Armed with the guidebook, we headed out early to get out of the way of the maid. Today’s plan was to go check out the artisan areas. First stop was to get coffee in a warm place. The first inviting place we found was the nicest Starbucks we’ve ever seen, in an old stone building and although it was tempting we headed down the street for some local coffee. Sorry, all you librarians, but in search of the ‘bano’ we headed up to the library that houses a collection of Spanish, English, German and French books. It’s an old large hacienda with an open central courtyard that you might expect to meet Hemmingway in, dusty old stacks, huge chandeliers with half the bulbs missing, and art work old and new including murals that covered the walls and the ceiling in some of the rooms. It seems to be a hangout for the expats in the area. And has nice bathrooms for 5 pesos.
Heading on up the street we found ourselves at Fábrica la Aurora, an old very large former fabric mill that has been converted into numerous artists galleries. The guidebook sounded like we were going to find a bunch of high end boutiques but instead we found a vast maze of galleries featuring local working artists, antiques, and design galleries. Our impression of Mexican art is that it has a dreamlike quality, sometimes bad dreams and combines humour and spirituality. Interesting and for the most part makes one think.
Having had our fill of art we headed back home via the Artisan’s Alley, which offered a selection of less ethereal arts and crafts. Most impressive: lovely purses made out of beer can tabs (really) and gourds with springs attached that produced sounds out of Star Wars (very neat).
Having totally had our fill, we headed off in search of a 6 pack of cerveza, surprising hard to find in the old part of town, a few other groceries, and then back up the hill home past a huge bronze sculpture of a guy on horse with a large sword with pigeons perched on his head. Another interesting day in SM