Tuesday, June 30, 2015

La Escuela Falcon and the Tunnels

Mike and I attended our first classes at La Escuela Falcon here in Guanajuato, near the University.  We signed up for three, 55 minute classes per day for four days.  I must say the walk up the hill is best made crawling on your hands and feet because it is so steep, but Mike and I keep reminding ourselves that this is good bone density building exercise.  The walk down would seem fine, however, since we are in the middle of monsoon season, the rain makes the stones as slick as ice.  I think I will try sliding down on my rear end tomorrow.

We are using these two books which can be purchased for $25USD for both or rented for $1USD per day.
This school offers all levels of classes for beginner to expert and focuses on basic vocabulary, conversation and grammar.  The classes are no larger than five students and we got to share classes with a Texan, Washington Stat'er and Australian.  The instructors do not speak English in the class (on purpose), however, they will chime in if you are really struggling (fingers pointing at Cat). 

The school also offers lodging, meals, tours, activities, etc. that could keep one very busy for an incredibly affordable experience.  It is a little over $120USD to take three classes per day/five days per week.  Money very well spent!

We ate a late lunch around 3:30 pm at La Tosca Cafe again and had enchiladas and ceviche (my favorite).  I forgot to snap a picture of the enchiladas diablos, but we did get bread and an amazing green chile hot mustard-like sauce that was out of this world.  If only I knew what was in it.
Green chile and mustard? sauce, made my eyes water it was so spicy!

I absolutely love ceviche and this ceviche de camaron did not disappoint me. It was cured in lime juice and had serrano chile, ginger, red onion and cucumber.

After lunch, we walked around town and took a few more building pictures.  Have I mentioned how much I love the doors and buildings here?  These photos below are all around La Plaza de la Paz.  In 1766, riots took place in the mining town of Guanajuato protesting unfair provisions of the colonial government.  The "Plaza of Peace" was named for in remembrance about 100 years later. 

We took a taxi back to the apartment and I tried to capture some of the sights including the tunnel system along the way.  We have heard many stories about the history of these beautiful tunnels that run underneath the city, however, what I have read is that many years ago, Guanajuato was continually suffering from city flooding.  In an effort to find a solution to the problem and meet the limitations of the surrounding terrain, the tunnels were dug to accommodate the heavy rains and flooding.  The tunnel construction began in 1883.  Later, due to the steady growth of cars, the tunnels were utilized as roads, rather than flooding overflow.  I believe that during monsoon season, many of these tunnels are impassible.

I am terrified in these tunnels.  There are no mirrors or stop lights so it's kind of a fend for yourself adventure.  There are stop signs but they seem optional.

People also walk in these tunnels (and park if you can believe it) with about a 24" walkway.  YIKES....

View on the way up to our apartment at the top of the hill.

You can see one of the tunnel entrances up ahead.  Thankfully they are only one way!
The homes are all painted the brightest colors, I love it.
View of the opposite side of the 'bowl' from our apartment.

We are having a late night snack at home tonight so we can practice our spanish for tomorrows lesson.

Hasta manana.