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Guadalajara
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-11-03 18:15:16 | Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Keywords: architecture, Historic
I've spent a week in Guadalajara and I really enjoyed my time in that historical city. Back in Québec, we like to think and say that Quebec City (founded in 1608) is the oldest city in the Americas... well, Guadalajara was founded 66 years before that (and there were other cities of course created in Mexico even earlier)! It's currently the 2nd largest metropolitan area (with about 4.5 millions), slightly ahead of Monterrey, but WAY behind Mexico City (22 millions). It's packed with Americans some for work, but most for retirement.

Guadalajara is the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco. It was officially founded in 1542, and its vibrant with history. There are massive buildings and monuments to remind that rich history all over the Centro (historical downtown). I went to explore the Centro on two occasions and I was charmed by the look of it, the richness of the history pouring out of every old rock.

With its impressive size it's not surprising to be able to find just about anything in the city. Since there are many Americans in the area (in the main city itself but also around like Chapala), we also have all the major US chains, which are not present up North (besides the border cities of course). The Americans are also here to manage many call centres to answer calls for American companies, at a reduced cost for them of course.

Transportation is very easy in the city having not only buses but also a subway system now counting two lines that was created 20 years ago only! The cost is of 6 pesos (about US$0.50). The only transportation problem is that the new bus terminal is way out in the suburb of Tonala... and since the city buses aren't convenient at all for luggages, you have to take a cab.

What brought me to Guadalajara were two UNESCO sites. First in the Centro, you have the Hospicio Cabañas, which is a giant multipurpose charity building. Just West of Guadalajara you find the town of Tequila from where originates the famous beverage, the fields and old factories are listed by the UNESCO.

I also had the opportunity to get in contact with the Día de Muertos tradition. I first visited the cemetery by day to witness the traditions then I visited it at night to participate at an horror nightly tour of the cemetery with a lesson on the history of the cemetery in between scares attempts by comedians along the tour.

I've now been in Mexico for a month already and I really begin to blend in. The initial shock is over and I'm gradually adding Mexican food in my diet to get my body used to the local bacterias.  I especially concentrate on regional specialities. I'm feeling much better now and that allowed me to explore more and be more adventurous... hence my initiative to meet with locals and make interviews. I'm still revising my Spanish to improve my skills. I'm far from being fluent... but I hope to be much closer to be by the end of the year.


Related posts:
Historic centre of Tlacotalpan
City of Guanajuato
San Francisco architecture
Cahokia Mounds
Ouro Preto

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