Saturday, January 19, 2013

Life in Guadalajara . . . Mexican Culture

The Guadalajara area is a beautiful place filled with fun markets, archaeological wonders and delicious (and interesting) food.
The market in Tonala is a super fun place to visit. Every Thursday and Sunday vendors bring their wares out of their shops and set up shop on the streets.
You can find both very good items at bargain prices as well as cheap plastic toys from China. 

Another beautiful place to visit is downtown Guadalajara. 
The center of town is very European. I love the ornate cathedrals, the European architecture and the many fountains. 
And every city in Mexico (that I have seen) has a large gazebo in the center square. 

 This picture was taken from the parking garage overlooking the heart of the city. Here you can get a good view of the many parks as well. 

I love this picture of my son and his cute wife.
I think it looks magical. 
 Another park in the city center

But for those who may want to get away from the crowds there is also a very interesting archaeological site about an hour away from Guadalajara called Guachimontones. 

The town near the site was so quaint--and right by a lake. I loved it!

Here you can find something very unusual--round pyramids. 
We were told they date back to around 300 BC to 300 AD

Here is an ancient ball field
 I just thought this was a cool picture.
 And of course I have to throw in at least one flower picture . . . 

Well, here in Guadalajara we have a solution for that as well!
Just this morning President Wagner and I went to a fun restaurant called 
Santo Coyote.
It is a very large restaurant that caters to both tourists and locals--and it is very wise to have a reservation.
You also want to use their valet parking or you will never find a parking spot anywhere remotely close to the restaurant. 
I thought this was interesting. . .
As you walk in the door they have a table with candles burning. And apparently this table has been here for a very long time since all of the white you see is wax. 

Our table was upstairs on a balcony, overlooking the gardens below.

Throughout the gardens are round platforms for Mariachi performers. Unfortunately they don't perform during brunch time, so we will have to go back sometime for dinner. 
An interesting wood carving in the garden

Breakfast is a buffet for around $10.00 per person--which not only included all the food but also unlimited fresh fruit juice and Mexican (cinnamon added) hot chocolate--which on a cold morning in an outdoor restaurant tasted very good!

An interesting thing about Mexican cuisine is they eat the same foods all day--including breakfast. 
The most common food is tacos--which is any kind of meat, (or body part) cooked on a grill, spit, or steamed, and then placed in a tortilla and covered with one of any number of salsas. (Tacos here are all about the salsa!)
We often pass very busy taco stands at 6:00 in the morning. 
Included in the food in the buffet were eggs with nopal cactus (cactus shown below) pig stomach in a spicy red sauce and cow tongue in a green sauce. 
Of course pico de gallo, guacamole and refried beans are also standard. 
 Along with quesadillas
I thought this was also interesting. The ancient grain amaranth. You can find it all over here in Mexico for a decent price. 
What you can't find, I am sorry to say, is quinoa. 

We thought the food was delicious and the ambiance was super fun.
But as my husband said, "The real proof will be in how we feel tomorrow."

And of course no visit to Guadalajara would be complete without a visit to the temple!
I love this picture taken by my son while he and his family were here visiting. 

 So . . . there you have some fun things for visitors to do in Guadalajara!

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