Gathering @Quéretaro, MX.

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It all began a few months ago. I met these friends at an architecture contest in Mérida, Yucatán. The group is so diverse and even though we have seen each other in person for only 13 days we get along really well.

Thurdsay, September 15, 2016. Though the departure from Monterrey was planned to be at 1:30PM we ended up leaving the city at 4:00PM and arriving to Querétaro at around 11:00PM, just when the Independence Day fireworks were lighted. After looking for the hostel and leaving our stuff there, we finally met our friends at a bar called Sirilo. Later on, we moved from place and at the end the girls from the group left to where the afterparty was going to be. Everyone’s phone was dead and they only said something like “White apartments, 114, near Tec, by the canal”. So we stopped a cab and told him if he could take us somewhere with those indications and he did knew where it was. We got there and started calling a friend’s name (“Xime!”) but no one replied. I checked my phone and had 1% left because I had airplane mode on, so we learned Ximena’s number and asked a Uber driver for his phone. Turned out that it was 112 and not 114 (sorry people from the 114).

 

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The next day we had breakfast at a place recommended by Angie (Hostal Séptimo Arte’s manager, which is quite good for the price!). The recommendation was a french café called Breton. The place is really nice and the food was good, a little bit expensive but for the type of restaurant it’s overall good. Then, we visited what was available in the city (many places were closed because it was September 16). In the historic center: Plaza de Armas, Templo de San Francisco, Jardín Zenea, Plaza Constitución, Centro de Desarrollo Artesanal Indígena, Galería Libertad, Plaza de los Fundadores, Templo de la Santa Cruz, the aqueduct (built between 1726-1735) and walked around tons of streets. At night we went to a bar called “Gracias a Dios” (in front of Breton, where it says GAD on the main photo). It’s a cool place but very crowded.

 

 

The next day, we ate something at Mercado La Cruz and hit the road to visit Bernal’s boulder or “La Peña de Bernal”, Mexico’s biggest monolith and supposedly the 10th biggest monolith in the world. It’s an hour away from Querétaro, and to get to the highest point allowed you need around an hour too (you can climb higher but you need a permit). It is about 350 meters tall and was formed in the Jurassic period. According to our friend, Moni, we had to try wine ice cream, so we did. Also, the dude that sold us the ice cream told us that Tequisquiapan or “Tequis” was near and worth visiting. After having the ice cream at the main plaza we headed to Tequis, where we only wandered around the streets at night and had some really really good tacos before going back to Querétaro. Oh and I bought some wine there. We went out that night too, to Rhodesia Histórico (cool and crowded too) and an Irish Pub on the same street.

 

 

The last morning we had no breakfast, we went to eat at 1:00PM to a mall where Mike was picking up his BlaBlaCar ride. After that I drove to the only Decathlon store in Mexico because I wanted to buy my favorite running tee again (the other one I bought it at Granada, Spain in 2014) and just because I love seeing all the camping, biking, hiking, overall sport/outdoors stuff they have. Finally, Alex, Max and I headed back to Monterrey in my car, leaving Moni in San Luis Potosí on the way.

 

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A piggy-chicken hybrid shaped cloud.

Belated 2014 Post #7

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Milano, Italia – September 13-14, 2014

 

Since it was cheaper to fly from Budapest to Milan, and then from Milan to Madrid, I decided to visit Mariana (a friend who was just beginning her exchange semester too). I arrived to the Milano Centrale station and went to McDonald’s to get internet, bought something and then they told me the free internet was only for european phone numbers. Outside of the station there was this hotel that had Wi-Fi and I asked if I could buy a drink or something because I needed to contact my friend via Facebook. At first, the man told me it was not possible and then I think he felt pity for me and gave me the password for free (yay!).

I arranged with Mariana to meet at the Duomo di Milano but forgot to ask her number (I know, even a new friend of hers asked her something like: “How come you are friends and you don’t even have your numbers?”). So I took the metro, got there and luckily there was free Wi-Fi in the square. I found Mariana and 2 other friends of hers (I don’t really remember their names, I just remember one of them was from Belgium). We visited the Duomo, had a super delicious gelato (mine was 75% dark chocolate and pistachio) at CioccolatItaliani, walked around, did the spinning on the bull’s balls thing, had aperitivo and got to visit Mariana’s apartment building. It was a great day, but unfortunately her roomie felt awkward with me being there so I went to the Milano Centrale station to sleep (it was an interesting experience, and the first time I slept in a station). At 4:00 AM I took the bus to the airport and then slept in there too (now I can sleep everywhere, really). This was the last stop of the two-week trip prior to my exchange semester in Granada.

 

 

P.S. Mariana thank you and don’t worry about the sleeping in the station thing. I cry about it every night.

Belated 2014 Post #6

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Budapest, Magyarország – September 9-13, 2014

 

After an uncomfortable trip, the ugly and old Orangeways bus (which vibrated a lot, though I couldn’t tell if it was the road or if it really was a super shitty bus) left us in front of a stadium, near the bus station of Budapest.

I crossed the street to get to the station and ask for information, buy food and charge my phone. At the information desk I asked if they had a map, and the lady in charge just pointed to a taped piece of paper with something written in hungarian (in my mind I thought something I usually say in spanish: “No mames”). I proceeded to change my money left from CZK to HUF and bought the cheapest piece of bread I found because I didn’t make a research about the price of the hungarian forint and couldn’t tell if it was normal or tourist priced. I charged my phone for about 5 minutes to see the Google Maps screenshots I had taken to get to my friend’s (Carlos) place and got out of the station.

I walked maybe 25 minutes, with 3 stops to ask people if I was going the right way, and finally arrived. The first thing I asked Carlos for was his washing machine and his shower. That same day we went to Margaret Island with a spanish friend of Carlos and a professor of his. It has nice landscapes and sights, including a japanese garden, ruins and a Buda-Pest sculpture I liked. On the way back to my friend’s place we used the metro, but he had the great (not) idea of telling me not to pay, that they didn’t check. I don’t know why I listened because I never do this kind of stuff but I ended up paying a penalty fine which sounded really scary in hungarian forints (8,000 HUF) but wasn’t finally that expensive.

 

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Other things done the next days: going to the Great Market Hall and wandering around the area, climbing the Gellért Hill, relaxing at the Széchenyi Baths, visiting Hero Square, going shopping for pants because I ruined my burgundy ones, taking Carlos’ hungarian class, and multiple educational trips like the ones to Szimpla, Instant and other bars. Also, seeing the Parliament from the outside at night, walking along the Danube, passing through the Chain and the Liberty bridges and no, I didn’t visit the Buda Castle nor the Hero Square because I don’t know why.

 

 

Thanks to the hosts Carlos, Diego and Luis.