November 24, 2022 – Happy Thanksgiving!
San Cristóbal del las Casas, Chiapas, Southern Mexico.
When we wrote about San Cris in March of 2016, we showed some picture of the apartment we stayed in:
We eventually ended up staying in all 3 ground floor apartments in the building over a couple of visits. Now, 6.5 years later, we’re back, staying upstairs in the big apartment, which wraps around the courtyard. It’s quite a step up, you could say.
One of our favorite things to do in San Cris is to buy food in the market to cook at home. Delicious little strawberries are seemingly always in season:
Here’s a view of what it’s like walking through one small part of the market:
In most of Mexico we get tortillas made by machines, either in tortillerias, grocery stores, or resold in corner stores. At one of the entrances to the San Cris market, these young women are hand making tortillas to order, from three different masa types. At one point we counted nine women working on three of these gas fired comals. Hot work. The tortillas are really good.
Here’s our haul from one trip to the market. All for a little under $6.
There are a lot of nice old churches in this city. Some of them are at the top of big hills, which is fun, especially at 7200 ft (2200m). The Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is on the east side of town and faces west, good for viewing the sunset from its steps (which are sloped slightly down, for some reason. I’m sure someone has fallen to their death on them).
Next to the church is this chapel, sooted from years of candles burning inside. We met a guide who told us that until the Zapatista revolution in the 90s, indigenous people were not allowed to worship in the churches. Perhaps this side chapel is a legacy of that. Maybe not. We don’t know. But it’s still obviously used by someone.
Another church, another, taller hill to climb.
Nice view from the top. You can see why Jesus wants to live up here.
And this church also has a sooted little side chapel.
Another church, this time at ground level.
On one nice morning, we walked to the Reserva Ecológica y Orquideario Moxviquil, the Orchid preserve, which we previous wrote about. Definitely worth another visit.
Click to enlarge.
What, swings? OK.
Nearby we found breakfast at a place both nicer and cheaper than the most of the places in the center of town.
And back in town, we visited this fancy food hall a couple of times. We were glad to see the Thai restaurant we enjoyed last time is still here, and still good.
This food hall, like much of San Cris, seems to be prospering noticeably more than last time we were here. The city is not only crowded with more tourists, it is also obvious that a lot more of the people patronizing upscale places like this are locals. In the market and around town, a lot more of the customers seem to be indigenous compared to the past. It’s not uncommon to see indigenous families walking around the pedestrian entertainment zones wearing a combination of traditional and contemporary clothing, and speaking to each other in a variety of languages. It feels like a significant change over the last few years. And the proportion of foreign to domestic tourists generally has noticeably changed. But this mirrors our experience in other parts of Mexico that there are far more Mexicans having and taking the opportunity to be tourists in their own country than in the past.
Anyway, back to the food. We ate at a restaurant with this cool ceiling made from corn husks.
Laura had smoked marlin tostadas.
Michael had soft-shell crab tacos.
Elsewhere in the city, a variety of other types of food can be found.
A small hip hotel near where we are staying has a new rooftop bar and terrace. We climbed up (3 floors?) to see the sunset.
We were the only ones there. They made some interesting drinks. And had some interesting glassware.
Michael tested a chair that was a lot more comfortable than it looked. Unfortunately these walls limit the view of the city from this rooftop.
Well, that’s it from San Cris. We’re getting ready to leave in a couple of days. We’re going to miss this place. (On the other hand, this house is for sale . . .)
Off to other places.