Sunday, January 07, 2007

Idyll in Querétaro

We spent an idyllic weekend in Querétaro, a city slightly larger than Morelia, and about three hours to the northeast. Like Morelia, Querétaro has a remarkable historic city center; different is the fact that Querétaro has many streets closed to traffic, and a greater variety of building styles. We had beautiful, warm days, and the comforts of a first class, hacienda style hotel. The city was festive but mellow, as Saturday was Epiphany, the day of the Tres Reyes (The Three Kings), and the day Mexican children recieve their holiday gifts. Everyone was in family mode, the public squares - particularly beautiful in Querétaro - were full of extended family groups, including children with new toys.

Querétaro is key in much of Mexican history. My favorite event is from mid-ninteenth century. The French and Spanish tried to put the economic squeeze on the young, indebted Mexican nation and, in 1864, sent Maximilian of Hapsburg to be Emperor. It took the Mexicans less than three years to oust the French, and Maximilian was executed in Querétaro, the subject of this painting by Manet. The site of this morbid event is now a beautiful public park, atop the highest point in the city, with a panoramic view that reveals the much larger, much industrialized, city that circles the historic center.

But enough of this more romantic Mexico. Now it is time to buckle down to three more weeks of Spanish study. Here is a photo of the Captain, getting ready for another day of classes.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Phoebe M. Olivera said...

Hey Guys,

How are things going? Did you guys change apartments or what? It looks like you might be upstairs now. Well it sounds like things are going well for you all. You're not missing much back at home. It snowed yesterday and the day before and right now we are at below freezing temps. I started school, kind of. Classes started Monday but due to the inclimate weather getting there has been a different story. It should be gone by Monday so I'll give it another try then. How are your classes going? Do you feel as though you are getting a lot out of them? To date... what is your most favorite memory of Morelia?

Thinking of you,

Phoebe

January 11, 2007 12:47 PM  

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