Javier, our gardener, comes here on Mondays and Fridays to sweep the grounds and water the many potted plants on the property and the roof decks. He also checks the propane tanks and orders replacements as needed. Last Friday he asked us if we would like to go to Dolores Hidalgo with him and his son Rodrigo. He would love to show us this beautiful city. We gladly accepted.
|The beautiful church at the plaza principal|
Dolores Hidalgo Cuna de la Independencia National is the official name of the city. Before Mexico gained independence from Spain the town was simply known as Dolores, but on September 16, 1810 father Miguel Hidalgo cried for independence and started the revolution that eventually ended the Spanish rule. To honour the father the town got renamed, and is now known as Dolores Hidalgo.
|Father Miguel Hidalgo|
More than half of the people who call this city home are involved in the ceramics industry. The pottery produced here is exported to markets all over the world. Shelagh and I dropped a few Pesos here on some ceramic items small enough to bring home. We then visited the plaza principal and admired the church where father Miguel Hidalgo uttered his famous cry. There was a mass in progress so we did not enter the church, but we will do that when we return to the city on Tuesday with Darcy, our neighbour here.
We treated Javier and Rodrigo to an ice cream cone from one of the vendors in the square, delicious! The plazas in Mexico are the social hub of town and especially on Sundays they are well visited by families out for a get together.
|Rodrigo - Shelagh - Javier|
We left the city after a couple of hours and then visited a small sanctuary church complex called Atotonilco. This place is a Unesco world heritage site. The church has the most fantastic ceiling decor and is referred to as the Sistene Chapel of Mexico. There is also the possibility to stay here for seven days to do penance for your sins. On the way to the church there are vendors selling the implements needed for this penance. Like short whips to slap yourself with, reminiscent of the scene in the movie "The da Vinci Code" when Silas whips himself with a cat of nine tails.
|The Cloister at Atotonilco|
|A Cat of Nine Tails|
We had a great day with Javier and Rodrigo. The kindness of Mexican people is remarkable...