After exploring Sayulita very quickly, Chris and I were looking for our next adventure. Fortunately, Chris happened to have a friend in Guadalajara, which is a four-hour bus ride away. And a comfortable bus ride, that is. That’s why, on a Friday afternoon, we packed and took the bus to Bucerias, then to Guadalajara.
We rode with Vallarta Plus, which was amazing. We had more leg room than in a plane, with Wi-Fi and individual screens. It made the time go by very fast.
On our first night, we stopped at the mall for dinner. There are plenty of restaurants on the ground level, from American brands like Chili’s to Italian restaurants. We decided to go for Argentinian at La Vaca Argentina. We had a great time, even though we were definitely underdressed in our travel clothes. To fit in this mall, you need to follow the latest fashion trends and wear heels (for girls anyway, which I don’t happen to have).
On the next day, we headed downtown. Our first stop was the Cathedral, which is what you’ll see in almost every picture of Guadalajara. It was a very impressive building, but it wasn’t my favorite. Others made a better impression on me.
Palacio de Gobierno
Not too far from the Cathedral was the Palacio de Gobierno, which is the legislative building for the State of Jalisco. We were allowed to visit it, and I enjoyed it. Apparently, this building hides one of the paintings that you’ll see in a lot of Mexican History books, which is an Orozco mural. It’s free to go in, and you can visit an art gallery on the ground level.
Even though we stopped only for a few minutes, I fell in love with the Teatro. It was so elegant and chic! You can also go in if there isn’t a play or a rehearsal. It looked a lot more like an opera theatre than the theatres I have been used to in Canada.
Our last stop downtown as the Hospicio. It was the only place where we had to pay to go in. I also had to pay a camera fee, since they don’t allow you to take pictures unless you have a tag on you.
The Hospicio, which used to be an orphanage, is more an art gallery nowadays. You can easily get lost in it, so we think we visited everything. There are plenty of different expositions, most about modern art, but there’s also a collection of the Olympic Games in Mexico City. Other than that, you’ll find the famous Man of Fire by Orozco, which is worth the detour.
The Hospicio also happened to be very calm, which was unusual for me for a 4 million people city. It’s the second biggest city of Mexico and inside there, sitting in one of the gardens, it was quieter than it can ever get in Sayulita. They also had roses around those gardens, which smelled delicious!
Outside of the Guadalajara center is Tlaquepaque, which is less crowded. You’ll love the neighborhood if you like art or is a fan of handmade furniture. I know I could have bought everything there if only I owned a house! But shopping wasn’t the reason we were there. We had to try El Abajeno, a typical Mexican restaurant. We ended up sharing a platter for the three of us and had the best time drinking our cazuelitas, which is what you have to get when you go there! We also had the chance to see a mariachi band, as well as typical dancers. But if you plan to drive there, make sure there’s room to get out of the parking lot! 😉
That was all for our first and only day in Guadalajara. Next stop: Tequila!