TheEye had visited San Miguel on her first trip to Mexico – aeons ago – and remembered it as an attractive, sleepy, very hilly colonial town with cobbled street and an attractive ‘heart’ – a square with shops and cafes and male locals wearing Sombreros, smoking, drinking either coffee or mescal or both, passing the day in a leisurely fashion, whilst their woman cleaned, cooked, looked after the children and probably had a job or two on the side. I am not sure this has changed, but San Miguel is now a busy, thriving place, much loved by tourists both Mexican and from overseas.
Our main purpose for returning to San Miguel was to visit friends who live there for several months a year preferring the light and warmth and vibrance of Mexico in the winter to the grey and cold of the U.K. People are strange!
It was one of the most pleasurable highlights of our visit. Their house is glorious, very contemporary and also comfortable and inviting. It’s also memorable because we enjoyed a lively and interesting dinner party which is probably the last we will be attending for a very long time. Lots of animated conversation, good food and excellent wine. Oh, happy days!
Halfway through dinner, there was the most spectacular thunder and lightning storm with lightening none of us had ever witnessed before. The dining room was flooded with light as if giant light bulbs had exploded. Literally a ‘lighthouse’. Was it an omen in the Biblical sense – a prediction of what was to come? Was anger being vented from on high – a storm to hit us before we fully understood the enormity of what was about to follow that would change our lives forever?
Our friends commissioned the distinguished Mexican architect, Ricardo Legorreta, who died about four years ago and, a close friend of Luis Barragan to design the house. Legorreta was a prolific designer of private homes, public buildings and hotels including the Camino Real Hotel, which remains one of the most iconic buildings in Mexico City.
The house is meticulous in every detail. Blink and you might miss an artwork nestling in a corner or the variety of gorgeous materials – every bathroom sink, floors, stairs. Many locally sourced.
Our friends, renowned for their generous hospitality, added a special personal element to our time in San Miguel. Thank you!
But there were one or two other surprises, like a traditional Indian wedding – who would have expected that?
After three relaxing days (sitting by a glorious pool) it was time to move on and an eight-and-a-half-hour car journey to one of TheEye‘s favourite Mexican cities – OAXACA
A PERSONAL NOTE
TheEye thought long and hard before posting this series of blogs of her happy, action-packed recent holiday in Mexico in the midst of all the misery everyone is now experiencing. She wondered if maybe it would be considered ‘insensitive’ to be sharing happy times with pictures full of colour and life.
However, the response has been so encouraging and positive with a unanimous ‘Carry on posting’.
That is what I intend on doing. There are two more ‘days’ left in Mexico before we had to beat a hasty exit or risk being stranded under a cactus tree drinking the dregs of a bottle of mescal for many months.
After Mexico TheEye will be going back over the past five years of blogging and re-visiting some of the trips that have been the most fun and interesting – India, China, Vietnam, Israel, Japan, giving the highlights and (of course being who she is!!) her OPINIONS. No, you can’t escape those so easily. You might prefer sitting under the cactus tree?
It seems most probable that TheEye will not be returning to those countries ever again, which is sad, but the memories will be forever imprinted in her mind. Sharing these memorable experiences will, I hope, give all of you pleasure too, and if any of you are fortunate to travel to them, one day ( it seems like ‘over the rainbow’ and let’s hope there is a rainbow), there will be tips still possible to follow.
My other memories are the things I bought along the way – the cheap cotton saris from India I bought in the market and had the market tailor cut up and make into napkins which I and friends still use. The spices I bought in Israel, the wonderful photograph I bought in Beijing and oh, all those bangles and ribbons, the hand made paper in Japan that cost an arm and a leg. Yes, I was considered crazy. ‘Why are you buying all that STUFF’ was the exasperated question, which of course, I ignored. Well, I knew then and I certainly know now…looking at all the ‘stuff’ is bringing back such vivid memories, where I bought it and how I haggled, many of those I will be sharing with all of you, and I hope it will make you smile as much as I am just writing those words.
Thank you for your lovely emails, but please put your comments in the comment box below.
I hope you will continue to read TheEye and do share your comments in the comments box rather than in an email.
Have a happy Easter Sunday x