Well, I suppose I should endeavor to get us somewhere closer to the present tense with this blog deelio. But before I do, I want to wrap up our first trip to Guanajuato and the rest of our initial 2008 visit to this part of Mexico which has held our attention for so many years.
It's also laid out, if that's a phrase that even applies to such a place, in the wildest and most organic way possible. Whereas San Miguel is organized in a way that more or less makes a nod toward some idea of a grid (albeit crossbred with a web spun by a dyslexic spider), the streets and callejons (alleyways only big enough for walking) of Guanajuato seem to have totally grown like a series of neurons from many hubs around the valley it's located in. And like neurons, you're not really sure how the whole thing actually works, but somehow it totally does.
It's also reminiscent of someone dropping an entire pot of spaghetti on top of a gopher hole, each strand a street flowing over the mounds of dirt and down into the space below.
It's also much bigger than Taxco, and you get the feeling that it would take a really long time to explore all of its polytechnic nooks and crannies. What should be a horizontal landscape is almost always extremely vertical, and what should be a level surface to walk on is usually set at a 45 degree angle. Even those streets where cars are actually allowed are ones I am personally glad I am not expected to drive.
|Which is not to say that there aren't some impressive horizontal viewing opportunities.|
|What, are you kidding me? How is it possible that a place like this actually exists?|
|That's right. I totally wear socks with sandals. |
You got a problem with that?
Guanajuato is also a College Town, full of students of one of Mexico's major Universities walking up and down its streets.
However, in my defense, if Cedar City looked like Guanajuato instead of the McHomes Legoland Sprawl-O-Rama it has become since I graduated from High School I'd be there every year. Yeah, that's right, Cedar City, I'm callin you OUT.
|Notable corner in Guanajuato|
|Jive Plastic Ranchburger at 4237 W 75 N, Cedar City, UT,|
apparently. Which photo I swiped off yonder Internet.
|How amazing would it be if these abominations dropped like so many dominos?|
Anyway, I digress.
|Don Quixote at the Cervantes Museum|
|Callejoneadas, also swiped off yonder Internet. |
Almost all my photos were super blurry.
I reckon the fact that these two locales have nothing to do with their festival's Patron Saints is testament to the sheer enthusiasm of their founders and the devotion of those who keep the flames fanned year after year.
There's also a very impressive Don Quixote Museum in Guanajuato with traditional and Contemporary art from all over the world referencing Cervantes Iconography, and every night of the year there are college students dressed in 17th Century period costume performing callejoneadas, which consist of guiding small groups of people through the darkening alleyways of this crazy town, telling stories, performing skits and playing songs on traditional instruments while the audience members walk along behind, drinking wine from small ceramic flasks that they give to you at the end as souvenirs.
That is also decidedly not happening in Iron County, Utah.
Still, as dusk began to fall on Guanajuato, slowly surrendering into night, we noticed immediately that the callejons and plazas of this town began to be transformed into something really magical. The combination of the strange cobblestoned spaces, the streetlights playing on the colorful buildings and the narrow vertical spaces, increasingly muted by the darkness, was irresistible.
We pulled out both cameras and started to go to town with them, thinking perhaps we might be able to stitch something interesting together later when we got back to Salt Lake.
One of these days, one or both of us will need to make some art from these, we thought.