Courier April/May Courier - Page 47

Guanajuato is GuanaWOWto STORY AND PHOTOS BY PAT HENDERSON When I booked two days in Guanajuato as an add-on to a Mexico trip I did with A Closer Look Tours at the end of January, I was excited to finally get to explore one of central Mexico’s colonial cities. I’d seen the compelling photos, read the glowing reviews and even sung its praises on the pages of Courier. I had high expectations, but ... wow. From its friendly locals and always-buzzing street life to its brightly painted houses dotting the hills overlooking the city center, Guanajuato delighted in so many ways. The majority of my first day consisted of two things: hav- ing no real idea where I was going and loving every minute of it. As I walked along the serpentine pathways, I discovered a seemingly endless series of colorful buildings, ornate churches and bustling markets. Every new turn revealed another gem. My roaming on the second day was punctuated by many stops for street cuisine. I started with a fresh-squeezed guava and watermelon shake, which paired better than you’d expect with my flaky apple pastry. Other finds included cheese que- sadillas with a kicky verde sauce, roasted sunflower seeds, a spicy ear of corn and a chocolate-infused churro; clearly it was a good thing I walked 15-20 miles during my stay. One of the most enduring memories came after a late-night meal on Jardin Union. During dinner on the large plaza, I had noticed a mixture of mariachis and costumed minstrels (think Elizabethan England) milling about, some strumming their instruments, others checking their cell phones. As I was paying the bill, I could hear music and cheering in the distance. I followed the sounds and joined a group or 25 or so that had gathered around a fun-loving band of the min- strels. Their songs and banter had everyone laughing and clap- ping along, and they closed by marching out of the square. As our pack followed them up a narrow alleyway, I was struck by how that moment pretty perfectly encapsulated the joyous feeling and carefree spirit I’d enjoyed throughout my all-too-brief time in Guanajuato. To see additional photos of Guanajuato, go to tinyurl.com/y8457zve. To learn more about packages featuring Guanajuato and other colonial cities, contact the following NTA members who specialize in tours to Mexico: A Closer Look Tours Mexico’s Monarchs The Real Mexico Colin Caparrós ccaparros@acloserlooktours.com acloserlooktours.com Grupo Meca Mexico Raynald Paquet northamerica@grupomeca.com grupomeca.com Copper Canyon S & S Tours Susan Stilwell ss@ss-tours.com ss-tours.com Call Today 877 938 0951 Discover more tours at www.acloserlooktours.com NTAonline.com 43