I should have written this post a while ago since I was in Queretaro back in July. But alas, time has flown by and it is now September and I am dreaming of my beloved Mexico. My most recent visit there was to visit my sister and her wee family in Queretaro which is both a city and a state. Queretaro is one of the smallest of the thirty-two states in Mexico and the city itself is about a two hour drive Northwest of Mexico City.
Normally when I head here, I fly via Mexico City (D.F.) and then take a bus (250 pesos approximately) to Queretaro. The bus takes about three hours but it leaves frequently right from the airport in D.F. and they give you food and drink for the ride. This time around, I was able to find a relatively inexpensive flight ($800 CDN) that took me straight to Queretaro with one stopover in Dallas-Forth Worth. Normally when I travel to Mexico I do my best to avoid flying through the US. I find that customs takes unnecessarily long and I often feel pretty frustrated, wishing that I had just spent the extra money to fly direct. Flying down on this trip through DFW, I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of it all. Coming home, however, was a big ordeal and I was thankful that I had many hours to spare in this stopover. Without reliving the annoyances here, I will say this: when you have a connecting flight in DWF, be sure to have a long stopover. It is a busy airport and you will need the extra time.
The flight from DFW to Queretaro was on a fairly small plane (only three seats across) and was filled mostly with farmers and the farming business type. I may have been one of the only women on this sold-out flight.
The clouds from the plane between DFW and Queretaro were incredible. They made me think of a farm of clouds. Also, the mountains in Mexico never cease to amaze me.
The historical centre (El centro historico) of Queretaro is one of the prettiest that I have seen in Mexico. It is no wonder that it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You could wander it for hours, stumbling upon beautifully gardened squares and cute shops. Bonus: the squares in this city have FREE WIRELESS INTERNET. I am not joking. I wonder why Toronto cannot get in on some of that action. So if you read a tweet of mine during this time, I was likely sitting on an iron bench gazing at this beauty as I typed. 🙂
I picked up these delicious natural candies for my niece Li’l K. My favourite are anything with coconut.
There is a relatively new water/amusement park near Queretaro. We planned to go there on Canada Day as something fun to do to celebrate our motherland. Naturally that day was a wee bit chilly and perhaps a little rainy, but we still have fun. My niece Vannya liked the merry-go-round. Of course we were decked out in all things Canada.
(Sidenote: that day we were determined to make a dinner that was Canadian-style. The best that we could come up with was making poutine. But of course, you cannot buy cheese curds nor gravy in Mexican grocery stores. We ended up making a dreamy homemade mushroom gravy and used Mexican cheese. And of course, we toasted to glasses of Canada Dry Ginger Ale.)
Since the state Queretaro borders five other states (San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Mexico and Michoacan), there are many opportunities to visit new places. We spent a couple of days visiting other towns, mostly in Guanajuato. I loved these tiny cookies that we bought from some nuns outside of a church. Too cute!
Leon was probably the prettiest city that I visited on this trip (outside of Queretaro). It is the sixth largest city in Mexico and is located in Guanajuato. I loved the neo-Gothic cathedral that is located close to the centre.
Vannya and I spent a lot of time hanging in the back seat of the car enjoying the scenery on all the roadtrips that we did.
A great place to visit in Queretaro is Mision Queretaro that is located just outside of the city in Juriquilla. It is a hotel, restaurant and golf course. It would also be a great location to host a wedding or special event. My sister originally took me there just to show me it. We wandered the grounds and I loved it. We then found out that on weekdays, the buffet brunch is two-for-one for ladies. We quickly made plans to return and eat our hearts out.
The brunch was perfect. They even let us take coffees outside where Vannya could play on the toys there. All for a mere 250 pesos. I want to go back and stay as an actual guest at the hotel the next time that I am in Queretaro. The pretty dishes there also inspired me to invest in some similar to use in my own home. I also bought a pretty ring here that has an orange opal actually from Queretaro.
Vannya is such a ham and I love her to bits.