A day in historic San Miguel de Allende

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Meliza and her mother shopping in the huge artist's district.
Meliza and her mother shopping in the huge artist’s district.

I am lucky to be meeting new friends, generous friends, who help me see this lovely country. Meliza and her family too me to San Miguel de Allende, the day before Halloween. The city was all decked out for Day of the Dead, too!

A view of San Miguel de Allende from high atop an overlook (mirador). You can see the central cathedral.
A view of San Miguel de Allende from high atop an overlook (mirador). You can see the central cathedral.

San Miguel de Allende is a city and municipality located in the far eastern part of the state of Guanajuato in central Mexico. It is part of the macroregion of Bajío. It is 274 km (170 mi) from Mexico City and 97 km (60 mi) from the state capital of Guanajuato. Historically, the town is important as being the birthplace of Ignacio Allende, whose surname was added to the town’s name in 1826, as well as the first municipality declared independent of Spanish rule by the nascent insurgent army during the Mexican War of Independence.

Entering the city.
Entering the city.
A statue to Cristos Colon (Christopher Columbus)
A statue to Cristos Colon (Christopher Columbus)
A closer view of the central church--there are many churches!--from ground level.
A closer view of the central church–there are many churches!–from ground level.
This well groomed park is a shady spot in front of the central church and is part of the main plaza.
This well groomed park is a shady spot in front of the central church and is part of the main plaza.

According to Wikipedia: “The main attraction of the town is its well-preserved historic center, filled with buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. This and the nearby Sanctuary of Atotonilco have been declared World Heritage Sites in 2008.”

The city was decorated for Dia de Los Muertos, day of the dead.
The city was decorated for Dia de Los Muertos, day of the dead.
The flower for this holiday is the marigold, a native flower of Mexico.
The flower for this holiday is the marigold, a native flower of Mexico.
But there are MANY flowers to see and buy.
But there are MANY flowers to see and buy.

From Visit Mexico: “San Miguel de Allende is a city that manages to be both quaint and cosmopolitan at the same time. Once an important stop on the silver route between Zacatecas and Mexico City, its historic center is filled with well-preserved buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. With its narrow cobblestone streets, leafy courtyards, fine architectural details and sumptuous interiors, San Miguel de Allende is arguably the prettiest town in Mexico.”

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The tree of life.
The tree of life.
Selling necklaces
Selling necklaces

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The central plaza.
The central plaza.

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These dolls are called Catrinas--elaborately dressed skeletons, usually wearing a large fancy hat.
These dolls are called Catrinas–elaborately dressed skeletons, usually wearing a large fancy hat.
This woman sold mostly necklaces. Her traditional costume was bright and lovely. It looked like silk.
This woman sold mostly necklaces. Her traditional costume was bright and lovely. It looked like silk.
Lunch--my favorite
Lunch–my favorite

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These are made completely of sugar and are used on the altars for Dia de los Muertos. Most of these are to remember children who died too soon.
These are made completely of sugar and are used on the altars for Dia de los Muertos. Most of these are to remember children who died too soon.
More sugar!
More sugar!
...and also bees! They liked the sugar, too.
…and also bees! They liked the sugar, too.

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Fresh fruits and vegetables. Notice the green cactus in front (nopal), cleaned and stripped of those pesky spikes.
Fresh fruits and vegetables. Notice the green cactus in front (nopal), cleaned and stripped of those pesky spikes.
Beadwork
Beadwork
Metalwork
Metalwork
I thought this particularly efficient--a place for a candle for most common concerns.
I thought this particularly efficient–a place for a candle for most common concerns.

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Talk about a hat trick! This takes strength and balance.
Talk about a hat trick! This takes strength and balance.

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The city was particularly busy, probably because of the holiday. Plus many had the day off Monday. It would be a great place to spend a few days. I hope to visit it again.
The city was particularly busy, probably because of the holiday. Plus many had the day off Monday. It would be a great place to spend a few days. I hope to visit it again.
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Beth

I'm a professional vagabond. I quit my cubical job in January 2014. Since then, I've hiked the Appalachian Trail, The Camino, and taught English in Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Mexico and Peru. I'm exploring the world and you can come too!

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