Friday, March 7, 2008

Walking tour of Mazatlan #3 3.7.08

Continuing along malecon, which by the way, changes names several times along the way from Camaron Sabalo Ave, to Avenue del Mar, to Paseo Claussen, to Paseo Olas Altas, you will see ‘Carpe Olivera’, a statue of a buxom mermaid in a pike position, drawing passersby irresistibly down the stairs to the rocks below and a saltwater dipping pool. The all-natural saltwater pool is constantly refilled as waves crash over the pool’s seaward edge.

Just across the street is The Little Deer. "El Venadito" symbolizes Mazatlán and the city's Indian heritage. The name "Mazatlán" derives from the Nahuatl Indian word "Mazatl," which means "deer." Therefore, "Mazatlán" is the "Land of the Deer." The monument itself was designed by Yucatan artist Rolando Arjona Amabilies and was dedicated by a Mason Lodge member sometime between 1975 and 1977.

OK….one more… a monument to Pedro Infantile Cruz. who is perhaps the most famous actor and singer of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema and was the idol of the Mexican people, together with Jorge Negrete and Luis Aguilar, who were styled the Tres Gallos Mexicanos (the Three Mexican Roosters). His monument is on a motorcycle in honor of his role in the movie A Toda Maquina ("ATM") and "¿Que te ha dado esa mujer?" He was considered the Mexican Frank Sinatra. A fun one! :-)

And finally, at the end of the street is The Shield of Sinaloa and Mazatlán. The colorful "Escudo de Sinaloa y Mazatlán" has been on display since December of 1959. One side of the monument shows the Sinaloan crest, while the other side shows the Mazatlecan crest, both which date back to 1831. The Sinaloan crest, or shield, depicts four important historical cities of the state: Culican, El Fuerte, Mazatlán and El Rosario. The Mazatlán shield depicts an anchor to symbolize the port, a crab because Mazatlán is on the Tropic of Cancer, islands called the "Two Brothers," a sun representing Mazatlán's climate and two mermaids. One mermaid holds a mask to symbolize Carnaval Mazatlán and the other holds flowers, representing the Flower Games.

That is the end of our malecon walk, we turn now up Flores street and head to the Mercado. Along the way, the streets are beautiful and there is wonderful architecture & sights galore.

Flores street begins with beautiful arches and is a very narrow street, only allowing one vehicle down the street at a time. The colors are absolutely beautiful & the flowers stunning.

We continue down the street and see on the left the public library. Beautiful setting, isn’t it?!

We take a sidetrip to the Melville Hotel, a wonderfully beautiful boutique hotel downtown. It’s a plain enough place from outside, but inside it’s absolutely fantastic.

Just down the street, which I know is an awful picture, on the corner is the oldest bakery in Mazatlan. I’ve been told there are 75 different cookies baked there…but they all taste strikingly similar.

All around town the facades of the buildings are so beautiful…

This is a particularly beautiful place with a courtyard, similar to those seen around town. What looks like trees growing out of the top of the house is actually a courtyard with trees growing wildly out of it.

Continuing down the street we get to the Catedral de la Purisma Concepcion (Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception). The cathedral has two high yellow twin spires and a dramatic interior. It was built from 1875 to 1890 and faces the Plaza Principal, a beautiful park that houses many shoe-shine vendors.

With a gazebo as its center, this small landscaped park is surrounded by merchant stalls offering food, cothes, soaps, jewelry, leather goods, and other handicrafts. There are also plenty of chairs to have a seat in if you need a good shoe shine. Or just have a seat on a bench and watch the pigeons bathe in two large fountains. Locals drop their shoes off to them in the morning and pick them up, repaired & shined at the end of the day.

Continuing further down the street, if we don't make any more detours for other items, we come to the Mercado (central market), the large indoor/outdoor marketplace is one square block of stalls offering clothing, jewelry, produce, meats, and more. This is where the locals shop and is the place to enjoy the Mexican market experience. The Mercado Central offers one square block full of just about anything you can imagine. The surrounding area is the shopping centre of the city and is packed with stores and vendors. This is also the spot we jump on the bus back to the Marina.

More to follow!!


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