At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Good first impressions of Queretaro

Beautiful blue sky sunny day yesterday, with a high around 23C (73F). Pretty much perfect.

Queretero (pop 800,000) has to be one of the cleanest Mexican cities we have visited. And apparently it's also one of the safest, as we have read in several publications. That probably has something to do with the fact that there are a lot of good jobs here, with a lot of international companies, and a more educated population.

Based on day one, we have a very good first impression of the city.

We asked the front desk here at Flamingo Inn if there was a tianguis market in the central area, and sure enough it's only a 10 minute walk away. We were getting low on fruits and veggies and the tianguis market is always the cheapest place for fresh produce.

That was our first stop along the way just to check it out. We stopped in on our way home later in the afternoon to make our actual purchases.

The downtown Queretaro tianguis market.

Then, we simply wandered the central core for a while. Lots of churches, and as I mentioned the central area is a UNESCO listed property. From the UNESCO website...

The old colonial town of Querétaro is unusual in having retained the geometric street plan of the Spanish conquerors side by side with the twisting alleys of the Indian quarters. The Otomi, the Tarasco, the Chichimeca and the Spanish lived together peacefully in the town, which is notable for the many ornate civil and religious Baroque monuments from its golden age in the 17th and 18th centuries.

This fellow is missing his head. We need to find out if he was designed this way, or what? He is located high on top of the church, so it's not like it would be easy to steal!

Another high up statue.

As we were standing on the street corner opposite this church, an old lady (I say she was over 80, Ruth says between 75-80) who was only about 4 feet tall is slowly making her way across the street. She gets to our corner and holds her hand out asking for help up the curb. No problem..I offer her assistance, and once on top of the sidewalk she says "Thank you" in English!

You see these old Mexican people and just assume that they have never spoken a word of English in their lives. Anyhow, she stood and spoke with us for a minute. Turns out that she lived in Boston a long time ago and moved back to Mexico in 1982. Says that she still practices reading and writing in English but she doesn't speak it very often. So whenever she sees someone who she thinks speaks English, she makes an effort to talk to them. Nice!

Another Queretaro church. There was a service of some kind going on, so no interior photos.

Quite a few downtown streets are closed to traffic.

Came across some kind of political event. This guy was obviously a big whig of some kind. I did some research and he's some kind of Queretaro state representative. He was talking about their new initiatives for safety and security in the state.

The Queretaro cathedral.

Next door to the cathedral is some kind of local government offices. Nice interior structure.

Arches.

We started thinking about looking for somewhere for lunch. So we walked back towards the western side of the central area. But we kept getting sidetracked! We saw this one temple that looked very plain and ordinary on the outside, but we've learned that the exterior is not necessarily reflective of the interior. And that was the case here.

A very ornate church!

Gold leaf.

Dont forget to look up!

Another street.

Noah's Ark display in one of the plazas.

Indigineous warrior statue.

No indictation of graffiti yet. Proof once again, that if the city wants to keep itself clean, it will find a way. Bogota, Colombia could learn a thing or two. Bogota Graffiti.

We found a little restaurant off the main streets advertising "menu del dia" menu of the day. Juice, soup, three choices of main course, and a desert...for 50 pesos ($4.15 CAD).

Nice. We chose the fish. Had to ask if it was breaded first though, so we had to look up that word. Empanizado. We try to learn a new word every day!

Good meal for a good price. Spicey vegetable soup with fresh tortillas, mandarin orange juice, fish fillet with rice and a cold salad, and a strawberry milk jello dessert. All for 50 pesos.

Nice city. I think we're  going to enjoy our week here!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fantastic price on a new bagless vacuum cleaner. Today only. Never been this cheap!


And in Canada...another great one day sale price...




26 comments:

  1. Wow! A beautiful LEVEL city! Great photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is a pretty level city unlike San Miguel but then you wouldn't get as good of a workout walking here either as you do in San Miguel.

      Delete
  2. Beautiful! What an attractive looking city. I'm looking forward to following your visit there and seeing if your first impressions hold. I agree, that is the perfect weather for us too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a beautiful city, one we could easily live in. The perfect weather isn't holding out for us at the moment though. Yesterday was a little overcast and a little cooler but still pleasant with no jacket but today it is raining hope they are right with it clearing up this afternoon.

      Delete
  3. Truly a lovely city. I agree, a very ornate church.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, very ornate but still not like some that we saw in Oaxaca or Puebla though!

      Delete
  4. It is absolutely one of our favorite cities. Be sure to visit the old convent - they gave tours at one time. And try to be around the gazebos at night usually something going on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will check it out thank you! We will head back into the centro area one evening to see everything lit up.

      Delete
  5. Amazingly beautiful inside of that Church.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we love looking at the churches inside and out, they are always interesting, especially the architecture.

      Delete
  6. It does look like you will have a good time there.
    Kinda cool about the old lady speaking English, ya never know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will have no problem spending time here, lots to see and enjoy! Yep, it was a nice surprise talking with that lady.

      Delete
  7. Lovely city. I've heard this area is not only well cared for, safe, with a healthy economy, as you mentioned, but also friendly to expats from the US and Canada. Have you found this to be true? Is there a significant "expat community" like in San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato (I think that's right)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe if there is an expat community here is must be small because we didn't see any "gringos" around. In San Miguel about 10% of the population is expat and I believe it is growing all the time, again not as many in Guanajuato, at least from our understanding.

      Delete
  8. What a lovely market! And that church is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We love the market, lot of choices and if you can't find what you are looking for there, then Mexico doesn't have it! ;-)

      Lots more churches for us to check out in the coming days. It seems that there is one on just about every street here.

      Delete
  9. Oh my gosh. I love this place! The church is absolutely amazing. I have never seen inside of a church look like this one. Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a gorgeous city! We are really enjoying our time here, we may even have to extend our stay here by a day or two.

      If you love that one you should see some of the churches in the cities of Oaxaca and Puebla, they are even more ornate than this one.

      Delete
  10. Liked 'Noah's Ark" in the park. And the little older lady who said "Thank You". Great pictures and stories. Very nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they are things that surprised us both as well! :-)

      Glad you enjoyed the post and the pictures.

      Delete
  11. Nice photos! I can't say I loved Queretaro compared to some of the smaller towns around, mostly because of the increased sprawl outside the city center. It's really grown in recent years. The historic center is pretty and unlike Guanajuato is pretty much flat. I just much prefered Guanajuato, just found it more spectacular and the vibe a bit more lively.
    Enjoyed the post though!
    Frank (bbqboy)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, we really aren't into big cities ourselves but love to visit them. Queretaro is definitely one of the cleanest that we have ever been in and very modern. When walking around the centro is doesn't feel like a big city. Having said that we loved Guanajuato too and yes, it is more spectacular and lively. We would live in either of these two cities over San Miguel any day, having said that we probably wouldn't live in a city but rather a small town/village in the country.

      Delete
  12. What a beautiful, clean Mexican city. Would love to visit one day. I'm not familiar with the term "tianguis" market. Could you elaborate on that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Queretaro is a wonderful city and yes, very clean even outside of the centro area.

      Tianguis market is usually and outdoor market that is held once a week in small towns. This was actually an indoor market for the most part and was open every day but this is normally where all the locals go to buy the majority of the fruits, vegetables, meat and many other items at a much better price than the big grocery stores.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the explanation! We have visited similar markets in a few Mexican towns, most recently Valladolid. It sounds very similar to Queretaro's, being mostly indoors and open every day. We were the only gringos we saw in it the day we went! As far as I could tell, they just called it the Mercado Municipal (that was how it was labeled on the town maps, anyway), and I never heard the term Tianguis. Learn something new every day!

      Delete
    3. Yes, it really was a Mercado Municipal rather than a tianguis market. I think they called the weekly market in the rural towns a tianguis, so maybe that is why you haven't heard of the term before or maybe down in the Playa del Carmen area they don't use that term, it could be more of a regional term.

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...