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Escrito por El Tacano () via proxy desde 188.8.131.52 (adsl-69-109-216-245.dsl.pltn13.pacbell.net) el día domingo, 04 de abril, 2010 a las 22:27:05 horas :
After great flight(s) on Volaris OAK to GLD to TLC for $258 round trip including all fees I arrived at my hotel The Colonial in El Centro in lovely Toluca at 12:30 AM. Had a bit of a mix up with customs which I was forced to navigate at both GLD & TLC. Not a biggy just a bit time consuming.
The Colonial is most definitely a faded Queen that is architecturally fabulous but about 50 years past its prime. The public areas with wide sweeping staircases, crystal chandeliers, cast iron railings & mosaic windows, it must have been a gem in it's day.
The room itsself was adequate with a good bed, Cable TV, spacious hot water bathroom, ancient but sparkling clean wood floors. Overall a very clean place with a great location but a block & a half from the main plaza so a excellent buy at $29 US per night.
After a good night's sleep I showered & went exploring. After a block or so I realized I was not at sea level any more Dorothy. Light headed & a bit short of breath the 9,000' plus altitude was taking a toll. I had breakfast at a lovely linen table covered café consistently of fresh bread, fruta, Huevos Rancheros, tortillas, rice, beans, juice & café for 65 pesos feeling somewhat rejuvenated.
Decided to stick with El Centro this first day exploring. Visited the indoor Botanical Garden with mosaic windows of mythological creatures. The Bellas Artes with a most interesting collection of nudes along with the normal religious/historical heavy stuff. A wonderful women's park with a series of incredible metal sculptures both whimsical & dramatic of women. A most interesting sculpture/fountain of an ancient warrior strangling The winged Serpent as water gushed from the serpent's mouth. The Warrior is anatomically correct & it seems to be a rite of passage for young women to touch his private parts. Clean government buildings on the main plaza, unusual for the green settings at each corner of the Plaza.
The Central area has a large shopping area with Portales (arches) completely surrounding it. Retail varies from Mercado stalls to high end fashion ones. Even here a non-gringo area Mickey Dees, Burger King & KFC have arrived.
After a PM nap (I am old you know) I again hit the plaza watching Mariachis, clowns, mimes & other entertainment.
Toluca is the Sausage Capitol of Mexico so I went to one of several "stuffers" sampling their wares, Delicious! Topped it off with a bowl of Chicken soup. As I wandered the streets noting the number of ice cream shops & popcorn vendors I choose a 4.5 peso bag of corn. In a Central covered walkway they hold dances with live music. That night was old folks night (my people!) where the geriatric set Mamboed, sambaed, tangoed & more to the band. Probably 500 couples all having a ball.
Still a bit weary at the high altitude I was back in my bed by 10:00 for the night.
Next The Round Pyramids!