This is my first of many posts about my trip to Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico to learn Spanish. My, dear neighbor, with very good humor drove me to Mexicali where we stayed the night at the Colonial Hotel. This was a recommendation from another good neighbor and he was right on. The hotel was clean and comfortable and the price was very good.
My flight was very early in the morning and for some reason that escapes me now I thought it was going to a little plane and few passengers. Upon arriving at the airport I was surprised to see so many people there, at first I thought there might be other flights but no this was my fight all these people were getting on. After schlepping my bags around and getting a boarding pass that I didn’t think I needed (Yes, you do Julia) I finally get to the ID control were I was confronted by Mexican Immigration. Turns out they were as puzzled as I was as to why I didn’t have my new Resident Visa Card and after the three gentlemen gave me the once over and put up with my broken Spanish I was sent on my way to go through security. The same type of security in the states, but I didn’t have to take my shoes off and it was (thank goodness) quick, I had to use the bathroom. That was a neat trick with a a bag and a purse in cubby to small to change into my superwoman costume if I had too.
Once out of the bathroom I got a cup of coffee and wouldn’t you know it no sooner did I get settled in a chair with my coffee it was time to line up for boarding the plane and it wasn’t a little turbo prop either. I found out the ticket checkers and fight crew didn’t speak english so my immersion started off already 🙂 No problem, serious announcements were recorded in both English and Spanish and they were the usual directions of following the directions and pointing out the exits in case of the plane crashing sort of thing. The plane ride itself was boring and my tummy wanted food. I did buy a muffin and a drink when offered to keep the grumbling beast at bay. I was so bored I read the inflight magazine or at least the parts I could with my broken Spanish.
Upon arrival at Guadalajara Airport we were bused to the terminal and lined up, yes all of us at the wrong baggage claim area and an employee herded us to the correct one which of course was much further from the exit. I claimed my bags and was even checked by an employee to make sure I wasn’t taking the wrong bags. I schlepped three bags and a big purse towards the exit where I asked a man at a Taxi booth about my voucher for a Taxi and he knew nothing about it. So I dragged my bags and I outside found a safe place against the building and like a paper boy of old started waving my voucher in the air while calling out TAXI ! One of the men who I assume controls the Taxis came over and read the voucher and went and asked another man about the voucher who looked very disinterested. At this point I thought I was going to have to pay for a ride out of pocket when a Taxi driver had a chat with this man and directed me to a Taxi. Wouldn’t you know it I get a Taxi driver who hasn’t a clue about vouchers or where the hotel is, had to go get directions from other taxi drivers on how to get there. I’m getting a little concerned at this point until he came back to the Taxi all smiles. I asked him if everything was okay and he said Si. So what are you going to do but sit back and enjoy the ride ? Obviously we got to the hotel in good order so it was much ado about nothing.
The hotel is small and in the historic (Old) part of town near a cathedral, in case I feel the need for spiritual help passing a test I imagine. The desk clerk took me to my room which of course is on the second floor with two flights of stairs a goat would enjoy running up and down. I thought I was puffing a bit until I heard the (Young) clerk huffing and puffing more than I was and I have almost a half century on the the poor boy! He was still puffing when he left my room and I had recovered. That young man needs some exercise, just my opinion not a judgement, but sheesh when a 71 year old can out do you on your own turf something has to be improved. Nice kid we’ll get along just fine. I might even challenge him to a foot race later and see who goes the hospital first!
I got directions to a local restaurant and guess what ? Yup, more stairs, but the food is good and cheap too. Nice view of that Cathederal with a busy plaza in front. After lunch I went back to my room to try out the bed with a serious nap. The bed is comfy and I had a good nap. Being Sunday the city is sort of quiet, I brought earplugs just in case.
Here are some photos of the inside of the hotel;
I like the colors and plants the church bells are charming the streets are narrow and one way so getting there is a problem when driving, but not when walking. Tomorrow is a holiday and I’ll take a tour of the neighborhood.