The Sunday Traveler ~ Mercado Libertad in Guadalajara, Mexico

Mercado Libertad in Guadalajara, Mexico for shopping the freshest produce, and anything else your heart might desire. I spent the better part of a late morning here with my cousin on my visit to Guadalajara this last May. Another return to some wonderful memories. The Sunday Traveler used to spend a lot of her youth in Mexico with cousins, and this particular cousin used to shop at the mercado for her family’s restaurant, and I would love to tag along. The minute we stepped in to the first building with row after row of vegetables and fruit and cheeses and meats, my mind zoomed back years and remembered these colors, smells, sounds. The photo above requires a little explanation I think; it is an elevated attic carved into the upper rock of the building that is being used as a cold room for some of the produce. I glanced up and it took a minute for my mind to sort this out. I was looking into a room through a doorway.

The stalls are managed by the most wonderfully warm people that the Sunday Traveler had a great time talking to while my cousin made her purchases for her household. Taking photos was very relaxing with people that knew my cousin from her years of shopping here, and the Sunday Traveler had a free pass to take photos at will throughout the morning without hesitation.

Mercado Libertad is huge and comprised of several buildings and a lot of walking was done to get to the favorite vendors.

Spices, any amount you need is measured out for you


Cinnamon sticks

Norwegian dry cod

I was starving by the time we left

Our car was loaded with the day’s purchases and we were off to see about lunch.

Mercado Libertad, not to be missed if you visit Guadalajara.


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Monday Mobile Minimalism

The start of a new Monday series for me, and a desire to express beauty in all areas with a minimalistic view. As I make changes in my personal life, downsizing to a very small apartment, I am attracted more and more to minimalism. The coming few weeks may be sporadic in my posting, as packing is completed in the old home, and unpacking begins in the new home; though it does bring me great peace to take a break to sit down for a while and  edit a photo or two. Two years of upheaval and change has brought about new insights and views about life, about what is important, about taking time to see the beauty of the world in every little detail.

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The Sunday Traveler ~ Our Lady of Guadalupe, Tapalpa, Mexico

Tapalpa, Mexico; a roughly estimated population of approximately 20,000. Sitting high up in the Sierra Madre, it is seemingly the most typical of little Mexican towns; modest in its make up, but the charm is in the simplicity and color. The Sunday Traveler walked up a little hill on a set of cement stairs used throughout the town to get up the hills from  one plaza to another. My breath was taken away as I entered the church, not from the walk up the hill, but from the incredibly simple beauty of this church. Sun streaming in from all sides, and shadows to offset the light.

Mexicans seem to pull out all the stops for their town’s churches. No matter how small the town. Tapalpa’s Our Lady of Guadalupe’s construction was orchestrated by Father Cipriano Gonzalez Jimenez from 1949-1987. The work I’m sure was done by local workers, and the thought of the labor involved in a church like this is mind-boggling. The love of the work can be seen and felt.

From the wood floors to the arches to the stained glass windows there are details perfect in giving glory.


A little side chapel was so simple in its loveliness

There are so many churches in Mexico, so many labors of love and faith by the people. Our Lady of Guadalupe here in Tapalpa is extraordinary.





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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Metamorphosis

All things change in all parts of life, nothing is permanent.  Transitions are made; some are difficult, but as I have begun to see over the last couple of years, beauty emerges.

This is Sally’s final challenge today, a challenger’s choice, and I’ve resurrected a stained glass butterfly looking out at the garden. I’m pretty sure I’ve used it in another post years ago, but I’ve put it through a couple of iPhone edits for  this day to reflect on our metamorphosis over the years of Sally’s weekly challenges. A huge thanks to Sally for managing this every week, for giving us tips and giving us the opportunity to learn from her work, and that of the other challengers to see the potential in mobile photography.

To see Sally’s post and other entries, click here



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The Sunday Traveler ~ Tapalpa, Mexico

Tapalpa, a town deemed one of the Pueblos Magicos by the Mexican Tourism Board (Magic Town), recognized as notable for their cultural and historical importance; akin to a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Sunday Traveler was in Guadalajara, Mexico last month with local relatives willing to be my drivers to take me exploring and revisiting old haunts. It’s like I won the lottery, and as I mentioned last week, trips within trips are the way to get your travel on. I had been here years ago with my parents when we lived in Guadalajara. The trip is only two hours (easy for me to say easy, I wasn’t driving), and about 82 miles up into the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Tapalpa sits at an elevation of 6,769 feet. Days here can be cool in summer, but we were lucky with a wonderfully warm day that was perfect for walking up and down the hills and streets.

The tiled roofs and white washed walls with red are part of the charm of this town, making it feel magical and somewhat like a movie set. I’ll continue on here with mostly a photo view of the day’s exploring

Walking through the streets and also wandering into courtyards and building entryways made for some great little bits of beauty caught by serendipity

The main plaza is bordered by covered verandas and sidewalks that front the shops, and host street vendors selling delicious foods. These women were selling tamales that we took home for the next morning’s breakfast that were delicious. Tapalpa is also well known for a cheese made there called Panela; if you have a Mexican market in your city, give it a try.

Everyone here was friendly and welcoming; this little boy came over and gave me his bag of chips.

Tapalpa is a wonderful day trip from Guadalajara, and one hotel on the main square is gorgeously Mexican if you care to spend a couple of days or more in this area.

Next week I’ll take you inside the church in Tapalpa.

Hasta entonces.


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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black and White in Flight

Black and white. It would be nice if things in life were more black and white with no gray areas to confuse; but, it’s the gray areas that bring things in to focus. We just have to be aware.

iPhone 6Plus photo.

See more on black and white photography on Sally’s blog here.

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The Sunday Traveler ~ Lake Chapala and Ajijic, Mexico

A traveler receives extra blessings when staying with family who also loves travel and road trips. Trips within trips; it couldn’t get any better. We got our travel on one Saturday, jumped in the car, and took off for Lake Chapala and Ajijic (pronounced aheeheek) and all the little towns between Guadalajara and there, some 45 km. southeast from Guadalajara where I was staying. The Sunday Traveler was intent on going there, a return to a lot of memories built as I was growing up, and also of a honeymoon spent there some 46 years ago.

Roadside vendors were in abundance with all kinds of fruit and vegetables from the fields nearby. Several stops were made on our way home to stock up with the fresh and delicious produce. The watermelon was the sweetest I’ve ever tasted. The cut pieces here were covered in bees that told us this was going to be good. We covered a lot of ground that day, hitting Lake Chapala as our first major stop. The lake has seen good days and bad, water levels and pollution up and down over the years, but more awareness now as to conservation, and levels are up; it’s a major water source for Guadalajara. The lake is protected by the Virgin of Zapopan, a much beloved Virgin of the entire area of Guadalajara to Chapala

Most of our afternoon was spent in Ajijic, an area The Sunday Traveler wanted to explore as a potential place for periodic and lengthier stays in the future. I was not disappointed. The town is very artsy, pretty laid back, and is on the lake

We ended our day at the top of a hill in San Juan Cosala overlooking the lake to have a coffee; another little town that is quite lovely

The lake is large, 50 miles long by about 8 miles wide, covering 420 square miles. The many little towns that surround it are each unique and enchanting. Road trip possibilities abound.



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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Macro in a Mexican Market

Squash blossoms in the Guadalajara mercado/marketplace, waiting to be used in cooking a sensual mexican recipe. Squash blossom quesadillas with squash blossom soup anyone?

Visit Sally D’s blog for entries on macro mobile photography, today’s challenge.

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The Sunday Traveler ~ Inside the Cathedral of Guadalajara

It had been years. The Sunday Traveler walked into the vast cathedral of Guadalajara and was in awe. The seeming immensity of the church’s interior measures, according to Wikipedia, 77.8 meters x 72.75 meters, which just doesn’t seem right; it seems so much larger than that (ok, I had to convert it via google: 255 feet x 238 feet). I had forgotten how big it is; maybe I just wasn’t appreciative of this kind of thing as a kid when I lived in Guadalajara. I was with very patient cousins who sat and prayed a load of prayers as I walked slowly around the whole church taking photos, stopping to just be in this amazing house of worship, and also say a prayer or two of thanksgiving at being able to have come back again.

The Virtue of Hope

The cathedral was first built in 1541, made of adobe and a thatched roof. The new construction began in 1561 and was completed in 1618. In 1818, an earthquake caused the collapse of the towers and dome, that were replaced, but again damaged from a second earthquake in 1849, repairs completed in 1854. There have been subsequent earthquakes in 1932, 1957, 1979, 1985, 1995, and 2003. There now remains a slight tilt to the north tower, and some structural damage to the dome as reported on the most recent Wikipedia entry. I hadn’t realized there had been so many earthquakes.

The newer looking cupolas are now explained to a question I had as I looked up and wondered about why they weren’t the older look of most of the other churches of Mexico.

As my peregrination around the cathedral continued, my eyes wandered to a stained glass of the Virgin of Guadalupe who I am particularly fond of; I always look for her right off when I go into a church anywhere in the world. The stained glass in this church was imported from France.

The sculptures in the cathedral were impressive as well

The Virtue of Charity. This sculpture especially touched me, as I have seen so many poor women sitting in the streets of Mexico with a baby in their arms begging for money to be able to buy food to feed their child/children.

The Sunday Traveler made one final stop in a little side chapel before leaving

The Cathedral of Guadalajara, a definite must see if you visit this wonderful city, and plan on enough time to wander around inside for a while.





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The Sunday Traveler ~ Guadalajara’s Plaza de Liberacion

The Sunday Traveler left you off here last week, and thought that a little rounding out of other side’s of the plaza would be good. I was here one late morning during the week, so very few people were about, and it was a terribly hot day. The entire two weeks there temperatures were in the mid-90 degree farenheit range; rainy season is on the near horizon (if things go as usual).

The Teatro Degollado sits exactly opposite the cathedral. Construction began on this theater in 1856 and opened in 1866. The marble triangle above the columns depicts Apollo and the nine muses. The theater is home to the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of Guadalajara’s Folkloric Ballet. The Sunday Traveler first saw the Folkloric Ballet here at about the age of eight and the love affair with Mexico was sealed.

On another side of the plaza, little shops and government buildings live side by side. Manhattan Ice Cream is not a product of the USA, not sure why the sign says that, other than that they also have Blue Bell Ice Cream. Whatever! The mango paletta (popsicle) was out of this world with pieces of real mango in its fresh ingredients; and when it’s 95 degrees out on the plaza, what could be better?

Next Sunday we’ll ride on over to enter the cathedral for a little visit.

Hasta entonces.



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