|The Cathedral in the center of the Historic District|
We arrived at the new Terminal Nuevo Millenium (Nuevo Central Camionera) bus terminal where Omnibus de Mexico, TAP, ETN, and Primera Plus serve much of Mexico.
Guadalajara is the capital city of the State of Jalisco and located in what is considered the western Pacific area of Mexico although it is still a two hundred mile, four hour jaunt to the coast at Puerta Vallarta.
The city itself incorporates several barrios and numbers about a million and a half in the center and about four million in the suburban region to make Guadalajara second only to Mexico City in population.
Industry and high tech give Guadalajara enough leisure time for culture which includes an international film festival, an international book fair, the annual Mariachi Festival, and the bragging rights for hosting the 2011 Pan America Games.
First settled in 1532, Guadalajara started its cathedral in 1561 after the area had been secured from Indian attack. Augustinian and Dominican priest arrived to begin the conversion the indigenous people to Christianity while the construction of the cathedral was underway. The building was dedicated in 1618, that is two years before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth MA.
The taxi took me to the historic downtown area of Guadalajara the oldest section of the city where the Cathedral, the rotunda dedicated to the famous citizens of Jalisco State, and many parks make Guadalajara's Center an easily walked area.
The large park east of the cathedral is the scene concerts and
The Plaza de Armas offers gardens and wrought iron benches and a 19th century iron kiosk constructed in Paris. Also in the historic area are many other parks such as the Plaza de Liberacion, Plaza de los Mariachis, and the Plaza de Agave.
The Cathedral, a combination of Gothic and Renaissance style, dominates the downtown skyline with its 19th century towers, a restoration after an 1818 earthquake.
I booked a room in the Don Quixote hotel, a decent and clean, older hotel about three blocks from the Cathedral. In-room Wifi and cable are becoming standard amenities in Mexico's modern city hotels. The room went for 550 Pesos.
For the first day I relaxed in the Centro Historico where outdoor restaurants and coffee shops offer a respite.
There are over 100 hotels in the city that range from 5 star to 3 star. These old hotels give Guadalajara a European flavor which is made more international by national and international flight service out of Guadalajara's Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, International Airport (GDL), 12 miles southeast of the city. The airport serves Houston, Chicago, and LA as well as Mexico City where flights reach Europe and South America.
The Museo Regional de Guadalajara displays
historic artifacts and fossilized bones of animals that
once roamed the high plateau of Central Mexico.
My first stop was the plazas where artists had set up to demonstrate their craft. Interesting to note that Guadalajara also has a zoo and an adjacent children's amusement park. The Cultural Museum (Museo Regional de Guadalajara) is located in the historic district near the Cathedral.
Regional Museum (Museo Regional de
Guadalajara) displays artifacts from
various ruins in the area. Find the
entrance at the Rotonda de los
Find the entrance to the Regional Museum of Guadalajara
across from the park honoring writers and other notable figures
from Jalisco State of Mexico.
Guadalajara is also noted for its mariachi bands, strolling musicians who entertain at the restaurants in the Centro Historico. In September, Guadalajara holds a Mariachi Festival.
The Plaza de Armas offers gardens and wrought
iron benches and a 19th century iron kiosk
constructed in Paris.
Tequila is another signature tradition particular to Guadalajara and Jalisco State.
From Guadalajara I planned a trip to Patscuaro and the ruin site of Tzintzuntzan before I headed north and east to Aguascalientes.
Next: Bus to Aguascalientes