So I am safely “delivered” by my biker friends in Guanajuato. Gunajajuato is a UNESCO world heritage site in the middle of the mountains squeezed in between the mountains around. It is also a mining town and while I am there the world famous Festival Cervantino, some call it Festival Chupatino (i.e. the drinkers festival), takes place…


[Photo gallery below]

I head up to the “Monumento al Pipila” where I will meet Marcelo, my AirBnB host for Guanajuato. Usually on AirBnB you get the address and go to the place directly, but AirBnB usually charges loads of fees and so I arranged with Marcelo to settle outside of the app. From the Pipila you have a great view over the colorful city, a picture that has probably been taken hundreds of thousands times…

View on Guanajuato from the mountains
Look at all those colors!

So Marcelo says the room last week was about 600 Pesos, hmmm what I saw on AirBnB for now was more like 250 Pesos… He explains to me that there is an algorythm going on that adapts prices to supply and demand. But no problema, he lets me stay for 300 Pesos a night :)

He explains me how to head down into town and how to get back up, so off I go to take a tour off the city. Heading down through the small alleys I am reminded of the small little towns in Switzerland. Many alleys can only be passed on foot and the streets where cars can drive are still just as narrow as in Switzerland. Of course the Architecture is completely different.

Special to Guanajuato is the tunnel system. Many old tunnels that were formerly used for the water are nowadays the main way to pass around town by car, or even on foot. The tunnels can be a little confusing if you are not familiar with them, logically there is no gps signal down there and many tunnels have intersections or split up from one tunnel in two.

Underground Tunnel of Guanajuato
Formerly used for water, those tunnels are now the main roads of Guanajuato

I love the colors of the city, and there is a piece of art everywhere to be found. In the heart of the city, Plaza de la Paz, there is the “Basilica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato” which was built between 1671 and 1696. It is painted in a colorful yellow and is the one building that stands out if you look out on the city from the mountains.

Metal art with yellow church in background
Oh, art in front of the Basilica!

And as in many other mexicans towns the doors are simply beautiful and just as colorful.

Entrace doors to Bar El Incendio on a red and orange wall with white accents
Entrance to a Bar in Guanajuato

Then very close there is the Theatro Juarez, which these days of course feature some of the cultural events of the festival Cervantino. Also, the Juaraez has always been “the” place to meet other people. When a man asked a girl for a date, he would say “I’ll see you there” meaning they would meet on the steps of the Juarez Theatre. Nowadays people do still meet there, but in the times of smartphones it has become a little less frequent.

Festival Cervantino sign in front of Teatro Juarez
The Festival Cervantino is an internationally known music, art and culture festival

Strolling through the streets I see the police playing guitar. Very interesting I think and start chatting with them. They are actually promoting jobs with the federal police. I think it’s a great idea to let the music do some magic, not that they might find more people like that but it certainly draws a lot more attention, as it did with me. When I ask them if there’s a police song I’ get my own little improvised song, very cool :) A good time to mention that I never had any issues with the police in Mexico, they have always been very friendly. I was told though, that bribing is common in Mexico City.

Mexican police agent in camouflage with guitar
Santiago Flores as the police musician

While the sun starts to set, I start heading up to the place I stay, which is close to the Pipila Monument. I quickly check my maps and pick a road that seems to go more or less straight to my place. The road is called Del Tecolote and is quite beautiful and features nice views on the city and the Pipila Monument.

View on Guanajuato from Del Tecolote, the oldest Street in Guanajuato heading into the mountains.
View on Guanajuato from Del Tecolote, the oldest Street in Guanajuato heading into the mountains.

In the very top part however there seem to be no streetlights. The wind blowing around plastic cups in the dusk does make the sceene a little spooky. Marcelo tells me later that the government tried to make Del Tecolote nice by putting streetlights all the way to the top but people just stole the bulbs, so there’s no light up there anymore. Still I am glad having walked up that street, as it turns out it’s quite historic and the oldest street leading from town to that side of the mountains. In the early days this was the route people brought the necessary things to town with their mules.

Painting of riders with mules heading to Guanajuato on Del Tecolote
Del Tecolote is the oldest street leading from the mountains into Guanajuato. Painting found on the Internet.

I spend a few really great days in Guanajuato, a beautiful little mountain town which has to offer quite a lot. Go ahead and check out some more photos in the gallery below!

 


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