Friday, February 12, 2016

Weekend Reflections

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Posting at Weekend Reflections.

February 2016 - San Miguel de Allende Mexico

Pizza lunch at Antigua Trattoria.

British Isles Friday

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Hosted by Joy's Book Blog.

October 2009 - Birmingham England

I love this concept of buying and bottling your oils in your selected bottles. Spotted this in Birmingham England at Selfridge's.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

La Esquina Museo del Juguete Mexicano

February 2016 - San Miguel de Allende Mexico

San Miguel's toy museum, La Esquina, Museo del Juguete Mexicano (The Corner, Mexican Toy Museum) is located at Nuñez #40 and contains a collection of over 1000 traditional toys.
Don't be fooled by this map that last block of San Francisco is very steep, just be glad the museum is only halfway up the hill.

We arrived around 4:30 PM and the sunlight was producing immense shadows on the glass display cabinets.

There are three permanent display rooms: one dedicated to dollhouses, another to animals and transportation, and the third room is called "the fair," and shows masks, musical instruments and miniature fairground rides. 

I think adults appreciate this museum more than children.

The ingenuity and creativity that went into the crafting of these folk toys is astounding.

Lucha libre (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlutʃa ˈlibɾe], meaning "freestyle wrestling") is a term used in Mexico, and other Spanish-speaking countries, for a form of professional wrestling that has developed within those countries. Although the term nowadays refers exclusively to professional wrestling, it was originally used in the same style as the English term "freestyle wrestling",referring to an amateur wrestling style without the restrictions of Greco-Roman wrestling.

Mexican wrestling is characterized by colorful masks, rapid sequences of holds and maneuvers, as well as "high-flying" maneuvers, some of which have been adopted in the United States. The wearing of masks has developed special significance, and matches are sometimes contested in which the loser must permanently remove his mask, which is a wager with a high degree of weight attached. 

Snakes and ladders.

I want this doll house!! So traditional.

And a little known secret is the incredible view of the town and surrounding area from the lovely terrace.

This doesn't look as steep as it is!

 As well you get a very good view of life on the rooftops of this magical town.

Back inside.

Guanajuato in Pictures

February 2016 - Guanajuato Mexico

We started our morning (a very cool one) with no plan other than being back for our 2 PM "city" tour.

We dropped into the closest church followed by another.

Then just rambled much like this post.

San Diego - there will be many more photos from inside!!!

Inside the basilica.

This is the back of the cat statue.

One of the many many squares.

Another church - Mass was taking place and the bell ringer was at work.

A little disappointed it wasn't a wizened old man.

Hidalgo market - saving it for another day.

We pick a sunny cafe for coffee and are serenaded by this gentleman.

By now we are roasting and have our sweaters off.

The basilica as we head back to our hotel.

Ice cream shop built inso side of basilica.

Back to Jardin Union and the theatre.

We are picked up promptly for our Spanish city tour, which didn't cover the city, didn't last hour nor did it end up being free. There were only us, a family of four and a couple.

The driver took us down into the tunnel to where his van was parked.

Another entrance to a tunnel.

He does a quick tour of town and I do a drive by shooting of Don Quixote which we had seen yesterday.

He points out some points of interest in town such as Diego Rivera Museum which is on our list.

We head out of town.
 Castillo Santa Cecilia. we will have to check if this is worth a visit.

John managed an overall view of the castle from his side of the van.

We make a stop at a seemingly innocuous museum although the chilling sculpture was a forewarning of what was to come once we paid an entrance fee and then had to tip the guide.

Our guide, dressed in monk robes, met us in a beautiful garden from which he then led us to the deep and dark cellars of the dungeon.

We passed the graveyard, I like graveyards.

 We enter the doom and gloom of the dungeon and are treated to see the devices the Spanish Inquisition used to torture infidels, indigenous, political dissenters and anybody else that was in need of torture.

Lovely decorations from the ceiling. I haven't seen anything like this in House Beautiful.

Didn't think we'd ever see daylight again.

Back into the van and we climb even higher out of town. The La Valenciana or San Cayetano church is an 18th century Mexican Churrigueresque church built at the opening of the La Valenciana mine, the site of the largest vein of silver found in Mexico. Come back for more photos another time.

And like any good tour guide he took us across the street to a silver store. The Disney version of leaving through the gift shop.

Back on board and we head further out of town down a dirt road where we thought he was turning around but instead parked.

It was a mining museum where we paid our entrance and tipped the guide at the end, not shy about holding out his hand.

The Bocamina de San Ramón mine is one of the city’s early mines, with the deposit found by some travelers in the early 16th century. In 1548, its mother lode was found.

 San Ramon was the patron saint of prisoners so I guess people are offering their keys to get out of whatever prison they feel they are held captive. I smiled to see some modern day keys such as swipe cards.

The bar used to be the gunpowder room.

Sending my miner down to the inner depths.

There is light as John makes the arduous climb back up.

Back up and we make our way back to the van thinking we must be done by now. Not so, the driver asks, very excitedly if we are ready for the mummies!! We ask for the senior rate, 17 pesos versus 52 pesos. More dinero but no tip as we never got a guide, thankfully, as the sign clearly stated that the entrance fee did not include the guide.

The museum contains naturally mummified bodies that were found in the municipal cemetery between the mid 19th and 20th centuries.

Another stop, that doesn't cost any money, it is now getting very windy and we are way up over the city.

John gets out and I opt to remain in the van.

Pípila was a miner who became famous for an act of heroism near the very beginning of the Mexican War of Independence, on 28 September 1810. The insurrection had begun in the nearby town of Dolores, led by Miguel Hidalgo, Click here for our visit to Dolores Hidalgo last week where you can see Pipila.

With a long, flat stone tied to his back to protect him from the muskets of the Spanish troops, Pípila carried tar and a torch to the door of the Alhóndiga and set it on fire.

See the green patch behind the church, there sits our hotel where the bar is beckoning us to use our two for one coupon, strictly for medicinal purposes to warm up.

Some sights as we drive back to town.

Back into the tunnels and we are dropped off. I was just joking about the entrance fees as we would have paid those anyway if this had been a paid tour, but it was a freebie as part of the hotel package I booked. We were able to see sights that are out of town and it lasted for almost four hours. Well worth it and the guide's tip.