Subject: Morelia, Mexico
Hello fellow travelers,

A little over a month ago Judy in British Columbia detailed an upcoming trip to central Mexico. Among her destinations is the colonial capital Morelia of the state of Michoacán. Morelia is a wonderful city for walking and exploring the historical center. The first stop should be at the tourist information office in an old monastery, the Palacio Clavijero on the corner of Madero and Nigromonte. Be sure and inquire about the free guided walking tours of the colonial center. Directly across the street is a small plaza lined with a couple of cafes. Have a seat at one of the cafes, order a cerveza or refresco and make a plan for your exploration of the city. Just across the street on the north end of the plaza is the Las Rosas Conservatory of Music. More than likely you'll be serenaded by the renowned Boys Choir of Morelia while you relax. Across Calle Guillermo Prieto, to the northeast, is the State Museum which has the fixtures and furniture dating from an 1868 pharmacy on the main floor.

A review of your tourist information will highlight the rich colonial history of the city. Radiating out from the central Plaza de Armas are several square blocks of 17th and 18th century Spanish Colonial buildings. You'll be able to visit wonderfully historic government buildings, churches, schools, and homes. In addition, there are a number of markets you'll happen upon including the Mercado de Dulces and Artesanias on Calle Valentín Gomez Farias and the Casa de las Artesanías de Michoacan across from the San Francisco Church. Later, you'll want to head east toward the imposing Aqueduct and the photographic fountain called Las Tarascas.
>From here you can enter the Bosque Park for a little respite from the city traffic. Just south of the entrance to the park is La Flor de Michoacán ice cream store. This particular store is the only one in Mexico I've been able to find that has a paleta (ice cream bar on a stick) with a vanilla outside stuffed with pure cajeta (caramel made from goat's milk). Absolutely divine!

For accommodations you can consider the Posada de la Soledad at Ignacio Zaragoza 90, Tel. 43/12-1888 located just one block from the cathedral. A hacienda-style manor dating from the early 1700's. Traditional design with all the rooms facing a nicely landscaped courtyard. Another small hotel which we happened upon during our many strolls was the Hotel D'Atilanos at Corregidora #465, Tel. 43/13-3309. This small hotel is a few blocks southwest of the plaza on a nice quiet street.

Dining choices are many. Be sure and have an afternoon snack under the famous portales in one of the many sidewalk cafes. These stone arcades are right in the center of the city near the cathedral and can't be missed. Consider lunch or dinner at the Fonda las Mercedes at León Guzman # 47, Tel. 12 61 13. Wonderful decor and delicious food. Be sure and try the Sopa Tarasca and don't miss having your picture taken with the hostess. Finally, a visit to Morelia wouldn't be complete without taking a cab ride up to the Villa Montaña Hotel. Great views of the city and luxury accommodations and dining. See it at

¡Buen viaje! John in San Diego