The Mexican state of Guanajuato lies northeast of Mexico City in the jagged heart of the country. There are mountains aplenty but also vast areas of flat, fertile plain covered in agricultural fields.
León lies on this plain with hills and mountains in every direction. I was shocked to learn that the city’s elevation is higher than that of Denver. I’m nearly 6,000 feet above sea level here. (Note to self: Drink lots of water. Amended note to self: Drink lots of bottled water.)
Landlocked Guanajuato is not a favored tourist destination but it has many charms. The combination of latitude and elevation make the climate mild. It is rich in history and Spanish colonial architecture. These attractions, combined with the relative strength of the dollar make it a favorite place for American expats and retirees.
Charming colonial cities such as San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato (the city) have sizable American expat communities.
My spanish langage skills are muy crappy. I have a crude touristy ability to order food, thank the server, and ask directions to the restroom.
But for this trip I carefully practiced a few new phrases. Among them:
“Disculpeme por hablar tan mal el espanol.” That is roughly, “Please overlook my lousy Spanish.”
Updates to follow. “Salud!”