A Day in Hidalgo Mexico

Culture, Sunday Sol, Travel

Yesterday, we went to Hidalgo which is about a 45 minute drive outside of Monterrey. It’s a small town that Sr. Elizondo grew up in, but it’s now also  become famous for its rocks to climb. Climbers from all over the world come to El Potero Chico to climb. When we were there, we had the pleasure of chatting with climbers from Switzerland, Argentina, and the U.S. The rocks to climb are all at the front of the park and to me look like they are straight up 90 degree angles.

(The construction at the bottom of the picture is not at the park, but from where I took the pic.)

Sr. Elizondo’s sister owns La Posada. It’s a place for climbers to stay. She’s continually upgrading and adding on to it. Every time I go La Posada keeps getting bigger and better.

La Posada has both a camping site and small rooms to rent on the property.

There’s also a couple of sweat lodges and pool. The pool was a smart addition as people now come in the summer as well. (You can’t climb on a hot rock.)

It has a small restaurant with really good food and she added a coffee bar due to high request from climbers. I can personally vouch for the tacos gobernador. Delish!

Her latest construction (as seen in the first pic on this post) is a two story kitchen and dining area for climbers to use and make their own food if they choose.

 

My Biggest Travel Snafu

Travel

My biggest travel snafu happened about 5 years ago. What was one mishap spiraled into  3 major issues on one trip. And these 3 issues had major financial consequences.

Our flight (Sr. Elizondo and I) to Europe had a layover in Canada. At the time, Mexicans were required to have visas for Canada. Did you know visas apply even when it’s a layover of less than 2 hours and you’re not leaving the airport? I didn’t. When we landed, we were sent to immigration and explained our error to the agents. Canadian Immigration was not as sympathetic as I thought they would be. As the clock was ticking, we were stressing. After what seemed like forever, they finally gave us the visa at a price of approximately $200. We raced to our next flight. (Important side note: We told them our flight home also came through Canada, so the visa needed to include that day as well. They understood…or so they said.) Anyway, the irritation and anger dissolved on the flight and we were on our way to Turkey!

Turkey exceeded our expectations and we had an awesome time. We were both sad we only had a few days there. We taxi’d to the airport to catch our flight to the next country. We’re at the ticket counter and the airline employee lets us know we are at the wrong airport. FYI: Istanbul has 2 main airports. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to taxi to the correct airport which is across the bridge on the Asia side of Turkey. I thought Sr. Elizondo was going to kill me. We had to buy 2 new tickets to get to Berlin. Ugh…. After receiving a small tongue lashing, all was well again.

The rest of our trip was great. We enjoyed a few more countries. Now it’s time to go home and again we taxi to the airport in Vienna. It’s all good. We get our tickets, were waiting in line to board, we give the airline person our tickets, and she won’t let Sr. Elizondo on the plane. Apparently his Canada visa was for 7 days only. We were well beyond that timeframe. NIGHTMARE! Again, we race to the airline customer service who will not re-route us for free or with any discount whatsoever. The question becomes: do I take the original flight and Sr. Elizondo gets another at full price; or, do we fly home together…? $4000 later, we are flying home together. We’re no longer speaking. Sr. Eduardo is beyond angry and I’m in a puddle of tears from guilt. Needless to say, it was the longest flight home ever.

BTW: We’re still together and happy. However, we NEVER EVER talk about what happened.

 

 

My Zurich Food Stops

Travel

 

The fondue restaurant Swiss Chuchi didn’t disappoint. Reservations would not be a bad idea.

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Zeughauskeller is a popular beer house, especially with tourists. I thought this restaurant and food was just okay. There was not a lot of people when we went, so the “fun” atmosphere that makes this restaurant was lacking.

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My favorite restaurant by far was found randomly. Schtund is just off Bahnhofstrasse. It’s a small bistro specializing in Flammkuchens. I had never heard of this food, but I’m now it’s biggest fan.

Sprungli is a must see and taste for chocolate and macarons.

And our worst food experience in Zurich was beef tartare with spices. Points for effort on our part for giving it a try.

I Knew Zurich Would Be Pricey, But Geez!

Travel

At the end of my first day in Zurich, I’m still having sticker shock. This city is SO expensive. Let me give you some examples in approx usd.

  • A 4 mile taxi- $28
  • The buffet breakfast at the hotel- $33
  • Bathroom at the train station $3
  • 1 scoop ice cream cone x 2 $15

On a better note, the center city with its old town is beautiful. Stores from H&M to Chanel line the streets. The better eating places seemed to be on the same side of the bridges as  Grossmünster and Niederdorf.

Most of the recommended sights can be done on foot in a day. The tourist map will give you a walking route to make it even easier.

Switzerland photos wouldn’t be complete without posting a picture of a chocolate store.

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Relaxin in Perissa

Travel

 

With a full agenda planned, we instead find ourselves lounging on beach chairs in Perissa. The weather is a perfect 80f with cool breezes, black sand beach and blue water. We’re enjoying Mythos beers and chatting together, as well as listening to all the different languages being spoken around us.

Now the big decision of the day has become where do we want to go eat.:)

Fira to Oia Trail

Travel

 

Okay, so I’m 50 now and consider myself in good shape (meaning I do the elliptical 3+ per week, live in a 3 story house, etc). The popular trail to walk/hike from Fira to Oia is about 6 1/2  miles long and seemed like a nice way to spend a few hours with incredible views.

The first half of the trail is winding through Fira to Imerovigli walking the paved pathways and stairs nestled between the cliff side hotels and restaurants.

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The second half is where this beautiful path becomes a real hike. The scenery becomes the hills on open dirt, gravel, and rock paths. And the hills become bigger.

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And then there comes the point where it becomes a real struggle and donkeys are strategically placed at this point as an option.

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But we powered through. The internet said 2-5 hours, we walked it in approximately 4 with pained knees, legs, and lower backs.  We thankfully arrived at the promised land, Oia.

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For Sr. Elizondo and myself, this trek was an accomplishment and the views amazing. I’m sure many people have no problem with this hike, but make no mistake: the second half of this trail IS A HIKE.