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Mexico is the….



Ben

Well, I couldn’t have said it better than this jacket in the bar of the restaurant we went to one night!  Too right.

We’re back! We had the best time ever. It’s always good to have a change of scene, but sometimes all those little ingredients that make it work come together – the right people, a fab place, the right weather… lots to do, nothing to do, lots to eat and drink…. (and the perfect week to get away from politics at home).

We were staying in San Miguel de Allende, a beautiful town that you may know a bit already if you’re American… the southern states are not far away. But the place was curiously empty of visitors, which was nice. We were with our friends Brandon and Will – Brandon’s family have had a house here since the 60s.

Snapshots of San Miguel life, in no particular order:

Boxes at the post office:

Which is scarier?

Every evening, in the main square, dozens of Mariachi bands gather to serenade the crowds in exchange for a small fee.  When we were very drunk they played for us later that night. 

Dinner that first evening was in a restaurant overlooking the city.

(to which this is required dress). 

Early the following morning, I went for a walk before too many people were up and about. 

There were four people sweeping around the church. Then again, if you are a loyal reader of the blog, you know I’ve got a thing about sweeping and churches (see The Floor Polisher of the Pantheon). 

Probably the most photographed street in San Miguel:

The next day we went to Atotonilco, where there is a beautiful Sanctuary:

and where my love of plastic stacking chairs in churches was well fulfilled:

A side chapel contains some of the most beautiful wall and ceiling frescoes I have ever seen.  A serene experience. We were all quiet as we stared and stared. 

The following day we drove up to Guanajuato City. 

The theatre, in the centre of town, is an amazing late 19th century building, perfectly preserved. 

More scenes;

Inside the huge market, the Mercado Hidalgo:

Days drifted by, spent by the pool, walking, chatting. I think this is the first year on record, thanks largely to instagram, magazines (and my minor addiction to news of the general election) that I didn’t read a single book.  I’m not sure I’m very proud of this, but as well to be truthful. Maybe I’ll do better in Italy?

We went down to Mexico City for a couple of nights. I’d been here about 3 or 4 years ago and adored it. I just love this place.

More stacking chairs, in the cathedral. Tick.  REALLY nice ones.

Every solider or policeman in Mexico City likes checking their phone a lot. 

The remarkable Diego Rivera murals in the Palacio Nacional. 

Angela Merkal was visiting that afternoon (put out more flags). 

We went to the flower market…. A deserted art deco movie theatre:

And we ended our day of wandering in the extraordinary Anthropological Museum, which is one of the most beautiful museum buildings I think I’ve visited.   (Complete with floor polishers). 

And we left, and drifted back through parks filled with Agapanthus (and romantically entwined lovers, I noticed, looking at the photographs later).

On Saturday, we visited the Casa Luis Barragan, which I had been to on our previous visit. Cameras and photography are allowed, but for a very large fee, so I will refer to you my previous Mexico blog if you want to have a look around there! Saturday afternoon meant a last lunch and final glasses (and glasses) of margaritas, before heading off to the airport in a bit of a haze.

We got back to London on Sunday afternoon, eyes blinking with that strange sensation of being back home. This morning, early, Charlie went down to Dorset to collect an extremely happy Mavis, and I went to the office, where all was well. We were only gone a week, but it felt much longer, and there’s nothing like drinking from the amazing, vibrant, hot-coloured life of Mexico to give you a shot in the arm.  Thank you Will and Brandon, (and to Brandon’s mother Linda) for the best time ever.

 

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