Queretaro or bust!

Hello esteemed readers of believeitohrnot. Let me tell you about Queretaro, Mexico, the second greatest city in Mexico you’ve never heard of. As a reminder, the first greatest city you’ve never heard of is Morelia, where we hope to be living next summer for four months in the central historico district. Since this blog is about introducing you to the wonders of Mexico, today I decided to write about Querataro. Thanks to our friend, Denise Needleman, who enlightened us to the wonders of this kick-ass place.

Queretaro-the second greatest city you’ve never heard of

steppalinquit

Mexico is filled with a ton of  fascinating places. It boggles my mind how many places there are to visit, especially places we’ve never head of. We went to Queretaro  this past weekend on a school sponsored field trip.  The historical center is considered a UNESCO world heritage site.

Queretaro is considered to be one of the safest cities in Mexico.  It has a population of 804,000 and it’s got a tremendous cosmopolitan vibe.  It’s one of Mexico’s smallest states but it’s also a city. In case you are interested, Mexico has 31 states. We can’t name them all yet, but we practice sometimes when we’re bored!

The paragraph below is from http://www.gogringo.com/states/queretaro/  lest you think this is my orignal writing.

“Its historic center still features the geometric street plan designed by the Conquistadors, but also includes the twisting avenues and alleys of the Otomi.  Colonial architecture and Baroque monuments are just a few reasons National Geographic Magazine named the city one of the “top 15 historic destinations in the world.” Travelers will find many options when it comes to restaurants, nightlife, hotels, and inns. Tourists should certainly plan to see the City Aqueduct, Church of San Francisco, Church and ex-monastery of San Felipe Neri, Church and ex-convent of Santa Rosa de Viterbo, Theatre of the Republic, and Regional Museum.”

Quertetaro is a two-hour car ride from Guanajuato, where we are living now.  Jade, the activities director, and Alberto, the director of Escuela Falcon  went with Andy and me and another student, Josh.  Jade asked if the director could bring along his two-year old daughter. We were highly skeptical of having a two-year old tag along with us all day, but we didn’t want to be rude, so we said OK.  We figured we could ditch the group if things were not working out. We left Guanajuato at 10 AM on the dot. Everything happens on the dot at Escuela Falcon, very atypical of Mexico!  The director, Alberto, picked us up in his car and three of us squeezed into his back seat. Madi was a bit shy at first, but she really warmed up to us throughout the afternoon. What a cutie! She allowed me to hold her hand and walk around with her and she had a blast hanging out with us. She doesn’t speak English but she could say pink, purple, and hello. She was easygoing and fun to be around.

joshandmaddie

She loved hanging out and chillin with us! This is our new friend Josh.  She loved pulling around this simple toy her father bought her on the plaza.

 

menmadi

She liked holding my hand and exploring the streets.

It’s hard for me to describe Queretaro so I’ve included a lot of pictures for you to enjoy. Just another breathtakingly beautiful Mexican colonial city. Holy moly, do we love these colonial cities. I hate to sound like a broken record, but they are blowing us away. I never knew that a Mexican city could feel so much like Europe. Much like in Morelia, the plazas were stunning and packed to capacity with happy Sunday-goers. The city has over 80 churches to behold, and Andy and I got to enjoy the beauty of several of them including the one pictured below.

churchinquetatero

Here are some other things we did on our field trip:

  • We took 17,000 steps. The city is flat and walkable and there are interesting alleys and buildings everywhere. Just perfect!
  • We went to a great brew pub where I enjoyed a saison and a black IPA. Artisanal beers are available in Mexico, but not readily available. This is the first true brew pub I visited and their selection of beers was unbelievable.
  • We sat on the plaza and had coffee and enjoyed some chocolate filled bread.

We ate a new food for lunch called a tlayuda (a speciality of  Oaxaca, Mexico).  We were also supposed to eat an appetizer of crickets and ant eggs (the school director was strongly encouraging us to try it) but our order got messed up and we didn’t get the opportunity to give them a taste test.   Next time, maybe????

lunch

Andy and I split this. His side is filled with carne, and mine is filled with vegetables. The sauce on the bottom was some type of mole. We liked how thin the crust was.

  • We had cocktails at this very hip, bar.
coolbarquetataro

I thought the blue lighting was really neat. I had a fresh mescal drink with cucumber and lime. Very refreshing!

We enjoyed spectacular views such as these!

fountaininquatetaro

fountainsinquetatero

Hi. I’m a bubbling fountain.  I dance and make people happy.

 

toparariesinquitetaro         streetinQuetatero

 

streetviewquatero

We had a very long day. We were having so much fun visting that we didn’t get back to our house until 1:20 AM.  It was a very late night for the Ohrs.

So listen up…the bottom line is this. If you are coming to visit us in Zihuatanejo, you have to make time to check out a traditional Mexican colonial city. The sun and surf are a big part of Mexico, but you’ll be severely short-changing your experience if you don’t experience some of these amazing colonial towns. They have so much beauty and history to offer.

Thanks for reading.  If you are Bay Area-based, we will see you soon during our visit back from September 16 to September 30.