appreciating its possibilities.

The fellow who put the hotel together where we stood for 15 days had a unique penchant for art with acumen toward artistic detail in such a way that the theme that poured through his being was spread all over each room with a talent appealing even to the most inept because of its well placed and curious appeal. Aside from his artistically decorated ovation toward artist of the past, we felt lavished in a master suite given to us at a wonderful price point due in part to our length of stay. One could say our artistic appreciation of our surroundings instantly became poignant.

It was a two-bedroom suite, fully furnished with a new king-size bed, two matrimonial beds in the other, a living room, fully equipped kitchen with Micro oven, blender and coffee maker, nice fridge and a separate dining area for meals. It also had a separate T.V. room, WiFi, maid and laundry service and free breakfast. Yes, we felt like we really hit the jackpot Ė big time!

We stayed in the Salvador Dali master suite. Now, prior to staying in this suite I was neither a connoisseur nor an aficionado of surrealistic art but when all bed headboards, all kitchen chairs, painting, tables, mirrors and cabinets contained hand painted replicas of Salvador Dali works, something happened. His expression, his determination of seeing things that spilled out on canvas contained an elusive message that ran like the blood in his veins, which needed the relief-valve his mind opened up too. Yes indeed, some artist are interesting creatures of expression.

I too enjoy the big city effect of accessibility, transportation and shopping convenience and more. This is the first time Iíve been to Mexico in 40 years without either having driven a vehicle down there or renting a car. I havenít been on busses in so long, I canít remember when was the last time, until our experience on this trip. Iíve listened to Rayís entries on bus riding and others and took it to heart. For as much moving around, exploring in first class busses (ETN) and not having to find a place to park, buses, taxis, combi/colectivos, be it small Volkswagen type buses to pickup trucks in very small villages and chicken busses, it was all an adventure never to be forgotten. The wife and I had a ball, especially the pickup truck and the old woman with the live chicken on her lap, along the beach route to Puerto Escondido. Weíll talk of this more in another post.

Aside from beach cities, we stayed in two large cities, Morelia and Oaxaca. There are distinct differences of which is a matter of personal preference. The beauty of Morelia Centro and the exuberance of Oaxaca City each have a pulse which will warm your blood, and open your eyes to see the haze covering each city with personal desires needed to grasp the city and make it yours. Weíll talk some moreÖ.

I've re-edited this post to add a photo of the Calzada where the tribute to Englands Beatles and Stones was held. I only widh there was another way I could send some marvelous other pictures I know you and others would appreciate.

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Dec 8, 2009, 10:48 AM)
Attachments: Calzada-1.jpg (53.4 KB)


Dec 8, 2009, 10:14 AM

Post #4 of 9 (7196 views)


Re: [Oscar2] Cathedrals have a way of calling!

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Well, Oscar, all I can say is HUMPH! Judy and I were at the Beatles imitators' concert on the Calzada, we strolled up and down the enjoying the floral carpets, etc. And we would have enjoyed spending some time with you and your wife. Too bad.


Dec 8, 2009, 11:49 AM

Post #5 of 9 (7187 views)


Re: [esperanza] Cathedrals have a way of calling!

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I know, I know, its my bad. I do apologize and regret we didnít meet so I could have given you both un abraso y un beso de bienvenidos.Wane not though, my dear, for we definitely will return too a city I now understand why nesting is inevitable. Years have made me realize, surroundings, ambiance, the drone which makes the heart palpitate, the intimacy, the interplay, the friendships one makes does go to the value of where the heart resides and stays.

We were busy people, meeting, touring, eating, drinking, dancing, and a story I will tell soon of playing cupids to our newfound friend Maria Helena de la Cruz, I call my professor. I will tell of other new friendships we made con un caballero, buen guapo, de Patzcuaro, a teacher, we introduced to Maria Helena-Ayy-Ya-Yi!!

Iím glad you jumped on board because living in your city of mystique made it even more interesting when as I crossed the shadows of these large antiquated marvelous edifices, the mystique, the mysteries which lay behind some of these doors, baroque portals, the archways with non-descript entry ways, revealed very large garden, terraced courtyards. Some with fountains, some with flowered gardens with cushioned comfort to sit, drink and eat. Itís old world romanticism not seen in the US. Understandably, you shall see us again, perhaps with permanency in a city of terraces and flowered courtyards and so much more.
Attachments: Calzada 2-1.jpg (48.9 KB)

Linda in Morelia

Dec 11, 2009, 3:04 PM

Post #6 of 9 (7095 views)


Re: [Oscar2] Cathedrals have a way of calling!

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Thanks for the description of your experience. As a full-time resident of Morelia, I am amazed that more foreigners don't live here, or I should probably say, US and Canadian foreigners, as there are many people from many different countries who do live here. Morelia is a university city (the exact number of which is unknown to me, but I believe it exceeds 8), and I have met numerous local professors from other countries, principally European and South American countries.


Dec 11, 2009, 9:37 PM

Post #7 of 9 (7069 views)


Re: [Linda in Morelia] Cathedrals have a way of calling!

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Thanks for the description of your experience. As a full-time resident of Morelia, I am amazed that more foreigners don't live here, or I should probably say, US and Canadian foreigners, as there are many people from many different countries who do live here.

Iíve traveled and stayed in other cityís of the republic and yes, I must say, as busy as Morelia is, what sets it apart, for me, from others is the way Centro living amongst and within the ancient/antiquated structures has a moving way of saying things to you which leaves a unique flavor well taken and not easily forgotten. Its structural character has housed hundreds of years of generation after generations and the solid fortresses of the past still stands proudly housing its people and its character.

As cosmopolitan as it may feel, the universities, the myriads of schools bent toward greater education produces certain levels of youthful exuberance and intelligence felt almost instantly when meandering around El Centro just having friendly conversations with those interested in chatting.

The conversations, even casual ones with various people on combis, restaurants, stores and so on, made Morelia, very comfortable. Why more expats donít move down there is probably a Godsend. Someone on this forum once said, Morelia is just the way we like it.

Iím glad you wrote Linda, Iíve often thought about you, knowing well you now lived in Morelia, and often wondered how you were doing and if all is going well for you. I know you were looking for a car at one point; hopefully it worked out well for you. Honestly, with combis, taxis and the like so inexpensive and so readily available, plus finding parking in El Centro (very difficult) you really donít need a car in this city. If your location is distant enough just maybe parking would be possible or maybe you already have some kind of setup. Please tell me how it worked out for you.

I'm sending you another pix of something I know your proud of. Its said its one of the tallest Cathedrals in the America's. I took these pictures from Sanborns terrace on a Saturday night lighting ceremony.

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Dec 11, 2009, 9:39 PM)
Attachments: Morelia's Cathedral-1.jpg (102 KB)

Linda in Morelia

Dec 12, 2009, 9:06 AM

Post #8 of 9 (7026 views)


Re: [Oscar2] Cathedrals have a way of calling!

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You are right, you really don't need a car if you live in el centro in Morelia. After over a year here, we finally decided that we would buy one, primarily for day trips to outlying areas. Although we haven't bought one it yet. It's about 800 to 1,000 pesos to rent a car or a taxi for the day. There are hassle factors with either choice: car rental as needed or car ownership. There is still a part of me that questions whether it makes sense to buy a car. Hopefully, the new year will bring clarity.


Dec 12, 2009, 12:18 PM

Post #9 of 9 (7008 views)


Re: [Linda in Morelia] Cathedrals have a way of calling!

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Your concern is understandable and feeds right into an experience while in Morelia, which edged along the same considerations of car rental vs. using the efficient bus services offered from Morelia.

I believe, it was the morning of Mexican Independence day when we stepped out of our hotel door at 8:00 am in the morning. The streets were baron, not a car in sight which was kind of chilling not knowing why. We looked down toward Av. Modero and say armed solders all over the streets blocking all entrances to Modero within a few block of it. Our enquires revealed it was in preparation for a large parade.

The morning we left early to get to the bus station (a 20-peso cab ride) but not cabs, nothing is sight. We walked about for blocks where we seen distant traffic and flagged a cab to take us to ADO (Bus Terminal). Due to traffic being backed up for miles, we missed the scheduled bus necessary to get to the Butterfly Sanctuary about 200 hundred mile into the mountains. What to do? I asked the cab driver if he wanted to make a few extra bucks and offered him 500 pesos to take us to the Mariposas and he said yes.

In essence, we were being chauffeured directly to our destination without the hassle of negotiating the roads and sorting through maps and whatever to get there. We stopped wherever we asked the driver to stop for breakfast (photo included) on a very nice vista point on a large body of water with quaking ducks and a meal that was absolutely delicious. Of coarse the driver eat with us on my dime and as we traveled I proposed to that I would pay for his borrow ride up the mountain with us to see the Mariposas and opt to pay for the meals in exchange for the ride back and he agreed.

The trip up the mountain is for another thread, it was fun, hilarious, interesting and something never to be forgotten. The whole trip and we were dropped off at our hotel door lasted from 8:00 am till 10:00 pm, less the hassle of driving, especially at night on those very dark mountain roads which he said he was accustomed too, cost us less than $95.00. This included all meals, burrow rides up and down the mountain and entrance fees.

Granted there are other occasions one would need/want a car and it was our first consideration but being chauffeured was'nt to hard to take as opposed to cost of a car rental for a day plus gas.

Across the street from a two bedroom apartment I was considering was a gated private parking facility that belonged to some other hotel. I made inquiries and $30.00 dollars a month was the asking price should I need the space for a car, especially if I needed it right across the street. I canít remember when Iíve been without a car but Morelia gives it a different complexion. Knowing me, Iíd probably get one just for the hell of it and Iíll bet cobwebs would gather in no time.

Here is another pix of one of Morelia's most beautiful church interiors, it was awesome.
Attachments: Church of Gudalupe-1.jpg (187 KB)
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