Day 11 – Zacatecas

Our hotel looks better today than it did last night…

We had breakfast (nopal paninis with yummy café de olla) with pastor José from our church and Bible institute in Saltillo, where we had our first ever Gorditas (Mark’s second, if you catch my drift ;-).

After getting some valuable tips we left for Zacatecas, 250 miles away. We drove past a Dodge plant…

… and a village where I met a cute little Catrina.

Zacatecas is gorgeous. Most of the buildings in this Unesco world heritage city are made of a rust colored sandstone called sangre de paloma (pigeon’s blood) and were built during the wealthy silver mining heyday.

Our hotel faced the stark Plaza de Armas.

We spent a good while wandering through the streets, mesmerized by the architecture, eating mango-guanábana sorbet and window shopping (Mark’s favorite activity). We also found his house…

…(Retired Person’s Home).

Since the city is at 2,500 meters above sea level we hurried up to visit the Bufa (historic hill) before it got too chilly.

Three equestrian bronzes honor Pancho Villa and fellow revolutionaries for winning the battle here against the Federales in 1914. The corresponding museum presented information in novel formats (holograms, silhouettes projected onto shower curtains, murals made of pistol parts and interactive screens).

To get back to town we first rode a gondola…

…and then walked down quaint alleys until we saw a tour bus, so we hopped on and completed our Zacatecan education.

My favorites: a tiny park dedicated to mothers, the bull fighting ring tuned into a hotel, a cultural center

…and the replica armory that replaced one that exploded during the famous battle for Zacatecas.

We discovered the beautiful Edificio Calderón…

We ate at Cantera Musical while watching musical videos of Mexican charros like Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante and Cuco Sánchez. We ate a variation of asado de bodas (vegetables in a dark sauce) and Chingorolo (mezcal with orange and grapefruit juices served in a cantarito rimmed with chili powder).

Our evening was regaled with the quarter finals of the National Charro Competition.

Women clad in gorgeous long dresses with crinoline slips on side saddles performed hair raising Escaramuzas de las Damas Charras, in which they raced their horses at full speed in a convoluted figure eight configuration, barely missing each other!

Charros wearing fancy suede outfits and their characteristic sombreros chased calfs and flipped them over by simultaneously pulling their tail and kicking them on the hip.

In case you want to see more videos here are some of the events in the competition.

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