Aguascalientes Cathedral

Road Trip Day 9: Aguascalientes and Calvillo

posted in: Zacatecas Road Trip 2021 | 0

I was happy to leave San José de Gracia this morning, and decided to stop in the state capital of Aguascalientes on my way to Calvillo. Where I am now. Sitting in front of a fan in my Airbnb because it is very hot here.

San José de Gracia: Farewell

I took Taco for a walk this morning to see if the town would look more appealing in the early day’s light.

It didn’t.

So I packed up the car and left. My original plan was to spend the morning in San José de Gracia and take a scenic back road to Calvillo. (Actually I have no idea if it would have been scenic. It just looked twisty and mountainous on the map.) But since I got an early start, I decided to visit Aguascalientes, the state capital, on the way.

Aguascalientes

Arriving from the north, I got mile upon mile of industrial urban sprawl on my way to the historic center. Happily, Google maps got me through it and right to the heart of the center, where I pulled into the first garage I came to.

This city doesn’t have the charm of Zacaatecas or Guadalajara. But the area around the cathedral is attractive. And the cathedral itself (Catedral Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, or just Aguascalientes Cathedral), built in the early 18th century, is stunning. It faces out onto Plaza de la Patria, a large park that is mostly pavement. (The photo at the top of this post shows it.) The plaza is flanked by some interesting colonial-eral buildings. And as I wandered, I found several other attractive urban spaces and some appealing eateries. Since I hadn’t had breakfast in San José de Gracia (there being nowhere to have breakfast), I was ready for an early lunch, and I found a great spot for a sandwich and a hot chocolate. Mexican hot chocolate, by the way, is the best there is. 

Aguascalientes Cathedral
Palacio de Gobierno, dating from 1665

After lunch I got my car out of the garage for just 30 pesos (about $1.50 US) and made the 45-minute drive to…

Calvillo

As I approached Calvillo, I watched my car’s thermometer climb. I’d already read a weather report and knew the forecast. I expected it to be hot. But when I finally arrived and got out of the car, it hit me with a blast. I’m sure it was over 90 degrees Farenheit.

I got settled into my Airbnb and decided to take a walk and leave Taco behind so she could rest. I discovered two beautiful churches and a plaza that would have been delightful were it about ten degrees cooler. This calls for ice cream, of course. Fortunately, there were a number of ice cream vendors in the plaza, and shady benches beckoned. But even in the shade, I was wilting. I think I’ll go back down there early tomorrow before I leave and before it gets too hot.

Santuario de la Virgen de Guadalupe (zoomed in view from my apartment)
Santuario de la Virgen de Guadalupe
Parroquia del Señor de Salitre. Apparently this is the second largest dome in Latin America.
Parroquia del Señor de Salitre

I passed a number of bakeries near the plaza. Apparently pastries, cookies, and such are a local specialty. So I went into one of the bakeries and asked for 100 pesos worth of assorted items. (That’s about $5 US.) Apparently 100 pesos buys a whole hell of a lot of bakery items. I ended up with three bags of pastries. If any of my neighbors in Ajijic read this, get ready for some sweets!

On the way back to my apartment, a guy in a car called out to me. He asked me if I was visiting. (I clearly don’t look like a Mexican.) And he offered to show me around. He was very friendly, but I politely declined. He didn’t speak English anyway.

All my photos from the state of Aguascalientes, including the three Pueblos Mágicos and the capital city, are in one Google album. Check them out.

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