Monday, March 16, 2015

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico - The Cultural Center of the State

Before I travel to someplace new, I seldom read much, other then in general terms.  I like being surprised.
San Cristobal provided many surprises, culturally, indigenously, and weather wise in 2008.

Some of the unexpected things were, the amount of crosses - everywhere!
 The fresh fruits in the market.  Things I had never seen before such as this red fruit.  The little plantanos were
so sweet and delicious.  The tuna from the blooms of the cactus are plentiful there as well as in San Miguel
 The vendors ALWAYS market their wares, whatever it is, in such an attractive way.  I marvel at their sense of style and artistic license - even when stacking avocados or this fruit above.
Handicrafts such as these hammocks were plentiful and colorful.  The amount of items handmade in Chiapas is overwhelming.  Beautiful huipiles (blouses), embroidered table runners, handbags, rebozos, amber, pottery.
Well, you get the picture - lots and lots of beautifully made handicrafts.
 The Spanish Colonial architecture is everywhere.  The Del Carmen Arch was especially attractive as you could see through as the street continued right up to the forested hillsides at the end of the town.
The Santa Domingo market near the church was my favorite.  It was really enjoyable that much of the centro of the city is closed to vehicular traffic which makes walking so much more enjoyable.  Little cafes as you're strolling.  Having a cappuccino and watching the passing people is always intriguing.

In 2008, I was there at the end of May prior to the rainy season, we thought.  Believe it or not, in the last few days of May, a hurricane came through!  Wow, did it ever rain!  And, since San Cristobal is in the Highlands of Chiapas, it was REALLY cold.  We plowed forward however, not missing much.

So much to see and so little time.   One of the surprising bits of information that was learned while in San Cristobal, was the fact that the Italians make up the largest contingent of ex-pats followed by the French.

Oh my, delicious Italian and French food - some of the best that any of us had ever had.

It was hard to leave San Cristobal.  It was such an easy, beautiful and enchanting place to be.  Onward though to the next surprise.  Chiapa de Corzo.


norm said...

The wool goods are the best in San Cristobal. The quality of the heavy sox are well worth finding a spot in your luggage for a few pairs.

Babs said...

Darn, Norm, I wish I had known that! I did buy a wool rebozo but did not know about the socks. Next time.
Bernal is a wool village a little over an hour from here. I'll have to check there too.


lauriec said...

Babs, I am so enjoying your "trip" to Chiapas- thanks for sharing this in retrospect. Am seriously thinking we might go in late April or inMay - any suggestions as to tour guides?

Anonymous said...

Italian and French expats! Interesting. I know when I was there that there seemed to be more Europeans around than Americans, something I noted in my post when I was there.

San Cristóbal is really a magical place. I'd love to go back.

Thanks for sharing your memories.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where winter seems to be loosening it's grip just a smidgen.

Retired Teacher said...

It been fun to relive my trip to Chiapas through your posts. Lovely pictures and descriptions!