Here’s the inside of the church where Hildalgo preached and delivered el grito (my exterior shots are kind of boring):
Nowadays, Dolores Hildago is perhaps equally well-known for its beautiful pottery (which was started as an industry by Miguel Hildalgo himself):
Locally, the town is also famous for producing bizarre flavors of ice cream. Unfortunately, both Kristen and I were so engrossed in trying different flavors that we forgot to take a picture of the carts, but the ice creams are sold from carts off to the side of the main jardin (literally “garden” but here its meaning is closer to “town square”). We sampled many different flavors, among them avocado, pine nut (that was just me), cajeta and coffee; I ended up getting mole and strawberry and Kristen opted for cheese and chocolate.
Then we climbed back in our van (driven by Michael, from Texas) and traveled onward to Atotonilco, a very small town whose main claim to fame seems to be an 18th century church where the priests still practice self-flagellation. (There were souvenir whips for sale at the booths outside. It was a little odd, to say the least.) The church, while in need of restoration, was lovely inside, with numerous frescos and statues of the saints and the Virgin Mary.
San Miguel was beautiful, if a little dusty, and is home to a thriving artists’ community. The institute de Belles Artes is located in a former monastery and contains the most beautifully tropical monastery garden I’ve ever seen:
(and the ceiling, judging from my pictures, but here's a picture of the whole church, more or less):
We wandered through el jardin:
And around some of the streets:
We drove back to Guanajuato just in time to see the sun set over the city as we returned.
Yesterday was spent mostly lazily, reading, knitting and catching up on our neglected notes. We did have brunch out, where we tried molletas (refried beans and chorizo on toast, a popular breakfast item); afterwards we heard Mass at the city’s main church. (We may have heard Mass, but unfortunately I’m not sure we understood any of it: the priest spoke very fast.)
Today was the second week of classes, and we also had our first cooking class, but more on that tomorrow. ¡Hasta luego!
P.S. As if this post weren’t long enough, I have one last story to share. Friday night, we wandered around town, got some dinner, drank some margaritas, and watched the university singers, but the highlight of the evening was Kristen asking a gentleman leading several burros (a common method of transporting goods around Guanajuato) if we could take pictures of his burros. Very gravely, he shook his head, then burst out laughing and told us that of course we could. We took our photos and as we were walking away, we realized that our request was probably equivalent to asking a gardener in the United States if we could photograph his wheelbarrow. We enjoyed the laugh at our own expense all evening. And truthfully, we enjoyed the pictures, too: