Zacatecas: Savor the Spirit of a Spirited City
While captivated by the march beat of clarinets, trombones and drums, I hesitate to follow the callejoneada (small-street procession). I’m an uneasy woman going alone, as the procession will wind through a shadowy maze of dark alleys and angled streets.
A young couple walks toward me, speaking rapidly in Spanish. “...habla un poquito Espanol,” I said, meaning I speak only a little Spanish. “That’s ok”, says the man in crisp English. “We are teachers!” “The procession ends at Plaza de Armas,” says the woman.
That’s one of the few places I know! Several friends and I walked that first morning, past potted weeping fig trees and cheery, red geraniums at Meson de Jobito, the venerable inn where I stayed, through the city’s historic heart.
Except the modern cars on cobblestones, I might have been walking to La Catedral in the 18th century. Feeling the same warm sun and cool shadows, breathing the same rarified air.
A leisurely breakfast, including huevos rancheros and membrillo (quince) --fueled a walking tour of central Zacatecas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. We’d stood in the Plaza de Armas beside a Mexican baroque cathedral with an exhuberant façade, striking double towers, and surprising secret passageways. A smiling man with a burro was walking along Avenida Hidalgo, cooperatively posing for pictures.
The fast pace of a group tour became an impressionistic blur. Outside the Palacio de Gobierno, we found a mural in a stairwell depicting regional history.