Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monterrey, Mexico

Although I could not really classify myself as a tourist in Monterrey, these are some of the tourists' sights. There is always something new to explore or try. As many times as I have been there, there are many things I have not done. I am always introduced to a new food or eatery.

The image is an icon for the city is the "Cerro de las Silla,"  Saddle Mountain. This image or an outline of the ridge is everywhere in the city. For me it serves as a GPS landmark. I cannot get lost in the city if I know where the mountain is.

Las Monjitas
This is relatively new to me. This translates as "The Nuns" or "The Sisters." Some of you readers will know my attraction to this place. This is a restaurant. I have not been inside, but I seem to have to walk past and look in when I am in the area.
The facade of the building resembles a church or monastery/nunnery of the 18th century. The menu outside shows they serve typical Mexican dishes, nothing over $6. All the employees are women and they are all dressed as Nuns.

Notice the backgrounds and it all seems too scary for me. Maybe next time I will go in and pose with one of
the Sisters.


 Cerro Las Mitras
The city of Monterrey is surrounded by mountains and large hills. I think that it is this geography that increases the summer heat.  This mountain is in the up and coming side of the city. The folks with more money seem to be in this area. "Las Mitras" refers to the likeness of the mountain top to the Bishop's Mitre/ hat. Some of the relatives live about two blocks from where I took this picture.
I remember that many years ago a plane crashed into one of these surrounding mountains and the tragedy was that those that went to recover the bodies went to steal. Wallets, rings, and fingers were missing from the passengers. I don't think that there were any survivors.



In the old downtown area, the centerpiece was the cathedral and the plaza in front. The plaza had an elaborate gazebo with wrought iron decor. There were vendors, and plenty of shade to enjoy an ice cream or Coke. The tourist hotels were within one block. Those were the days before the killings and the beheadings. 

The quaint plaza in front of the cathedral has been replaced by La MacroPlaza. The city tore down houses and businesses in 6 blocks to make a plaza to rival those of Europe. The dominant features are the water fountains.

Of course, now with the threat of violence all around, citizens don't hang out there. The fountains don't run all the time. The heat is too oppressive and one does not venture out at night - a spectacle indeed.

El Ancira
One of the luxury hotels a block from the Cathedral and the Plaza  is the Ancira or more properly El Gran Hotel Ancira (below). If you were a person of wealth and status or if you wanted to impress someone and make believe that you had money and status, you stayed at the Ancira. This was built in the early 1900s. Brass handrails and carpet stays are all around. Huge wrought iron chandeliers don't leave you in the dark. The hotel's bar is stunning, with folk tales of Pancho Villa riding in on his horse. I don't know if they served horses back then or not. Back in the day it was "the hotel." Now the Sheraton, the Hyatt, and the Holiday Inn are close by. This entire tourist area was known as "la zona rosa" the pink zone.

The old government building, "El Palacio de Govierno" was built in the late 1800s and served as the city hall, hall of records, etc. It was replaced by a much bigger palacio de govierno at the far end of the MacroPlaza. This old building is now an art museum. It sits directly across the Ancira Hotel in the Zona Rosa."

As with all other cities, the historic and quaint has been overtaken by the bigger and modern. The Coke image on the building is a collage of mostly people pictures.

On my next trip to Mexico, I will remember to take pictures of other memorable sites in the city.
Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a nice vacation spot. The nun restaurant though is a little weird. If you know all the words to "Maria (What Do You Do With A Problem Like Maria)" from Sound of Music do you get a free drink?