Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Old City Of Guadalajara

Despite the rain that began the day on yesterday, the sun soon came out and we were off for more adventures.  This time we headed into the big city of Guadalajara.  We boarded the bus once again after buying tickets for $6 for both of us. We paid a higher price for the "directo" bus that goes straight through to Guadalajara instead of the one that stops along the way. The hour long bus ride went quickly and before we knew it we had arrived.

Tiny Bus Station In Ajijic 

Here Comes Our  Bus

Standing Room Only

Guadalajara is the capital city of the state of Jalisco, which is one of the 31 states in the country of Mexico. It is home to over one million people who proudly call themselves tapatio's or tapatia's depending on the sex of the person. Guadalajara is the second largest city in Mexico with a far more relaxed feel than that of Mexico City. As our bus pulled into the terminal all we could think is, "wow, this is a BIG city."

Since we had absolutely no plans in mind we hopped in a taxi and headed over to the "centro historico" part of the city. We knew this was the old part of the city and where we'll be staying once we're finished with the house sit. The taxi ride was just $3 and car was clean and the driver friendly.  We chatted in Spanish about the city and he tried to give us suggestions of what to see and do in that part of town. The Spanish here in Mexico is much easier to understand than the Spanish in Panama, although we still don't understand it fully.

As soon as we saw these lined up Clyde suggested we take a ride.  But me being the cheapskate figured it would be way too pricey.  But this being Mexico it was around $19, far less than we'd spend in any other city. The driver was knowledgeable and pointed out all the highlights of the city in passing.  Once again his Spanish was clear as he pronounced every syllable and talked slowly, but occasionally still we got lost. But the ride was longer than we expected and just lovely, seeing the sights from a coach fit for a princess.

Our Carriage Awaits

A Rear View Through A Heart Shaped Window

Our Driver Explains What We're Seeing 

The Happy Couple 

Our Horse

Recuerdos de Guadalajara (Memories Of)
Something we noticed as we drove down local streets is that they seemed to follow a theme.  One street was loaded with restaurant supply stores while another was lined with jewelry shops.  Still others were electronic shops and others featured shoes.
Local Businesses On Route 

Restaurant Supply Store 

Limo Anyone? Or Perhaps An Airplane Converted Into A Limo? 

Cinderella's Coach?.....All For Rent Here

Attendant Sweeping The Grass

Police Car 

Electric Bikes For Rent 

A Tool Store

Mannequins On A Hand Cart

Massive Jewelry Stores Everywhere

Once in the centro historial part of town our first stop was the marketplace.  The famous "Mercado Libertad," or Liberty Market also goes by the name San Juan de Dios. With an area of over 43,000 square feet, on three levels the market is the largest in all of Latin America. There are some 3000 vendors selling all sorts of things.  One floor is all clothing and includes:  brand name sneakers, jeans, purses, leather goods, shoes, sunglasses, hats, and more.  Another level was food, electronics, movies, computer stuff, produce and more.  The bottom level was restaurants serving local food and drinks.

Steps Leading Up To The Liberty Marketplace

Side View Of Market
 Shoes...And More Shoes....Oh The Torture Of It All!

Food.....Tacos, Tortillas, Burritos And More

 And More Food

Guitars And More Music Stuff

Sweet Treats, Nuts, Salsas And More


Outside the market were public restrooms that could be used for $5 pesos (or 31 cents) BUT the high price included toilet paper. Although when I went by I neglected to pick up my wad of paper since I didn't see the man giving it out.  Fortunately inside there were paper towels which managed to take care of the situation. Mexican women inside the bathroom also missed the paper and were complaining about the high price with no paper.  Guess we have the same dilemma regardless of where we live since everyone uses a bathroom.

Centro Historico

Plenty Of Fountains
Large Sculpture Of Chairs...So Why Not Sit On One 

Sculpture Of A Tree With Lions
Legislative Assembly Room

Cultural Center Was Formerly Used To House Homeless People And Orphans 

Local Temple


Music In The Streets

Indigenous Indian We Assume? 

Water Fountain.....Comical Poses From Kids 



The rest of our day was spent walking around the historical part of the city taking in the sights. For lunch we stopped for tacos filled with ground pork, cilantro and raw onion.  On the table were an assortment of picante sauces and lemons.  Since this was the big city we expected to pay more for food and this whole meal set us back $3-$4 dollars.  Each taco was 44 cents!

Los Altos Tacos 

Lunch For Two

After making our way back to Ajijic we stopped for dinner at a gringo plaza with a gringo restaurant.  We ordered something called a "molcajete" which is Spanish for mortar and pestle. After bringing chips and pico de gallo (cut up tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lime) the waitress arrived with this huge bowl. It was filled with a mixture of beef, chicken, shrimp, green peppers, onions, mushrooms all covered and oozing with melted white cheese. Alongside that was a basket of corn tortillas to complete the mix.  This was a rather pricey meal which came to around $12 total, which included a diet coke for me and a beer for Clyde.  But we had so much food we have another meal to enjoy today.

Dinner.....A Molecajete And Tortillas

Catholic Church In Ajijic 

Grounds Of Church

 Baptism Area
 Pretty Mountain Views

Today we're taking it easy enjoying the rest of our molcajete while you enjoy the photos of our day in Guadalajara......along the gringo trail.

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