On Mondays most museums in Mexico City are closed and so Lola decided that this was a great shopping day. We headed to Palanco to a department store called Liverpool and spent a few hours. They even had a good upmarket foodcourt where we ate tapas and a glass of wine at the bar. It was raining heavily when we exited the subway and so we had to don plastic ponchos and ask for directions. A couple of foreigners in plastic bags asked for directions to an upmarket shopping district – we did get some raised eyebrows!
After a fun day out we did however encounter a scam as we got out of the taxi near our hotel that evening. He was a well dressed older man who looked plausible giving us a long involved story (in Spanish) about a sick wife, hospital and needing money etc and twice he opened and closed a black folder but too quickly for us to see what was in it. After listening for a while I said no sorry and we don’t completely understand, he immediately went into trying other languages, and then firmly held my forearm. At this point politeness was dropped and I wrenched my arm away and stalked off. Lola was not convinced he was anything other than an old man down on his luck, but she followed. I suspect that there was supposed to be an accomplice, but maybe he wasn’t ready or I looked too feisty….and so we got away.
At breakfast I managed to book and pay online on my phone, for two seats on the bus to Guanajuato for the next day. The marvels of modern technology and a little bit of spanish. Great.
We then headed off to the Archeological museum in Chapeltupec park. We were able to walk there through a park from our hotel. It is a huge and impressive museum in an interesting architectural building with great lighting and displays and in the short time we had, we only saw a portion of it. We vowed to return.
It was time to leave for Guanajuato. We found a taxi from outside the museum went via the hotel to Terminal Norte, and picked him because he had a meter, but he managed to hide the reader and ripped us off anyway. He charged us 400 pesos for the 45 minute trip – a couple of hundred extra pesos though is not the end of the world and we arrived there safely.
The Primera Plus bus was on time, had security and good seats and only stopped once en-route as it whisked us through the countryside to the colonial highlands north of Mexico City.
We arrived on the outskirts of Guanajuato at the terminal just as at the sun was setting and took a taxi into town. It took us through the subterranean streets which are like tunnels but occasionally pop out to street level. The old town is in a valley surrounded by hills and is BEAUTIFUL. The taxista directed us to the Hotel Chocolate which was up a pedestrian street and some steps – quite a lot of steps and then a couple more flights in the building to our room. But is was worth it! We stayed in a room named ‘Brownie’ with its own terrace right at the top and overlooking the town and the famous cathedral. We also look out onto the main Jardin which has interconnected laurel trees and was originally a monastery garden. We head down to the Jardin for dinner at Bar Luna – one of the many restaurants that spill out on the perimeter and where the mariachi bands are in full swing for a margarita and the mother of all guacamoles. We have arrived!
Archeological Museum entry fee 59 pesos
Primera Plus Bus from Terminal Norte to Guanajuato 450 pesos each, 5 hours.
Hotel Chocolate, Calle Constancia. Room: Brownie