Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico


            Drove to Quiroa where we stopped for a carnitas snack from a food vendor on the public square. We walked around town looking at shops and checking out the church. There was some beautiful copperware for sale. It was in this town that we learned to keep small change in your pockets because you had to pay 3 to 5 pesos to use restrooms. Pictures are here.


           Next stop was a town with a fun name...Tzintzuntzan. We went to an old seminary with olive trees that were 500 years old and went into two churches there. St Antonio had an effigy of Christ that is supposedly growing. Since the associated museum was closed we went up to the Pyramids up on the hill. Rocks from the pyramids had been used to build the seminary, but there was still a lot of structure there. One building had skulls and photos of skulls with teeth that had been filed in an unusual way. Don't know if this was ceremonial or just decorative, but must have been painful when eating. Pictures are here. 

      We then went to Lake Patzcuaro, watched a man fishing with a net, and took a boat out to an island with a town and a large stone statue of a man with his fist up in the air. It was a lot of steps up to the statue. Jim and I tried to take the “long way” down hoping to find it to be less steep for our knees, but took a wrong turn and ended up with stretches that were even more steep than the way we took up. After the boat ride back to town, we drove to the town square for dinner and a taste of some sweets. The square was very crowded as this (Tues) was Mother's day in Mexico.  Pictures are here.

       Our day of exploring took us up a bad cobblestone road up to a lookout over Patzcuaro and the lake. It had a set of hundreds of steps that took you to the top of the hill, so of course we had to climb them. Not great for old knees. I had a flimsy walking stick that I picked up which helped me feel balanced, but left leg let me know it was tired when I got down because I favored the worn out right one. We then took a drive to Zirahoel on another nearby lake. This lake was obviously deeper than Patzcuaro Lake because it was blue instead of brown. We wandered around a resort there and found a small restaurant right on the shore for a light lunch.  Pictures are here.

       The next day we  drove a couple of hours through miles of avocado orchards to Uruapan. The orchards were notable in that where was one big canopy of treetop for miles. In the US there are rows of trees with “roads” for the trucks between them, so from above they do not form a solid “roof”.  The town was the location of a National Park where there were artesian springs that fed a small river. The “cascades” were man made and landscaped, mostly greenery, but there were some flowers. There were big white butterflies with a mesmerizing motion. We had a nearly three hour drive back to Morelia, interrupted by having to pull over at a toll booth because the rain and hail made it difficult to see and drive. Pictures are here.

We spent the next day in downtown Morelia. There are two large squares with the Cathedral between them. The Cathedral was ornately painted on the inside. There was a large silver altarpiece and a huge organ. We also visited a small museum which was Jose Ma. Morelos's birthplace. Unfortunately all is in Spanish. We also visited St Augustine Church on the back side of the square. Then we walked several blocks to a pleasant square across from the Conservatory of Music, where Tio Alfredo was in the choir as a child. After lunch we visited the courtyard of the conservatory and the nearby Church of the Roses. The altarpiece here was floor to ceiling wood with gold paint. The choirloft was behind a screen making me sense that this had been a cloister. After another walk we visited our last church of the day Our Lady of Guadalupe. Again, lots of gold leaf and three images of Our Lady. Next day,we mostly walked  around town, through market places. Rested in several pleasant squares. Walked a promenade down to the aqueduct area. Took one of the minibuses back to the square, where we checked into our hotel.  The main street was closed to traffic all afternoon and evening. People strolled, ate treats, got balloons for the kids. A lot of people were in period costume. It rained for a while and everyone crowded under the hotel and restaurant verandas around the square. There was a footrace, then fireworks, then they lit up the cathedral for the night. The party went on until 10 or so, but you could hear a lot of coming and going all night. Pictures are here.


Trip report here.