What could be
better than a walk around a colorful town where merry-making is the motto.
People are smiling, buying balloons or munchies for the kids while vendors
sell painted egg shells filled with colored paper that the children use to
smash over people’s heads as they run for cover. It’s not a symbol of anger
or hostility but one of joy and holiday. Even the recipients laugh in the
cool breeze and the warming sun.
like it. Yes, it’s Mexico but Mexico with a difference. San Miguel, a few
hours north of Mexico City by bus is a happening that had been discovered by
northerners and is teeming with cars, people and locals, enjoying their
For the thousands
who spend a few weeks or a few months in this hill-top town, the rewards are
many. There are hundreds of activities and there are more restaurants than
one can visit in a few months.
Last Sunday was a
classic day here with the egg shelling and Valentines Day rolled into one.
Everyone came down to the Jardin (Hardeen) the city center in the shadow of
the great pink Parroquia house of worship that seems to reach the sky.
Center of town
Children ready with egg shells
Jardin and crowds
So, you ask, what
is there to do? I cannot begin to list all the tings that go on day and
night or the list of restaurants one can dine in or listed to Jazz.
There is a
large library that holds classes in art, language and history. They
have a 100 seat theatre for plays, lectures or films. There is an
Art Institute where people from all over come to learn the methods
taught by competent teachers.
readings, open houses where artists show their wares and restaurants
on every corner.
the local dishes, one can dine on oysters, Italian dishes, steaks
made as in Argentina and Irish style pubs with beer enough for
There is a
Writers and Readers Conference featuring the best selling writer
Barbara Kingsolver who will attract hundreds of interested people at
her lecture next week.
infrequent bull fights, often with matadors on horseback and in ten
days we will attend a concert of Spanish Flamenco dancers.
golf and tennis courts and open houses by artists. I wrote about the
Tomlinson Studio/Gallery last time I was here. It’s still a welcome
center for art lovers at Terraplan 29.
made to feel welcome by the locals who greet you and smile. Many of
the tour activities in this wonderful place are conducted by
volunteers who offer the tariff to local children’s charities. His
helps pay for medical, dental and schooling. No wonder the locals
You can rent one
of the many hotels either inside the town or in the hills above that offer
exciting vistas. I visited La hermitage high above the city. This was once
the home of the Mexican actor Continflas (Around The World in 80 Days).
There are condo rentals by the day or week but there is a savings if you
rent for a longer period. Many people rent homes for one to three months.
The cost, based on a world value, is on the low side and at the present
rates of exchange, food, entertainment and transportation is very cheap.
Taxis are abundant and the cost, no matter where you go, is about $3.00.
There is a hard
working police force and a contingent of police-like soldiers on horseback
with their bright blue and white uniforms shining in the sun. (See above).
construction everywhere, on the streets, sidewalks and the buildings. As I
write, the houses on the streets in the town area are being repainted and
spruced up. The colors are vivid mauve, orange, blues, reds or green. One,
just opposite our apartment is purple and blue. You can’t miss it.
And speaking of
homes to rent, our 700 sq ft apt. is on two levels with the bedroom in the
second floor loft with beautiful ceilings crafted of red brick and a table
and patio on the roof. We have a glass covered sitting room which we share
with our neighbors, two bathrooms, a gas heater for cool nights and a well
stocked kitchen. It’s perfect for just under $1000 US a month. They offer
telephone, TV cable and a house cleaning twice a week. We are a 6 minute
walk to the city center.
The common sitting
room allows us to meet and befriend our neighbors. The people who moved in
last week joined us for a 6PM drink. We talked until almost 11 at night. The
Floridians are here only for a short time. Pity!
in an upstairs apartment turned out to be someone from my home city of
On Thursdays they
sell an English language newspaper that lists all the activities of the
week. Atencion comes out on Friday and cost 10 pesos. At current rates of
over 12 pesos to the US dollar, it’s well worth the investment.
We arrived at the
end of a long period of rain. This is very unusual for this area. But now,
after two weeks of sun and running around, I’m almost happy to see that
there is some rain today and I can read, watch the all Arts TV channel or
catch up with my Email friends or relatives. A lap top allows you to use
Skype. What could be better?
Next article will
be about restaurants and other activities. I’ll give you an idea list of
what to do and where to eat. It’s almost endless so I’ll have to do some
You can Contact Professor Arnie Greenberg at:
Over the past few years, Professor
Greenberg has traveled with groups to France, Italy, Spain, Greece,
Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and both Sorrento and the Bay of
Naples plus most of Sicily. His tours traveled to the far reaches of the
globe including Italy and most of
China (Beijing -Hong Kong) and to Russia where his group cruised the waters
from St.Petersburg to Moscow.
"He took a group to Greece and another to northern
Russia. In Nov 07 he took a tour group to much of India and ended his tour
groups by revisiting France. He now travels with his wife and friends. They
winter in Argentina or San Miguel Mexico. His newly found spare time
is taken up with his painting and writing. "I must write every day." His
current work is a cautionary manual for would-be tour leaders.. "So
You Want To Be A Tour Leader."
Arnie now travels with friends. He continues writing
Travel articles about unusual places but often concentrates on novel
writing. Two books based on French Art will be published this year.
Keep reading his web for travel ideas. His next
novel HELLSTORM'S Folly,
will be available this fall. He now
lives in British Columbia.
www.top-travel-ideas.com or contact him directly at
(More about the writer.)