Guanajuato is a five hour coach journey north west of Mexico City and is an odd place. It was, and is, a silver mining town, so its location is decided by geology, not convenience. It is situated in a narrow valley and level ground is scarce. But, to compensate for putting it in an awkward place, mining gives it a three dimensional road network. Tunnels are everywhere. They cut through ridges, they dive through the centre of town. The one way system in the town centre is above ground, one way, below ground, the other way.
One of the main tunnels in the city centre follows the bed of the local river. This had been diverted from its usual path following disastrous flooding.
Some may be mine workings brought back into useful service. Tunnel entrances appear everywhere.
If you get in the wrong lane you are destined for the underworld!
Guanajuato is not a pretty town – it is too hard-working for that – but it has some impressive buildings. These were financed from the huge profits made by the exceedingly rich silver mines. Some of the money stayed in the town but much went back to Spain.
You can get some idea of the current mining operations HERE.
The town site is very steep and houses are close packed.
The narrow alleys are called callejon and some can be very narrow!
But life can be very pleasant in a shady cafe by the Jardin Union.
We stayed on the edge of town in a casita in the garden of a larger house owned by an American couple who had returned to the husbands roots. We found it through VRBO which we have found invaluable for finding nice places to stay. We recommend it highly – we have not found a bad property yet!
After Guanajuato we returned to Mexico City then went on to Puebla. Of which, more anon.