Subject: Michoacán: was Oaxaca
We stayed with a friend's mother-in-law. But two of the members of the party stayed at the Posada de la Soledad at Ignacio Zaragoza 90, tel. 43/12-1888 and loved it. A hacienda-style manor built in 1719. http://www.hsoledad.com/frames2.html This website has further links regarding the sights.

A couple of restaurants I highly recommend are Fonda Las Mercedes at León Guzmán 47, tel. 43/12-6113. Once again, a restored colonial mansion wonderfully decorated. The gracious attentive service coupled with the well-prepared dishes had us lingering over a long lunch.

The Villa Montaña Hotel at Patzimba #201, Tel. (43) 14-0231 We had our upscale dining experience at this hotel. Great views of the city. Morelia's premiere hotel. http://www.villamontana.com.mx/ This website has further links regarding the sights.

There is a wonderful little plaza near the Las Rosas Conservatory of Music, corner of Nigromante &Santiago Tapia. Grab an afternoon cerveza or morning cappucino and listen to the students practicing in the conservatory. Closeby is the Museo del Estado with a great selection of pre-columbian jewelry &masks. On the main level is a restored 19th century apothecary shop.

Here are some websites specific to Morelia:

http://www.ccu.umich.mx/mich/morelia/morelia.html (Spanish)

http://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/guias_md/gm199801.htm (Spanish)

Pátzcuaro

We stayed at the Hotel Posada de la Basilica at Arciaga #6, tel. 43/42-1108. Across from the 16th century Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Salud. Nice little hotel. Be sure and ask for firewood for the fireplaces. It is cold up at this elevation. You'll want the heat from the fireplace. In the morning the Purépecha (Tarascan) women will be selling atole, champurrado (atole with cinnamon and chocolate), corundas (triangular shaped tamal), and uchepos (sweet strawberry-flavored tamales) at the plaza in front of the basilica.

The woman whose stand we dined at serenaded us with a song about Vasco de Quiroga, the beloved Spanish priest that helped the Purépecha establish a self-sustaining community of artisan workshops. Quiroga followed the ideas of Sir Thomas More in an attempt to establish a Utopia. His efforts helped the Purépecha to retain their culture against the onslaught of Spanish colonialism. Centuries later he is still revered by the people he helped.

At the restaurant El Patio at Plaza Vasco de Quiroga, tel. 43/42-0484, we had a delightful lunch made even more so by the guitarist with a humorous song about the Devil. Try the sopa tarasca.

One of the best things we did while in Pátzcuaro was run into Francisco Castilleja a guide whose efforts are geared towards helping the Purépecha communities around the lake. We visited Tocuaro (where we went into the home of one of the master carvers of the Michoacán masks, as well as another family's home), San Francisco Uricho (where we were introduced to another Purépecha family and gathered in the kitchen as the woman prepared fresh tortillas on the comal), we then continued onto Erongarícuaro to Francisco's home where we snacked on the tortillas he'd purchased along with some homemade smoked-cheese. I highly recommend his services, tel. 43/44-0167.

Below is the link to the website I built to inform other members of the group that went on this trip. It has links to many of the sights we visited. http://sites.netscape.net/flowsdad/homepage/mtc.htm

That's it for now. I'll try to put together some more later.

John Rule San Diego, CA