12 hrs in Guanajuato City, Mexico
I almost didn’t end up going.
I had just been working with my artisans and leather producers for 4 days straight and hadn’t planned anything. Since I’m in the middle of moving at home, having any sort of vacay in between felt indulgent, irresponsible.
But clearly, I did it anyway…
At the last minute I realized I barely stopped just to enjoy the sun. I looked at the weather back in Canada (-28 feels like -35) and realized I would be a fool not to enjoy. One. More. Day.
I called the airline and extended my flight for 48 hours and then booked my train ticket to Guanajuato City.
Leon (where our artisans work) is in the state of Guanajuato.
At this point I had only visited San Miguel de Allende, another famous city inside the state, but I knew the colours of Guanajuato City was something I also needed to see. I arrived Saturday morning and I knew right away I needed to get to the top of the city.
The Spanish colonial history of Guanajuato is what makes the architecture the main point of attraction. As someone who loves interiors and architecture this is what kept me interested curious.
The bright orange church in the centre of the city, which is also the main church of the city is Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato built between 1671 and 1696. Yes thats right it took about 25 years to build. Wild. It is located in the center of the modern city which is called Plaza de la Paz (Plaza of Peace), also known as Plaza Mayor (Main Plaza). This is where the bus dropped me off and from there, I used my broken Spanish to figure out how to get to the top of the city.
When asking to go to the top of the city ask for the statue of El Pipila, which stands high above Guanajuato and commemorates the hero of the city. His brave actions achieved the first victory of the Mexican independence struggle and he has become a folk hero ever since.
Once arriving to the top, which I decided to climb even though there is a $2 lift that will take you up (I highly suggest you take the lift!) the view is incredible. You could probably almost spend your whole day just looking down at the colourful buildings, while listening to the traditional Mexican music in the background and simply absorbing the beauty of it all.
After this I took the lift down and made my way to get something to eat. Hidalgo Market is amazing for food. Any kind of Mexican food your mind can imagine. It’s not close – you have to take another bus to get there – but totally worth it.
To be honest, most of the day I just spent walking around without any plan or direction. Being alone while traveling is my favourite way to explore a city honestly. You can move and be curious as much as you please – even if your moves make no sense. The streets, statues and details were enough for me to stay content, with my camera in hand.
Prior to having to catch my bus before leaving I knew I needed to visit the famous stairs of the University of Guanajuato. I arrived and climbed to the top and saw a completely different, but still very beautiful view of the city. One many students see daily and probably don’t think much of. It reminded me to take an extra moment when traveling to really see. Not though my camera or my phone, but really take in everything around me. I always seem to remember those moments so vividly.
I still wish I got a photo though,