Guadalajara

We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary in Guadalajara, the capitol and largest city in the Mexican state of Jalisco. This city is really large with a population of over 1.4 million plus visitors. Multiple bus companies run luxury busses between Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara every hour almost round the clock. Check out the schedule.

Vallarta Plus Bus Schedule

Vallarta Plus Bus Schedule

On the surface it doesn’t seem too strange until you realize it is a four hour bus ride. It was a lovely ride through the mountains until we got to the sections where there are continuous ’S’ turns that last for 10-15 minutes. Some civil engineer must have spent many a year after that chuckling at all the people he made sick driving that road.

Some beautiful scenery on the bus ride

Some beautiful scenery on the bus ride

Guadalajara is broken into Zona’s and we picked Zona Minerva (also referred to as Zona Rosa) to stay in based on Fodors description as the pulse of the city with trendy restaurants, galleries, mansions and tree lined boulevards. We think it had all that but it was just as busy as the rest of the city. Rereading the description, the word quiet is missing LOL. We loved the place we stayed at, Villa Ganz. This is a boutique hotel in a historic 1930’s mansion with only 10 rooms, a lush garden, great breakfast and an honor bar in the evenings.

This is the entrance to Hotel Villa Ganz

Entrance to Hotel Villa Ganz

The grand staircase at Villa Ganz

The grand staircase at Villa Ganz

The outdoor garden at Villa Ganz

The outdoor garden at Villa Ganz

The outdoor patio in the evening.  There was a warm fire burning.

The outdoor patio in the evening. There was a warm fire burning.

The Christmas lights at Villa Ganz

The Christmas lights at Villa Ganz

So you might ask what is the draw to Guadalajara? One word, shopping. Apparently this is an international destination for shopping. I’m sure part of the draw is the history and the architecture. We spent one afternoon walking through Zona Centro where the historic Guadalajara Cathedral and other historic buildings are located.

A selfie at the Guadalajara Cathedral

A selfie at the Guadalajara Cathedral

Tlaquepaque8

Fountain

We did do our share of shopping. We walked into one 4 store building that sold only jewelry. Too overwhelming for me. We really enjoyed looking at the artist work in Tlaquepaque. We wondered though who would actually buy the large pieces of furniture and artwork we saw.

Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque

Bar and chairs made entirely of wood.  This was one of the smaller pieces.  Some dinning room tables were the width of our boat.

Bar and chairs made entirely of wood. This was one of the smaller pieces. Some dinning room tables were the width of our boat.

The streets of Tlaquepaque

The streets of Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque

We enjoyed great food and drinks even though things may have gotten mixed up in the translation a bit. Gary ordered a Martini one night and got a Manhattan instead. When he did get a martini he thought it was the best martini he ever had. Paco, chilled the glass with ice, vermouth and club soda. He shook the copious amount of gin and then poured it into the emptied glass but not before smelling the glass to see if the proper amount of vermouth was left in the glass. Mucho Bueno!! We also were in craft beer heaven since none is sold where we are now.

A local bar

A local bar

And the fruit was unbelievable. Vendors sold containers of cut fruit on the street throughout the city. More healthy than the Starbucks or McDonalds which we have on every corner in the states.

A fresh fruit plate for breakfast

A fresh fruit plate for breakfast

We had 48 hours and we did our best to see the highlights. With a city this size we probably missed the best parts. The elevation there is around 5,100 feet. Even with the temperatures hovering in the 70’s, people were dressed in long pants, coats and even some scarves. Clearly they were all yearning for a change of wardrobe from the summer heat.