Thursday, May 10, 2012

Adventures In Santa Fe (and surrounding areas)

For the record, I've been trying to post these pictures all week. However, the free hotel internet was not cooperating!

By the time I had arrived in Santa Fe I was glad to be out of Albuquerque. Primarily because typing out "Albuquerque" makes me question my spelling skills. Every time.

Plus, Santa Fe welcomed me with pleasant views.


I slept in on Saturday (7am counts, right?) and took off to Bandelier National Monument. I still welcome an explanation of the difference between a National Monument and National Park. I pondered this during a significant portion of my drive.

Scenic views from the drive

I did indeed hike through the park by myself. It's okay though... I closely stalked the group in front of me in case I happened to pass out from the elevation.  The hike also consisted of clearly marked paths, which fits right in line with my idea of a hike :)



So you might be asking, what is so special about Bandelier? It apparently contains hundreds of ruins of Anasazi cliff houses and pueblo-style dwelling. From the website:

"Bandelier's human history extends back for over 10,000 years when nomadic hunter-gatherers followed migrating wildlife across the mesas and canyons. By 1150 CE Ancestral Pueblo people began to build more permanent settlements. Reminders of these past times are still evident in the park as are the strong ties of the modern Pueblo people. By 1550 the Ancestral Pueblo people had moved from their homes here to pueblos along the Rio Grande (Cochiti, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo)."




Not an ancient ruin: the ladder

As you move along, the desert-y cliffs turn into a pine forest, which is kind of strange. Luckily I did not see any of the woodland creatures.




The second half of my Santa Fe Day of Fun consisted of wandering around the downtown Santa Fe area. I made my way through quite a few art galleries which I ended up enjoying much more than I thought I would. Sadly I have no pictures. They frown upon picture-taking in those art galleries. And, since I'm a stickler for the rules, I dutifully obliged.

Downtown Santa Fe is known for their plethora of small shops. Much like Old Town Albuquerque, but on a a greater scale. I did a lot of window shopping. 



As previously observed, all old city centers have a church. Santa Fe has (at least) two.

This one: The Loretto Chapel


And this one: The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi





So, all of that was almost a week ago. The remainder of my trip consisted of Very Important Stuff and was not as visually appealing. I am happy to be heading home!

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