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294 travelers at this place:

  • Day23

    Heute war leider unser letzter Tag unser 3 wöchigen-Reise... wie schnell die Zeit vergeht! Es war eine fantastische Zeit 🏝☀️👫
    Kann es gar nicht glauben, dass wir am Samstag wieder in der Kälte sind... brrr!

  • Day19

    Am Montag haben wir uns tatsächlich mal bewegt und haben einen kleinen Ausflug zu den Pyramiden in Tulum gemacht 😊 Da es an dem Tag auch etwas bewölkt war, passte es ganz gut...
    Die Pyramiden sind nur sehr klein und man ist ziemlich schnell durch mit der Besichtigung, doch der Blick auf den Strand und die Ruinen ist wunderschön!

  • Day20

    Am Dienstag haben wir einen Ausflug nach Valladolid ins Landesinnere gemacht. Valladolid ist eine kleine Stadt, die sehr mexikanisch ist. Die Frauen tragen hauptsächlich typisch mexikanische Kleider und die Stadt wirkt mit den kleinen ruhigen Gassen sehr beschaulich. Gut jedoch, dass wir hier nicht wie vorerst geplant, drei Nächte verbracht werden. 3 Stunden haben auch gereicht 😜

    Im Anschluss sind wir noch zu den Maya-Ruinenstätten Ek Balam gefahren. Die Pyramiden von Ek Balam gehören noch zu den wenigen, die man noch besteigen kann. Von oben hat man einen herrlichen Blick über die Pyramiden und den Urwald von Yucatan... und einen Muskelkater hatten wir am nächsten Tag auch noch vom Treppensteigen 🙈Read more

  • Day68

    Go for a walk through the town and be totally entertained by all the activities going on. It’s a happening day!

    Our street, as I have mentioned before is a very quiet street. We would never think that anything was going on, one short block away.
    It is only when we put our shoes on and walk to the top of the street that we realize that there is another world out there.

    We ventured out because Chris had a magazine that he wanted to return to the well-organized English book library on the second floor of a restaurant called Lupita’s. Earlier in the week, I had gone with Sherry to that restaurant to meet some expat women who eat lunch there every Tuesday. That’s when I discovered the library. It is great that it is so close to where we live.

    Well, the Plaza Chico had come to life with vans bringing people into town, people eating and children playing and music playing. It was probably only 11 in the morning but most people were dressed up nicely and preparing to go to church. We walked up the street to the old Basilica and could hardly talk as the old bells clanged away calling people to church. These bells clanged,,,they didn’t ring.

    All around the church vendors were set up selling food, clothing, hats, wooden masks and trinkets/souvenirs.

    After returning the magazine, we walked down to the Plaza Grande where it was actually quite peaceful. I think that the mass had started so most people were at church. Quiet music played in the square. Dancers danced the ‘Little Old Men Dance’ of Michoacan, a spoof on the way that the Spaniards danced in the old days. Musicians played their guitars, double bass, and violins quietly.

    We walked up to the butcher’s shop as earlier in the week, he had told us that on Sunday, he would have barbecued beef wrapped in nopal leaves - a speciality in this area. We bought enough for two people and a bit more. He included a salsa and a big bag of broth so that we could make a soup with the leftovers. It cost us in total about $6.00.

    Then we continued on. Church was getting out so the streets were filling up. We went by the market to get more avocadoes, apples, carrots, bananas, mandarins (they are in season), and tomatoes. Nothing is wrapped in plastic and we could pick each fruit or vegetable. Everything is weighed.

    On we went, back to Plaza Chica, to where we live. We noticed that on Sundays, cars get washed, men get their leather shoes and boots polished or colours changed, people shop, and kids play. It is very colourful with balloon and flower vendors, and people making cotton candy. There were at least a hundred vendors selling food and every plastic seat had a person eating. Buckets turned upside down became mini tables. Even though, we have enough food for the next 4 or 5 days, we just had to stop at a stand that sold seafood cocktails, Mexican style. Really, really delicious. We probably paid around $3 each for a really good lunch.

    We crossed the street, stopped in at a kiosk that sold hand-carved and painted masks, and in 2 minutes were back at our quiet house. How can that be?
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  • Day67

    Chris found a group that meets on Saturday and Wednesday mornings to hike in and around Patzcuaro. His first hike with this group started on the north side of the city and went up the Cerro Blanco. On the top of this hill he had a 360-degree view around Pátzcuaro. The lake and the city sit at the bottom of a valley ringed by mountains.

  • Day69

    I don’t feel that I can go on talking about our time in Patzcuaro without mentioning a Spanish judge, turned bishop, who was sent to New Spain in 1531 to restore order and humanity to this region. Almost every day, we see something in this town that reminds us of his ‘presence’, 500 years later.

    First, a little over-simplified background information follows ...

    The indigenous people of this area called themselves Purépechas. When the Spaniards came, they renamed them Tarascans. They were one of the major Pre-Columbian civilizations in Mesoamericas and were never conquered by the Aztecs.

    Then came the Spaniards. The conquistador, Nuno Beltran de Guzman, was put in charge of governing the country. Little did Spain know that he was a nasty man who became known for his acts of uncompromising cruelty towards the indigenous people in Michoacan, and their leaders. The stories about what he did to people are gruesome. He totally devastated the communities here.

    This is where Don Quiroga, our hero, came into the picture. He was sent to New Spain to help out the indigenous, and convert them to Christianity, and our villain, Guzman, was sent back to Spain to stand trial.

    In 1533, Don Quiroga, a Spanish aristocrat, was installed as the first bishop of the province of Michoacán. At that time, the province was much larger than the present-day state. He governed an area that covered over 27,000 square miles and 1.5 million people.

    Trained as a lawyer before joining the priesthood, he was in his early 60s when he reached this region. Most accounts put his age at 67 when he was named bishop of Michoacán, and by all accounts his time in Mexico was as much as a mild and fatherly leader as his predecessors' had been fierce and tyrannical.

    Having read "Utopia," Thomas More's 1516 imagined vision of a Christian socialist island paradise somewhere on the way from Europe to the Americas, Quiroga aimed to draw on those ideas to establish a model society on the banks of Lake Pátzcuaro.

    Can you imagine? He read the book and was headed to a place where he could try to create a Utopia! And he was our age! What a man.

    Quiroga's plan, which he implemented with outstanding success, was to create communities in the vicinity of Lake Pátzcuaro, the heart of the Purepechan country, where Indians would not only receive religious instruction, but also in arts and crafts and in the fundamentals of self-government. This was the land that had been so brutally ravaged by Nuño de Guzmán. Bit by bit, the Indians came to realize that the kindly man was there to help them.

    Each person worked for 6 hours a day and contributed on an equal basis to a common pot.

    Don Vasco oversaw the construction of three Spanish-style pueblos (towns), each of which included a hospital, as well as the great cathedral of Santa Ana in Morelia, numerous churches and schools, and founded the Colegio de San Nicolás Obispo (College of St. Nicholas the Bishop), the first college in all of the Americas.

    When he died, in 1565, Quiroga was just a few years short of being 100years old. Tata ("Father") Vasco, as he was known by the Indians, left an indelible mark. The skills he implanted among Indigenous people of the Pátzcuaro region have been passed down to their descendants, who are considered among the most skilled craftspersons in Mexico. Quiroga trained his pupils in a variety of disciplines and his method of specialization by community remains to this day. I.e. Paracho for guitars, Tzintzuntzán for pottery, Santa Clara for copper products and Nurío for woven woolen goods.

    He is buried in Patzcuaro and his remains are resting in the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Salud, Patzcuaro’s principal church.

    P.S. As we find more memories of Quiroga, we’ll add more photos.
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  • Day70

    On our daily walks, we have passed the open doors of this little museum in a 500 year old building. We had heard that it is a lovely little building with interesting displays showing the history of the types of industries that have kept people busy in this area. We visited it. The building holds other surprises too.

    Its construction dates back to 1540 and it is one of the most important buildings in the city of Pátzcuaro. Formerly it housed the San Nicolás Obispo College, founded by Bishop Quiroga in the 16th century. Ever since the building has had several uses, until 1942 when it became part of the National Institute of Anthropology and History Museum Network. A museographic restoration was carried out in 2010. The museum exhibits all sorts of artifacts manufactured by indigenous people, such as textiles, wood crafts and pottery.

    Originally built as a special school for novices and to teach the indigenous arts and basic sciences, this building was the first school that existed in the Americas. Filled with history, the museum houses a fantastic collection of works of art with special finishes such as lacquer (known locally as ''laca'' and ''maque'') and the varnished bowls called ''peribanes,'' which are true handicraft treasures. The floor of the museum is made of bones of cows and sandstone, which contribute to the mysteriousness of the building. The bones were good for scraping mud off boots before entering a house.

    When an elderly man realized that we understood Spanish and we were interested in the artifacts and history, he took it upon himself to give us a two hour tour of only half the little museum. The stories he told us were amazing. He told us we could come back for Part 2 of the tour at any time using the tickets we had. We will take him up on this deal, for sure!
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  • Day72

    Built on a hill atop a pre-Hispanic ceremonial site, this cathedral/pilgrimage site was intended to be the centerpiece of Vasco de Quiroga’s Utopia. Building began in 1540, but the church was not completed until the 19th century. Only the barrel-vaulted central nave is faithful to Quiroga’s original design.

    Quiroga’s tomb, the Mausoleo de Don Vasco, is in the side-chapel to the left of the main entrance. It is a massive structure and quite austere, but always full of worshippers.

    Behind the altar and up some stairs, there is a figure of the cathedral’s patron, Nuestra Señora de la Salud (Our Lady of Health), which 16th-century Purépechans crafted with a paste made from the heart of cornstalks and certain orchids, and bound with tazingue, a natural glue.

    Soon after its dedication, people began to experience miraculous healings and pilgrims still arrive from all over Mexico to pray for miracles. Apparently, they crawl on their knees across the plaza, into the church and along its nave.

    Pinned to the image and at its feet are tiny tin votivas (votives) of hands, feet, legs, eyes and other body parts for which the faithful seek cures.
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  • Day71

    The group that Chris is hiking with, went to a high meadow near Cuanajo, a town known for its colourful wooden carvings and furniture.

    The hike was about 4.25 miles long, starting at 7,742 ft with an elevation gain of 904 ft. It took about 2 1/2 hours.

    Here’s what Chris said,

    “There was nine of us and two dogs. We took 2 cars and after 15 minutes, we parked beside the road and we were off. At our maximum height, the trail opened up to an open meadow. Someone had constructed a leanto shelter, probably a sheep herder to avoid the elements when necessary.

    The single line descent was especially pleasant. We observed many different coloured flowers.

    Thanks to Morris for both driving us and leading the hike. Appreciated...”
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  • Day11

    Leider sind wir auf Holbox krank geworden und haben den Freitagabend und den kompletten Samstag im Bett verbracht... Doch das ist normal in Mexiko: Montezumas Rache - es erwischt jeden 🤣

    Am Sonntag waren wir dann wieder fit und haben einen wunderschönen Tag bei strahlendem Sonnenschein auf der Insel verbracht! Wir haben uns ein Golf-Cart ausgeliehen und haben damit die Insel erkundet. Die Fahrt war allerdings etwas abenteuerlich, da es in der Nacht geregnet hat und somit große Pfützen auf den Straßen waren, in denen man stecken bleiben konnte und dann die Fahrt beendet war. Es war also immer ein Risiko...Umfahren oder Vollgas und durch 🏎 🙃Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

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