I don’t spend all my time in museums and churches. I do spend a fair amount of time outdoors. There is a lovely park about a away from where I’m staying, and it’s my favorite place to go when I want to color. I pack up my gel pens and coloring pages and enjoy it far more than coloring indoors. People are curious and I get into some interesting conversations. Just the other day I taught a little girl how to count up to ten in English.
Parque Hidalgo is another park I visited a couple of weeks ago with my friend Iracema and her four-month-old son Ian. It goes without saying that there is an abundance of greenery due to the beautiful weather here in Aguascalientes.
This park also has animals. Most are caged but some of the larger birds roam free.
There is an amusement park area with rides for the children.
My favorite part was the fountain area. I always find water calming. I was also delighted to see ducks swimming around in the pond.
Another park Iracema took me to was Rodolfo Landeros. This park was huge and I intend to go back there. This time I will rent a motorized golf cart as it was impossible to see everything in one day only walking. Bicycles are also popular rentals here.
We came across a beautiful lake with an abundance of swans, geese and ducks. I even got a close up of one of these beautiful creatures.
As much as I would have liked to sit there all day and meditate by the water, there were other places to see in the park.
We climbed up a flight of stairs to the top of a hill where we had a magnificent view of the park and the lake below. We actually did stay there for a while admiring the view.
We continued our walk and came across some animals.
Unfortunately the aviary was closed. Apparently one of the animals had gotten loose and had feasted on the birds that were non-flyers. Only a handful of birds perched up high were safe that day.
Our final stop was Cabana Juan Chavez, home of the Mexican equivalent of Robin Hood. This is not a place for anyone with vertigo. I have climbed pyramids, explored underground caves and mines. And I can now say I have experienced the Cabana. I am thankful for the guard rails but not so thankful for the slippery black stones.
On our way back to the car, we passed by an area with trains and other animals. There is also a miniature city here and paddleboats. But these areas will have to wait for my next visit.
It was a somewhat cool and cloudy day when I took an Uber out to Plaza de las Tres Centurias to explore a train museum. I’d never been to a train museum before that had focused on railroad travel and the history behind it in Mexico, and this museum did not disappoint. What surprises me is the number of locals I’ve talked to who have never come to this museum before. Then again many have not gone to some of the other museums in this city either.
This is a train museum. However one of the highlights has absolutely nothing to do with trains. The fuentes danzarinas (dancing fountains) was a delightful display of water combined with music. It is presented hourly throughout the day and lasts about 15 minutes. I actually watched it twice!
The museum itself features displays in separate buildings. Admission is a mere 5 pesos and is free to seniors with an Inapam card. Each building had interesting displays, vintage items and photographs.
Outside there are a number of brightly painted railway cars along the tracks. There is even a miniature train that features a ride around the park area.
There is also a garden area with a few statues of railroad pioneers.
There is also a small ice cream shop as well as a quaint cafe featuring a variety of coffees and snacks.
I highly recommend a visit to this unique museum in Aguascalientes.
Aguascalientes is an exciting city with a treasure of museums, churches and parks to explore. I had originally intended to stay for one month. I am now into my second month and still have a list of places I want to go and things I want to do. Last Thursday I decided to check out the Altaria Mall instead of my usual exploring. A 20 minute Uber ride and I felt like I was in an entirely different world.
I’m staying in Las Flores which is a typical Mexican neighborhood. The Altaria Mall is like any American mall and has many of the chain stores such as Bershka, Pull and Bear, Radio Shack, Starbucks and more. One of the flagship stores is Sears, so I now feel like I am in Mexico as Sears has all but vanished in the USA and Canada. The other main department store is Liverpool.
As I strolled through the mall, I was amused to see that Liverpool was selling Krispy Kreme donuts. I selected a Boston Cream but was disappointed and realized how much I missed Tim Horton’s in Canada.
I walked by ComicX and I recalled fond memories of the one in Mazatlan where I often went with friends. I couldn’t help but snap photos of these lovable characters.
Hours later I found myself back in an Uber headed for home. Along the way we passed a tienguis close to where I was staying. I traded my sandals for track shoes and headed back out.
This tienguis was primarily fruits and vegetables with only a smattering of other items. It was much smaller than the one I used to frequent in Tlaquepaque. I was enchanted by the birds in cages and of course enjoyed the people-watching.
That was my shopping day…….from one extreme to another.
It’s been a busy week. I haven’t had much time for blogging. I’ve been visiting museums and admiring churches. Of course there was an unexpected side trip to Walmart…………
On Saturday I went to the Plaza Tecnologia in search of a new battery for my phone. Oh oh! I couldn’t find one. A building filled with booths and no-one had the one I needed.
On Sunday I was delighted to find a Christian church right around the corner from where I’m staying. A handful of the congregants also spoke English although the service was in Spanish. My Spanish is really getting a workout this winter.
On Monday my destination was Walmart. I was on a mission to buy a new phone. And I did. And I am still playing with it and trying to adapt to all the new features. It’s only been two years since I bought my last phone. Quite amazing how there have been so many changes.
On Tuesday I dropped my laundry off at the lavenderia and discovered a lovely cafe close to where I’m staying. I then went to Centro to explore the Casa de la Cultura. I must admit that the art there was not really to my liking, but it was definitely different.
On Wednesday I decided it was time for a road trip. I headed to Leon, Guadajuato. I had been there briefly eight years ago en route to Irapuato. Leon was the closest airport. I spent part of the day in the historic Centro area visiting the Cathedral and other churches. I then browsed through the Zona de Piel. Leon is known for its leather and I was happy to find a new fanny pack as my old one was disintegrating.
On Thursday I was back to visiting museums and churches. The museum was dedicated to a famous artist here in Mexico, Jose Guadalupe Posada. The museum is located adjacent to the Templo del Encino, a beautiful church.
Today I enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Loncheria Fer, owned by my friend Fernando. It was leisurely and three hours passed by quickly. Fernando has been a wealth of information about Aguascalientes and his cousin Raul manages the hotel where I’m staying.
Throw in phone calls to my family and friends in Canada and the USA, sorting through photos and learning to use my new phone, the days have flown. I’ve also had some interesting conversations with locals at the park and other places. I’m quite surprised at how many have been to Canada and even knew where Winnipeg is.
I’m staying in tonight and resting up for tomorrow. The planned agenda is two museums and a church. That will put me at the halfway mark for visiting museums in this city.
I can’t help it. I’m a museum addict. At least I have become one since living in Mexico. Guadalajara is still in the lead although Aguascalientes is definitely providing competition for a city of its size.
I’ve been here just over a week and have already visited three museums. My earlier post on Museo Nacional de las Muertes speaks for itself. In this post I will focus on the other two museums I’ve visited.
On Thursday I ventured down a side street close to the bull ring and was completely enchanted with Museo del Juguete Tradicional Mexicano Aguascalientes. There are over a thousand exhibits here featuring traditional toys from all over Mexico. These toys are made from a range of materials including wood, rags, sugar, newspaper, mud and even chewing gum. Admission is a mere 15 pesos, a small price to pay for a delightful venture back into childhood. Of course, coming from Canada, these toys are amazingly different from those I grew up with.
On Friday I went to the Regional Museo de Historia Aguascalientes. The building itself is an old structure with a lovely fountain at the entrance. There are several rooms with displays depicting the geological and cultural history of the area. Brush up on your Spanish as there are no English translations of the descriptive notes. Admission is 55 pesos, but it is free to seniors, students and teachers.
Death. A cause for celebration or a time to dread. I guess it depends on your outlook on life. I heard that there was a museum of death here in Aguascalientes and I had to check it out. After all, Dia de las Muertes is one of my favorite experiences here in Mexico.
I was greeted at the door by this lovely skull. It was also a Wednesday so admission was free.
This museum is home to a collection of items pertaining to burial customs, including photographs of the dead. I was directed down a dark, steep flight of stairs into a crypt where I found this creature.
As I wandered through the various rooms, I was amazed at the display of artifacts dealing with death throughout the ages. There are literally hundreds of paintings, sculptures, lithographs and photos. Here is a small sampling:
This museum is definitely a must for any tourist visiting Aguascalientes.
We take a lot of things for granted in life. When they suddenly become unavailable we become frustrated and annoyed. While I thoroughly enjoyed my two months in San Ciro de Acosta, the precarious internet has seriously affected my writing. Sitting next to the modem in the office of the junkyard (yes, the hotel office was the junkyard office) the signal came in as fair at best. Uploading photos took forever. I was constantly getting messages that I had timed out when trying to reach a website. Google would repeatedly tell me to check my internet connection. Ugh!
But I am now back in civilization. I am in the beautiful city of Aguascalientes. I haven’t been here a week yet and I am amazed at what this city has to offer. I sincerely hope that I can cram the eleven museums and other interesting landmarks into the month I intend to stay here.
A mere 5 minute walk from where I am staying is Expoplaza, a huge mall currently still under construction. Only a few shops and restaurants are open right now, but I was delighted to find Cinemex open and I enjoyed a movie yesterday afternoon.
Directly in front of the mall is a beautiful park with an abundance of benches and tables. I have decided that when it’s time to color this outdoor venue appeals to me. The park also has an awesome playground for the kids. Just beyond the park is an area designated for roller skating.
As I continue my walk towards Centro, I come across a street that reminds me of Calle Independencia in Tlaquepaque. Lined with restaurants and shops, it is open to pedestrian traffic only. I had a delicious torta and horchata yesterday afternoon for lunch.
Minutes later I arrive at the Templo San Marcos and the Jardin San Marcos. The church was crowded and a quinceanara was taking place. When girls turn fifteen here in Mexico, it is a great cause for celebration.
The Jardin San Marcos has fast become one of my favorite spots here in Aguascalientes. The greenery is spectacular, the music relaxing and the variety of street vendors displaying their wares is most interesting. Food, candy and toys seem to be the most popular ones.
About five minutes past the park and I am in Centro near the Basilica. This afternoon I went to Telcel to renew my plan. Best experience ever! Ten cashiers, no lineup and cashier activated it immediately. So much easier than in Mazatlan.
I then took a ride on the Turbus to acquaint myself with the city. The tour was in Spanish and I understood almost everything the tour guide said. I added a few places to my “to visit” list.
After the tour, I strolled down one of the side streets and came across yet another beautiful church. Across the street from it was a mall called Parian where I sought some air-conditioned relief from the heat outside.