Guadalajara

Picture of san_francisco We arrived in back in Guadalajara from the coast with vague intentions of changing our flight and going home the next day. While there were a lot of people wearing masks, it seemed like everyone was out on the streets and all the restaurants around the hotel were open. The only thing (we knew of) that was definitively closed due to the Swine Flu were bars and nightclubs. As a result we decided to stay out our remaining two days. This is the church of San Francisco as viewed from the rooftop of our hotel. This is a very old church (by new world standards) dating from 1542. Interestingly, a Spanish governor had it modified with the entrance moved from the south side to the north side so that it faced the city.
Picture of cathedral If you ignore the bizarre series of yellow arches where several major roads meet on the edge of the city, the cathedral is probably the most notable landmark in Guadalajara. All of the major pedestrian streets in the center of the city meet here.
Picture of rotunda On the north side of the cathedral is this rotunda. Officially, it's the plaza de los Jaliscenses Illustres (famous Jaliscans). The outside of the park has a series of statues. I think we even knew who a handful of them were.
Picture of palace On the opposite side of the cathedral is this plaza in front of governor's palace. This square was constantly filled with people every time we walked through it. It turns out the governor's palace was closed due to the general swine flu complications. That wasn't particularly surprising.
Picture of plaza Ultimately, almost anything with an entrance fee was closed. This includes the Cabanas, the city museum and several other attractions we would have visited. Instead we had no choice but to keep visiting juice bars in a vain attempt to sample all the possible flavors of agua fresca. Agua fresca is really just fresh fruit juice mixed with ice, water and sugar but it's particularly thirst quenching.
Picture of mercado The Mercado Libertad was not closed - which is interesting in a way as it is probably the densest concentration of people anywhere in Guadalajara and if you're really worried about the spread of influenza you'd think this would close before a large museum with 100 or so people in it. This market is only vaguely ordered by subject matter. We spent quite a lot of time here surveying it - you can probably buy anything here but there is some question as to whether or not you'd want it. Did we really look like we were in the market for a steamer basket?
Picture of food_stall There is a large section of food stalls inside as well. While we've had no problem buying seafood from market stalls like this in coastal areas, it somehow seems a little riskier when you're 150 miles inland. Like the rest of the market, if you wander around long enough you can find just about anything you'd want here.
Picture of garibaldis We had other things in mind. Carne en su jugo (beef in its juices) is a Guadalajara specialty so we felt like we had to try it. Garibaldi's is one of the more notable restaurants serving it so we took a short taxi ride over for lunch. There are a handful of other things on the menu here but for the most part you order by size (small, medium, large) before you're even seated and by the time you are seated it has arrived. The meat itself comes with bacon and beans and can be spicy or not (con chile / sin chile). 'Spicy' in this case isn't particularly spicy. The accompaniments include refried beans with corn in them, tortillas, grilled spring onions, radishes, limes, cilantro and chopped onion. If you run out of any of these more will arrive.
Picture of canyon The north side of Guadalajara ends abruptly at the Barranca de Oblatos (monk's canyon). We don't have a good picture of it from the ground. Ok - we don't have a particularly good picture of it from the air either but this should at least show how deep it is.
Picture of guadalajara_sunset

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