With the first leg of the trip in Mexico City complete, our next adventure required a quick hop to the west to the capital of the state of Jalisco...
Day 4 -- Culture Day in Guadalajara Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Departing from the Benito Juárez airport in Mexico City, we had a short flight to Guadalajara on AeroMexico, a Delta Airlines affiliate and the flag carrier airline of Mexico. The Guadalajara airport is just a short distance south of the city center, where we'd be staying for the next two nights.
Guadalajara's downtown has a much smaller and more homogenous feel than Mexico City, but it was no less interesting to explore. And that we did, on a few different occasions. Our first day in Guadalajara included a long walking (and eating) tour, led by a local tour guide. I went out that evening with a small group to see the city at night. We also explored a little more after our park day on the 26th -- for the sake of ease, I'll just mix those pictures in with the larger batch from the 25th.
As with the Mexico City culture day post, it'll be easier to describe our adventures in the captions. So, here are a whole bunch of pictures of a pretty cool city!
First, we depart from Terminal 2 at Mexico City's Benito Juárez International Airport.
The concrete and pinhole designs make this place look older than it is. This terminal was opened in 2007.
Should I have bought this Frozen "Mágico Invierno" coloring book for my flight?
Here's our AeroMexico plane for the flight to Guadalajara. How was the flight? From a message to a friend: "The takeoff was kind of frighteningly rough and vibratey."
Oh no, Guadalajara won't do.
...actually it will, but that line was /always/ gonna get dropped into this trip report, regardless.
Here's our hotel for the next couple days -- the Holiday Inn in downtown Guadalajara.
The main entrance to our hotel. Easy walking distance to everything in the center of the city.
A nice hotel lobby!
And now, our group heads out into the city for the first time.
We started our day in Guadalajara with a guide from Guadalajara Food Tours, who took us around to several restaurants to sample dishes around the city. Our first stop was at La Rinconada.
I don't have a picture of what we ate, but we started with dessert. I think it was some kind of flan. Guadalajara has several restaurants that look like this -- with the main dining area inside of spacious, well-decorated courtyard / atrium type areas. Sorry if I don't know the technical term for it!
Stop #2 was at Las Famosas, serving up what can probably be described as one of Guadalajara's signature meals -- the Torta Ahogada.
A look at the inside of Las Famosas, which opens up to the Paseo Degollado -- a tree-and-water-lined pedestrian walkway.
We started with some strawberry horchata. I love horchata, and the pink version was pretty great!
Then, the star of the show -- our tortas ahogadas. It's a submarine sandwich, filled with meat, and drowned in a pepper-based or tomato-based sauce. I thought it was very tasty, but have to be honest -- just about impossible to eat! It's kind of a mess. But that's ok, because this was all about trying some new things. Next time I'd probably just order it partially-dipped rather than totally submerged, even if that's probably a sacrilege to the locals.
We exit Las Famosas, and head off to the next restaurant.
Our third stop was Cafe Madrid, a coffee shop and traditional restaurant.
Some cool art on the wall of Cafe Madrid!
Here, we received pozole, a pork and hominy stew. Was the first time I'd had it, but not the last!
Halfway through the tour, we took a walk along the street on the way to our next destination. I have to say -- the traffic in Guadalajara was much better behaved than in Mexico City. Like, to the point that I'd be comfortable driving there.
We headed into the heart of Guadalajara, approaching perhaps the city's most impressive building -- the Catedral de Guadalajara.
Guadalajara's cathedral was completed in 1618, though occasional earthquake damage has led to some of the structures to be re-built over the centuries since.
The Cathedral sits on a block at the center of the city, and is surrounded on all four cardinal directions by plazas. The plaza immediately to the south, pictured here, is called the Plaza de Armas.
Another look at the Plaza de Armas, which -- day or night -- was always filled with people when we visited.
Adjacent to the Plaza de Armas to the east is the Palacio de Gobierno -- the seat of the state government, essentially a state capitol building for Jalisco.
Hey, you've got a pigeon on your head.
The Palacio de Gobierno would be a cool place to tour on another visit!
Yes, this is a mode of transportation commonly seen around Guadalajara. Not sure if it's a touristy thing or a traditional thing, or maybe a combination of the two.
Cloud porn, part infinity.
So, before our next restaurant visit, we headed to the roof of a hotel adjacent to the Plaza de Armas for some aerial views. And oh, do I love my aerial views. The rest of the group was probably dumbfounded as I managed to snap off 164 pictures in 13 minutes. No, I'm not posting all of them here! But first, enjoy this panoramic view of the cathedral and the plaza.
A look down at the Plaza de Armas. The kiosk / gazebo in the middle is apparently of Parisian origin.
The Palacio de Gobierno on a nice March day.
A flagpole, a balcony, a bell, and a clock.
Closer view of the flagpole! The Palacio de Gobierno was completed in 1774.
The balcony, which I can imagine being used for various ceremonial functions.
The palace's clock has a hole in it. It's a bullet hole. There are various stories as to who might have shot it, but apparently it came from during the Mexican Revolution in the early 1900s!
A view over some of the businesses to the south of the Plaza de Armas.
A southbound view on Avenida 16 de Septiembre. What happened on the 16th of September? Just the little thing of Mexico's independence in 1810.
Quite the mix of architectural styles, including the Templo de San Francisco de Asís, built in the late 1600s.
Our group checks out the view over the cathedral.
The cathedral! It's a very awesome building!
The west face of the cathedral, which faces Plaza Guadalajara.
A fountain at the center of Plaza Guadalajara.
Domes on the cathedral.
For whom the bell tolls.
The entrance to the cathedral. I did go in at night, and it looked pretty awesome inside. No pictures, as requested.
Behind the cathedral to the north, some interesting geography...
...but I'll save that for a future trip report segment.
Down on the plaza, a gathering of pigeons.
Do the pigeons play with the kids, or do the kids play with the pigeons?
Two horse-drawn carriages. The roof of the one on the right is, uh, interesting.
A few more distant views looking out over Guadalajara. Here's one to the northwest.
Church spires, apartment highrises, and distant mountains.
Housing on the hill.
The Hotel Riu Plaza is the tallest building in Guadalajara. It's located a few miles southwest of the center of the city.
A view northeast, past the cathedral. Off in the distance...
...Cerro de la Higuera is one of the taller hills / mountains surrounding Guadalajara.
Another distant view over the plaza to the east of the cathedral.
Yet another historic structure. They're pretty much everywhere.
A really interesting building way off to the east. It's the temple / headquarters of the Luz del Mundo, a Christian denomination based in Guadalajara.
Native plants line the walls of the hotel rooftop. Alright, time to head down!
Next on the tour -- our fourth restaurant -- was La Antigua.
La Antigua has a great location on the corner between the Plaza de Armas and Plaza Guadalajara.
Is this not the cutest bread basket you've ever seen?
We had some sort of orange drink! (I wish I remembered the details!)
Then we had enchiladas! I guess these are kind of familiar.
The view over Plaza Guadalajara from La Antigua.
This is a cool fountain! At least, I think it would be if the water were turned on!
Another view of the corner of the cathedral as we head out of La Antigua.
And a view that shows the whole west side (front?) of the cathedral from across the plaza.
Onward we progressed through the streets of the city...
...to our next stop at La Fonda de San Miguel Arcángel.
We head inside through an assortment of local art...
...and Jesus, who told us to eat here!
Another cool building with the restaurant space inside a courtyard. Oh, and that's our tour guide in the green shirt!
At La Fonda, we got aztec soup -- which, again, is just way better in Mexico than anywhere I've had it in the states.
Our final stop on the tour was at a divey-looking bar called La Mutualista, where those inclined tried some local tequila. I don't have any pictures from there, so here's our gift pack we received at the end of the tour. Great way to get an introduction to the city!
And now, we continue to wander the city and see cool things! Here's a statue of Beatriz Hernandez, who had a role in the founding of Guadalajara.
A statue of Jorge Matute Remus, an engineer who moved the Teléfonos de México building so a street could be widened. Yes, this statue is meant to show him /physically/ moving the building!
The "four boys" fountain (Fuente de los Niños Miones) which is, well, interesting. Looks like it takes some inspiration from Belgium's famous "Manneken Pis" which is exactly what it sounds like.
A bronze sculpture in the Plaza Fundadores displays the location where Guadalajara was founded in 1542.
Looking up at some windows and architecture...
...some that look classic and ornate...
...and others that are luxurious.
The Palacio de Justicia, home of the Jalisco state supreme court.
A marker for Guadalajara's historic city center.
A fountain on the Plaza Tapatía.
This is near Las Famosas, and just a couple blocks east of the cathedral.
The fountain has frogs!
And pigeons that like the frogs!
A look back the other way, in a rare shot that I think the glare actually enhances.
Trees in Guadalajara.
Walking around the city, you see your typical streetside vendors. Tacos are common.
Pizza is also common.
Chinese is less common, but this is a big city, so you can probably find whatever you want!
But not this. I do not want this.
Ooh, a personal request! No high school experience necessary! Sign me up! (Wait, what am I signing up for?)
You know what, I thought this sign might have something to do with prostitution, but it turns out it just means Sanborns is hiring. So I'm going to share my new knowledge with everyone else here. You have been educated!
I'm going to skip ahead here to a second day around Guadalajara on Thursday, March 26 -- after our theme park visit was done. We headed east from the center of the city and pass the Teatro Degollado, an important theater for the city.
The theater was named after Santos Degollado, a politician and military leader.
Another day, another horse-drawn carriage!
Nozzy wants to go in the sketchy arcade. Should we follow?
Yes we should!
Check out the awesome games in the sketchy arcade!
Should we peek at the view through the barred window?
Most of Guadalajara looked very nice. We found one corner that didn't.
Ah well, it's all part of the experience.
And to be completely fair, recent images online show that this area is being re-developed and cleaned up! So, good for Guadalajara.
Perhaps we could hang out at the internet cafe instead...
...or we could head onward through some of the nicer parts of downtown!
Some big words about Carlos V establishing Guadalajara and its coat of arms.
A monument to the Guadalajara coat of arms. Looks like two lions and a tree!
La Fuente de la Inmolación de Quetzalcóatl. The fountain of the immolation of Quetzalcóatl, a mesoamerican deity. Yay immolation!
Sculpted by Victor Manuel Contreras.
This fountain is at the center of the Plaza Tapatía. Tapatío/Tapatía are terms that refer to people from Guadalajara.
Continuing east, our next destination is up ahead. But first, a few more fountains to get through.
Including this one, which is doubling as a pool, though I'm not sure why.
Check out this beautiful, clean water. Anyone up for a swim?
Anyway, our next stop is the Hospicio Cabañas -- also known as the Instituto Cultural Cabañas.
It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
The Hospicio Cabañas complex was originally built as a hospital and orphanage in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It's one of the oldest and largest hospital complexes in the Americas. It was named after Juan Cruz Ruiz de Cabañas, who was a Catholic Bishop for Guadalajara beginning in 1795.
Manuel Tolsá designed the building. The ornate dome is a frequently-used symbol for the city of Guadalajara.
The inside of the chapel, underneath the dome.
The chapel is full of art -- murals painted by José Clemente Orozco.
At the center of the dome is a piece of art known as El Hombre de Fuego -- the Man of Fire.
El Hombre de Fuego represents the submission of humans to machines. Heavy stuff.
More art from Orozco, who is considered one of Mexico's greatest artists.
The Instituto Cultural Cabañas is essentially an art museum and cultural institute, so much of the complex is now home to various other forms of art.
...and metal work...
...and architectural renderings...
...and photographs of sidewalk cracks being covered up by plastic tape.
A huge tent and seating area were set up inside the main courtyard -- one of 23 courtyards within the Hospicio Cabañas complex.
Here's the dome of the smaller chapel near the western end of the complex.
Arches on the edge of the courtyard.
A look back at the main chapel, the tallest part of the complex.
A few other visitors relaxing in one of the complex's smaller courtyards.
Well this is different.
A green glow inside the small chapel.
Sunlight through the windows.
We also have red windows...
...with blue, white, and yellow paint on the ceiling. Not as ornate as the other dome, but still kind of neat!
In another courtyard, a piece of art to commemorate the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics.
Outside the Hospicio Cabañas, we have a table. With feet. And eyes. And geometric shapes. Art is weird.
Another old church -- the Templo San Juan de Dios.
Nearby is the Plaza de los Mariachis, a touristy-looking spot that celebrates Guadalajara's history in Mariachi music.
The plaza is heavily sponsored by Pepsi.
A nearby restaurant is heavily sponsored by Coke. I smell a fight.
Just some random street art. It's very colorful!
Oh, and you can't walk five steps in Guadalajara without running into a dress store.
Wedding dresses, costume dresses, quinceañera dresses, whatever. They are everywhere!
Even more dresses showcased on a second-floor balcony.
Gratuitous lens flare shot.
Back on the street and about to head to dinner with the group.
So, let's jump back to Wednesday, March 25. After sunset, we had a small group go out and do a little more exploring, and I used it as a chance to do some night photography of the city's landmarks.
We'll start at the gazebo in the Plaza de Armas.
Nearby, a magician entertains a group of small children, and Caesar.
Across from the plaza, the Palacio de Gobierno -- with its bullet-holed clock -- glows in the orange light.
To the north, the cathedral really shines in the dark.
A view of the west side of the cathedral from Plaza Guadalajara.
Looking up at the spires of the cathedral.
Still wish the water was turned on, but here's the fountain in Plaza Guadalajara.
North of Plaza Guadalajara is the Palacio Municipal de Guadalajara -- city hall.
Several horses, who are better at parallel parking than I am.
My favorite of all of Guadalajara's monuments -- the stunning Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres.
This one's just north of the cathedral. Written along the top: Jalisco a sus hijos esclarecidos. It's a monument to the illustrious men and women from Jalisco -- and to their contributions to society.
It's also really well lit, with multiple changing colors!
The Rotonda and the cathedral, next door neighbors. At the bottom of the picture, you can also see the tops of some of the statues depicting the people who are honored.
Across the street from the Rotonda, we walked into the Museo Regional de Guadalajara, another centuries-old building now used as a museum. We had no idea what was going on in there -- just kinda wandered in with the locals to check out the art.
There were lots of artistic musical instruments...
...as well as native pottery and decorations.
The courtyard of the Museo Regional, which has a cannon, which is awesome.
On the east side of the cathedral is the Plaza de la Liberación. On one side, you get a great view of the cathedral.
On the other side, the main entrance to the Teatro Degollado. This plaza, like the Plaza de Armas, was very busy!
Also, plenty of room to shoot off your light-up flying toy thing, or try to sell a few to the people passing by.
With that, we stopped at a nearby Oxxo, grabbed some snacks, then headed back to our hotel. That was a really fun day (well, day and a half) in Guadalajara.
What's coming up next? This trip report is about to go off in a different direction, so you'll have to wait to find out...
wow.. wonderful pictures, and brought back a crapton of memories for me. . as when I was much younger, one of the multiple trips to Mexico my family took was: Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Guanajuato.
we stayed in a resort in Guadalajara, but I clearly remember touring the city on a couple of days, and several of your pics are things I saw, and didn't recall until I saw you pic (and my brain went. . that looks familiar!).
thanks so much for sharing. Starting off my Friday with some great happy memories
bert425 wrote:we stayed in a resort in Guadalajara, but I clearly remember touring the city on a couple of days, and several of your pics are things I saw, and didn't recall until I saw you pic (and my brain went. . that looks familiar!).
thanks so much for sharing. Starting off my Friday with some great happy memories
That's awesome! Jogging some old memories. Yep, several landmarks worth remembering, really nice place.
cfc wrote:There's always room for a Steely Dan reference.
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