October 23: in Guanajuato, watching hurricane Patricia unfold

Patricia_NASAThe BBC calls hurricane Patricia the strongest storm ever recorded, and this NASA satellite image of it is certainly impressive. Harry and I safely arrived in Guanajuato this afternoon. The rain set in around 5PM and hasn’t stopped since.

IMG_1406Located in a valley at 6,600ft (2.000m), many of Guanajuato’s thoroughfares are partially or fully underground. In 1988, UNESCO declared the city a World Heritage Site.

IMG_1413The Plaza de la Paz (Peace Square) has been the city’s main plaza since colonial times.

IMG_1408Hidalgo market hall was opened in 1910 and boasts a fascinating selection of produce, meats, clothing and handicrafts.

IMG_1410Each fall for over sixty years, Guanajuato has been serving as an urban stage for plays by Cervantes. The 43rd Festival Internacional Cervantino is currently in full swing. Sadly, the bad weather sent many visitors home early.

IMG_1416Mariachi musicians were awaiting their performance on one of Guanajuato’s picturesque plazas.

IMG_1407I also stumbled upon this repair shop. At first I was tempted to ask the owner why she or he decided to call it “Mussolini” but I then realized that the answer would be either disappointingly mundane or shockingly ignorant.

IMG_1411The fate of the 43 male students who were kidnapped from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College in Guerrero in September last year and are presumed dead is omnipresent. “They were taken alive,” these posters read, “we want them [back] alive.”

IMG_1417I had an early dinner near the city’s opulent Juarez Theater and then headed back to the hostel. Owner Francisco, a psychotherapist who runs Paradiso Perduto together with his wife Elena, is an exceptionally kind and generous host. Even though I assured him that Harry and I would be safe in the truck, he vacated his studio for us just in case the rain gets too nasty during the night.

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