Added: Yetunde Spady - Date: He also encouraged Hot dominant Morelia families from the old country to settle here, which has set the cultural and architectural tone of the city to this Hot dominant Morelia. Yet the Spanish colonial influence remains strong in Morelia, which is about miles west of Mexico City, and in nearby towns such as San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato and Dolores Hidalgo, all hotbeds of the insurrection.
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Morelia today is Iberian to the core, with its Baroque architecture, broad boulevards, endless arcades and an intricately carved cathedral beside the gigantic zocalo main plaza of manicured laurel trees and flowers. On an evening stroll beneath the arcades opposite the cathedral, we came upon groups of young university men in medieval Spanish student costumes--billowing blouses, regal capes, quilted-velvet breeches and enormous berets worn with rakish aplomb.
They strummed guitars and mandolins as they sang soulful, centuries-old songs to a coterie of admiring young women.
Despite the ethnic influence and marvelous handicrafts of Tarascan Indians, who settled the Morelian region 15 centuries before Christ, this capital city of the state of Michoacan retains its colonial heritage architecturally. Any new buildings in the Old Town must adhere to the colonial style completely. Further, they must be made of the local cantera rosaa pink sandstone that gives the town a soft and alluring glow.
Anyone will enjoy a few days in this lovely old city, but it is a special treat for candy lovers. Set on a gentle hill overlooking the city, the villa is a quiet enclave of 40 exquisite rooms and suites, each with at least one wood-burning fireplace, marvelous Mexican antiques, rustic ceiling beams, gleaming terra-cotta tile floors and great bowls of fresh flowers. The artwork and tasteful use of local handicrafts complement the elegance that pervades every nook and cranny of this magnificent Spanish colonial inn.
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Several flowery terraces and patios, one with a formidable collection of pre-Colombian artifacts, create a garden of serenity between the units. The pool and tennis court provide recreation, and Villa Montana surely has more character than any hotel in our recent memory. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was a coaching-stop inn for travelers to and from Mexico City, an eight-day journey.
The mid-city posada is built in convent style around a huge open courtyard embraced on all sides by three stories of arcaded gallerias spilling bougainvillea.
Bedrooms are modest in size and furnishings, but the breakfast buffet overwhelms one with its choice of Mexican dishes. The Saturday buffet of ranchero food is also a very festive affair.
It, too, is built around a courtyard, this one covered by an impressive stained-glass ceiling. Bedrooms are of medium size and have old-fashion furnishings, but the hotel has just reopened after a renovation that restored the formal luster it enjoyed seven years ago when we first visited. The restaurant and bar are much-frequented by locals, thanks to the excellent location and an affable bartender named Oscar.
The Indian word is also the origin of the name of the U. Hence, freshwater fish appear on every menu--mainly trout, catfish, carp, whitefish and charales, a tiny fish deep-fried whole and served with chile sauce and guacamole.
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Morelians claim their carnitas and tamales are superior to the garden variety elsewhere. Rabbit, enchiladas and other foods appear on some menus placero or callejeras --charbroiled in the manner of plaza or street vendors.
Good local Hot dominant Morelia Meson San Diego Fray Antonio de San Miguel is a former private home where one may dine at tables in a galleria running the length of a long and lovely pool, often with flowers floating about. There are also several formal rooms opening onto the galleria, all handsomely decorated. Fresh trout is the specialty, but the meson also owns a farm that raises pheasant, quail and duck.
Brace yourself for Fonda Las Mercedes Leon Guzman 47as it has without doubt the most eccentric decor in town. Back in town, spend as much time as possible walking the streets around the zocalo and cathedral.
Every small plaza and shady arcade seems to have its resident vendors, none of whom badger visitors, and a small band is surely playing lively tunes somewhere. Fly Aeromar or Taesa on to Morelia.
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