Our couchsurfing hosts David and Pili left us with a key and they headed off to work Friday morning. They had given us instructions for taking the local bus, and so at about 10:30am we went and waited at the corner. It was actually a "collectivo" bus...a small van that holds about 10 people seated and as many as you can cram in standing! It wasn't busy though so we had a seat. Cost was 6 pesos (48 cents) for the 40 minute ride.
Near "el Centro". On the right, you can see one of the many collectivo buses.
We only had to take the one bus, and it let us off about a 15 minute walk from the central area. One of the things we notice about Morelia is the graffiti. It is everywhere. So much, that it seems most places have simply given up. Only the central core is mostly graffiti free because the central core is a UNESCO Heritage Site. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/585
Even graffiti on the glass!
We went to many of the same places we had the evening before, but of course the buildings were open and it was daylight. Twice, we went into the main cathedral to get some photos of the interior, but both times there was some kind of service going on. Morelia cathedral has one of the largest organs in the world, with 4,600 individual flutes. Sorry we couldn't get a picture because of the services.
Morelia cathedral was built between 1660 and 1774.
Did manage one interior pic though!
Morelia's aqueduct runs over a mile long and has 253 arches. It was completed in the late 1700's.
LOTS of traffic in downtown. Can't figure out why anybody would want to take a vehicle downtown. We can walk faster!
This huge tree branch runs just over the sidewalk. I guess someone stuck their chewing gum to it at some point and many others followed suit!
The Sanctuary of Guadalupe and ex Convent of San Diego. Built between 1708 and 1716, the interior was redecorated in 1915. The exterior of the church is fairly plain, but the interior is one of the most ornate we have ever seen.
The picture doesn't do it justice, but it's one of those interiors that makes you say "Wow" as soon as enter the church.
Taking a break on the Friar Antonio de San Miguel Pedestrian Street.
The plaza outside the artisans market.
Some of the furniture in the artisans market.
Elephant made of used car tires.
Snowman made of empty soda pop bottles.
By this point it was after 3:00pm and we had been wandering around for almost four hours. We had stopped for another gaspacho (see yesterday's post for an explanation) and that kept us going, but we hadn't really had any lunch. On our walk back towards the bus stop, we came across a "Pollo Loco" (Crazy Chicken) franchise. It's a BBQ chicken type of place. There's another one called "Pollo Felize" (Happy Chicken), and in all the time we've been coming to Mexico we've never tried one of these, preferring to buy roast chicken from a private stand.
Well I think we're going to stick with the private stands! We shared a combo plate for 64 pesos ($5.12). I think the chicken was anorexic! Was supposed to be two pieces of chicken, with rice, beans, nachos, and tortillas. The two pieces were part of a breast and a tiny wing. The rice and the beans weren't great either. When we can get a whole chicken with all the fixings for between 65 and 80 pesos, this was not a great deal. We won't be back.
We took the collectivo back home. The bus was fairly busy at after 4:00pm, and of course we were the only gringos in sight. I'm sure that most of the people on the collectivo thought we must be lost! But we made it home with no problem. Only problem was...
When we got there, there was no electricity! So we also had no internet. When David and Pili got home from work, they figured out that they had not paid their electric bill! So he went off to do that, but when he got back he said that it would take 24 hours to be restored. Unlike Canada where you could probably go for three or four months without paying your bill, here they seem to be very efficient at that particular process. Miss your payment, and they hit the switch!
So we sat in the dark with candles for the rest of the evening and just talked.
David, Pili, Ruth, Kevin. This pic was taken Saturday morning.
Saturday morning, we were up fairly early but still didn't hit the road until 8:45am. Had been trying to beat the Morelia traffic, but it was still pretty busy. Of course Saturday is just a normal work day in Mexico so there was lots of traffic. There are two bypasses that go around the city, the north one and the south one. They are about the same length, so for whatever reason, I chose the south one.
Looking toward central Morelia from the south bypass.
It took us about a half an hour to bypass the city. No real problems, just lots of traffic. We were headed on the free road through the mountains. We had done this road with Sherman back in December of 2010 so we knew how beautiful the scenery is. But it's a twisty road so it's slow going. Fortunately, there was hardly any other cars on it.
Decent road surface, but lots of sharp curves.
Beautiful state of Michoacan!
I stopped at the side of the road to take a photo, and spotted this huge bug! He was dead though.
More scenery. I know, too many photos. can't help it!
All of sudden, in the middle of nowhere there is a Christmas tree farm. Even with the signs saying "Navidad Arbolitas se vende" (Christmas trees for sale).
Three different signs, only meters apart, welcoming you to the state of Mexico.
Made it to our destination at Valle de Bravo at around 1:00pm.
Over four hours to go 230 kms (143 miles).
So, we made it to Valle de Bravo at around 1:00pm. But apparently our day was only just beginning! This blog post has gone on long enough, so you're going to have to wait for another post later today detailing our activities for the balance of Saturday. Have we mentioned lately that we love Mexico??!!