Sunday, August 16, 2009

My birthday in Santa Fe, New Mexico Plaza 8/5/09

We have visited Santa Fe many, many times but arriving to Santa Fe this time on the Rail Runner Commuter High Speed Train was a 1st for both of us. Once a day there is one that goes directly from Belen, NM to Santa Fe without any delays or change of trains. There are several that go north from Albuquerque every day but there is a lay over for anyone traveling from the south.
Once we arrived in Santa Fe there was a shuttle sitting there waiting to take the Plaza.

It was still morning so our 1st stop was for breakfast. This little cafĂ© is on the northeast side of the plaza – just across the street from the east end of the Palace of the Governors. We ate a very good breakfast burrito. After we ordered we saw a sign advertising their pancakes made with blue corn meal. There is nothing better than blue corn tortillas, but it was too early for cheese enchiladas with red chile. Yum-my

As we were leaving we noticed the door handle. How New Mexico! It is a brass chile pepper.

We strolled back to the plaza and one of the streets that surround it is The Old Santa Fe Trail. I remember bringing my German uncles here over 30 years ago and they were so tickled to see the Santa Fe Trail after seeing western movies in Germany for many years.

Just off the plaza is the famous La Fonda Hotel. There are 2 kinds of building styles prominent in Santa Fe. La Fonda is in the adobe style. The other is territorial that has sharper edges and not as rounded as the adobe. The State Capitol building is not that far from the plaza and the law is that no building can be higher than the capitol building, so you will not see very many multi storied buildings in the immediate area.

St. Francis Cathedral is a block off the plaza on the east side. It is the seat of the Catholic Diocese of Santa Fe. Not far from the Cathedral is the Miraculous staircase. It is a circular stairway built in 2 – 360 degree circle without the use of any nails. The sisters of Loretto tell the legend that St. Joseph arrived at the chapel one day, built the staircase to the choir loft and left. No one ever saw him again.
The Palace of the Governors is the longest occupied public building in this country. The Native Americans have sat under the eaves for centuries, selling their wares. The building itself is a museum.
After just a few hours in Santa Fe we returned on the shuttle of the return trip south on the Rail Runner.

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