Saturday, January 1, 2011

Chiapas: San Cristobal de las Casas

Thursday afternoon we made the trip to San Cristobal de las Casas, named after Bartolomé de las Casas, a Spanish priest who defended the rights of indigenous Americans and the first bishop of Chiapas. It was named a pueblo mágico in 2003. The elevation is about 2100 feet above sea level, so unlike many other places we visited in Chiapas, it gets cold! San Cristobal became our home base for the next few days while we did day trips. 

Thursday evening we wandered around one of the main streets, filled with lots of shops and restaurants.

There are lots of indigenous communities around San Cristobal and many people come into San Cristobal to sell their wares -- scarves, bags, hand-made stuffed animals, woven belts, etc. Spanish is not the native language in these communities, so it's common to see children -- who learn Spanish in school -- selling, accompanied by an adult who speaks little or no Spanish. 
Karen with a girl selling scarves and purses 

We saw a Posada. The groups outside and inside are singing the
call-and-response song, seeking shelter. Please note the donkey.

We had dinner at a tasty Argentine restaurant. There was a surprising number of international restaurants. It was pretty cold Thursday night and we didn't know to ask for extra blankets -- so I slept in my jacket, underneath all the covers! 

Friday we did an all-day tour (see Palenque/Agua Azul/Misol Ha post), so were only in San Cristobal for dinner. We went to Tacos & Margaritas -- so I made sure to order tacos and a margarita! 

Saturday we were able to do a bit of site-seeing during the daytime, after our morning tour. 

Don't go to the coffee museum. It's lame. 

place selling pox/posh -- a traditional drink

We visited Casa Na Bolom, a Mexican based non-profit founded in 1951 by the Danish Archaeologist and explorer Frans Blom and the swiss conservationist and photographer Gertrude Duby. It includes a museum, cultural center, guest house, restaurant, artisan center and research facilities, in a house that was built to house a religious seminary in 1898. 

Karen jokingly asked the man cleaning the piano if
he also played. He was a composer and had a show that
evening. Oops! 

Unfortunately, Saturday afternoon I started feeling the affects of what turned out to be another stomach infection, so we stayed in Saturday night and instead of doing another tour on Sunday, we made a trip to the doctor and I slept a good part of the day. 
We did discover "Crackets" -- a complete copy of Ritz crackers.

Fortunately, Sunday afternoon I felt well enough to meet up with some friends we'd met on the trip back in September during the bicentennial.

dinner/coffee with friends

lucha libre mask sticker on the pay phone sign

Monday morning Karen and I enjoyed a nice breakfast and did a bit more touring (and shopping) around San Cristobal before heading back to Tuxtla for our flight back to Mexico City.

the Virgin of Guadalupe as a Zapatista 

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