Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Travel News: Guadalajara, Mexico

We travelled by the ETN luxury bus from Mazatlan to Guadalajara on our way to Mexico city. We spent the weekend in Guadalajara. We discovered that its name comes from Spain's Moorish era. The population ranges from one to four million, the latter number includes the surrounding villages and small towns.

As we walked through the four squares that make up the core of the Centro district, we noticed the many, many young families enjoying their time strolling through the squares, participating in the events or simply indulging in the snacks and drinks at the cafes that adorn these squares. We were later informed that Guadalajara was, and to a certain extent, is still considered the silicon valley of Mexico. No wonder we witnessed many of these young urban professionals out and about the streets of Guadalajara.

From our bus tour of Guadalajara, we learned that this city is rich in history dating back to the 15th century. The influence of the Catholic religion is evident all around the city. The cathedral and main churches are at pivotal points of the four squares. The four squares were created to resemble the crucifix of Jesus Christ. Outside these four sectors are the main thoroughfares or city roads that have the typical big stores, small boutiques, cafes, cantinas and restaurants. It felt very safe walking around the squares and streets. The policemen on their bikes were very helpful in directing us when we felt we could not find our way around. Parts of Guadalajara reminded us of Paris, Rome and even London.

We took a side trip to Tlaquepaque. This is a quaint town of arts, crafts and Tequila shops. Here we strolled along the cobbled sidewalks and streets, had a light lunch and beverage in one of the sidewalk cafes. As we made our way back to Guadalajara, we made a short stop in yet another small town, Tonala. It is a bustling town with a brand new Nuevo Centrale shopping centre with a modern long distance bus terminal.

It was a memorable weekend with many images of the grandiose architectural sites and the friendly people of Guadalajara.

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