San Miguel de Allende

After the Day of the Dead I still had 2 more days in San Miguel de Allende in my Airbnb.

I love what the Lonely Planet says about San Miguel:

Many people say that San Miguel is a bit like a Mexican Disneyland for foreign (mainly American) retirees and visiting chilangos (those from Mexico City). While there is a certain contrived fairy tale feel to the place – and not a colonial brick out of place in its historic center – it is, nevertheless, a beautiful city, with colonial architecture, enchanting cobblestone streets and striking light (especially popular among photographers and artists). Regular festivals, fireworks and parades dominate the local scene.

The town’s cosmopolitan panache is reflected in its excellent restaurants and high-class accommodations. Numerous galleries are stocked with quality Mexican artesanías (handicrafts) and cultural activities are on tap for residents and visitors. There are few major sights in the compact centro histórico: San Miguel is the sight. The city – with El Jardín, the principal plaza, and the Parroquia, the large church, at its heart – was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 2008.

Economically speaking, this is no budget destination and is a far cry from the 1940s, when beatniks and artists shacked up here on a shoestring to pursue their creative ventures. While the foreign influence is pervasive (more than 12,000 foreigners are believed to live or have houses here), on the whole, the population coexists comfortably.

Beneath the smart B&Bs and fancy shops, another Mexico emerges. You only have to laze in the main plaza, visit the food market or interact with the local people to sense a different ambience, color and vibe.


My Airbnb was just a short walk to the center of town.


It was a nice place. A full size kitchen, living room with a flat screen TV that got CNN International :-), and one bedroom. There were also two patios. One was shared but the other came off of my bedroom with a view of the street below through the wires ha ha.



I enjoyed spending time there.

My Days

I spent the next two days going to Starbucks in the morning and then wandering the street or relaxing at home.

Starbucks was an interesting place. It seemed to be the place where all the English speakers would gather. It seemed to be the cetre of life. I observed a verbal fight between 2 guys where one said he would break every bone in the other’s body ha ha. There was a woman crying uncontrollably. There was a funny beggar woman who would show up to ask for money. I overheard an interesting talk between two men I think must of been professors. People were taking Spanish lessons. It was like its own microcosm.

I had to do laundry as well. In a weird way I enjoy it as the people in the laundromat are always friendly and rarely speak any English. So I get to practice.


One day as I was at the main plaza, I saw lots of police all lined up. I am not sure what it was all about. I think it had something to do with getting brand new cars.





The ceremony ended with the the cars driving off with sirens blaring.

My Location for November 3 and 4, 2016


Day of the Dead – Día de Muertos

Today is Day of the Dead, or in Spanish, Día de Muertos. It is a public holiday here and a lot of the stores are closed.

According to the University of New Mexico website, Celebrating The Day of the Dead has a long history in Mexican Tradition. The Day of the dead is celebrated on November 2nd. Sometime one hears reference to “the days of the Dead” which refers to the Days of October 31 – November 2. October 31 is Halloween or All Hallows eve. November 1 is “el Dia de los innnocentes” or the day of the children and All Saints Day. November second is All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead.The days of the dead are truly a celebration of life. When children dance with caricatures of death, eat skull sugar molds and learn to respect that life is brief, they learn there is a circle to life and to not fear death and then are free to enjoy and appreciate every moment.

The centre of this activity in San Miguel is the Jardin Allende.



Unfortunately there was a thunder storm the night before and it had rained. The memorials were a bit messed up because of it. But by the evening they appeared to be fixed up again.


I spent the day just hanging around the plaza and taking in all the activities.



The cathedral, La Santa Escuela de Cristo, is particularly mesmerizing.




People were getting ready for the night.


And some were already wandering around.


Night Time






I just loved this little girl. She stayed in character all the time. People were constantly asking for pictures with her.



There was a parade scheduled and I was really looking forward to it. My expectations were high. Unfortunately, it didn’t meet them. The parade was simply a couple of bands with a whole bunch of people dressed up like you have seen in the previous pictures. I guess I was expecting floats or something.

After the parade though, people hung around and the bands played at different locations where people would dance.



My Location for November 2, 2016


Día de Muertos Preparations in San Miguel de Allende

According to my Google search, one of the top ten places to watch the Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations was San Miguel de Allende. It is just ride from Santiago de Quertaro.

Leaving Santiago de Quertaro

I was in no rush to leave this morning as it was only a hour or so ride to San Miguel de Allende. So the first thing was coffee. Now I found out there isn’t a Starbucks downtown, but I did pass one the day I arrived just a few blocks from my hotel. That is where I went to enjoy a hour or two before leaving.

The ride to San Miguel de Allende was fairly routine. There was a beautiful viewpoint just before going down into the town.


Finding My Airbnb Residence

For staying at San Miguel I had booked an Airbnb. I put the address in my GPS. My GPS took me on Mr. Todd’s Wild Ride down and around narrow pot holed cobblestone roads. I was dying inside. The weight of my bike takes a lot of energy to control for the unskilled rider – me! When I got there I didn’t see the address. It just so happened there are 2 streets with basically the same name and they both have the same house number. A lady parked in front of me and was trying to help me with directions to the other street. As we were figuring it out, another lady came up to me and said, “Are you Brian?” Well I was taken aback. Who do I know here? She then said she was the owner of the Airbnb and it was just up the block. YAY!

The place was quite comfy. I’ll show photos in another post.

Walking into Town

The centre of San Miguel was only a few blocks from my place. It was early in the day, so I went out to explore.


Like every Mexican town, there is the main plaza usually with a church at one end. San Miguel has several “sub” plazas I guess you could call them.



But the main plaza, Jardin Allende, has a massive cathedral called, La Santa Escuela de Cristo.


Around the plaza preparations were taking place for the Day of the Dead taking place the next day. People were building memorials for loved ones. They were elaborate and not somber, but rather fun and celebratory.









I hadn’t had anything to eat since the morning. Now when I walked around the main plaza I couldn’t believe there was actually a Starbucks there.


You will be proud to know I resisted it though ha ha.

Instead there was an Italian place with a patio overlooking the plaza.



When I eat at a restuarant, I try to get my vegetables in. So that is what I had.


The slivers of pickled jalapeno on the tomatoes made it extra tasty.

By the evening it was time to call it quits and head back to my Airbnb to settle in for a few days.

My Route for November 1, 2016


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