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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cuitzeo, Another Pueblo Magico

We headed out to the other side of Lago Cuitzeo, north of Morelia. What's there? Well, what we were going to see were 2 things. First the ruins at Huandacareo and then, the village of Cuitzeo.

But on arrival to Huandacareo, we find the ruins closed. Closed, hmmm, perhaps for renovations. What we did find were Balnearios. It seems like the village is water park central. Here is an aerial view of what appears to be pool central, and I get the impression that there are a couple more in the area. We wandered around one, and it even had a swim up bar!

View Larger Map Wanna Go For A Dip?
So, after a peek at the water parks we head towards Cuitzeo. It is a Pueblo Magico, like here in Patzcuaro. A couple of other Pueblo Magicos you may have seen on my blog are Tlalpujahua and Bernal.
We were familiar with Cuitzeo from before the Salamanca cuota was put in. It used to route you through the village, but the face of Cuitzeo that you saw, was rather plain and uninteresting. It’s VERY clean, very very clean, without 100 wires overhead meeting up in junctions that resemble birds nests. Almost a “Stepford Wives” version of a Mexican village.
Cuitzeo street

Too Clean?

As we continue into the center of town we find the personality and the charm that it has been shy in showing to the outside world. Peeking into a crowded cafe, we realize it is time for a little something to eat. After picking up a tasty combination of fruit, yogurt and granola, we wonder over to the plaza principal to eat and to watch.
The plaza is where she lets her hair down! Our shy little wall flower becomes the prom queen. A charming bandstand set in the midst of hand hewn stone and vibrant greenery. Light and laughter dance here where it won’t be wasted on those who think that Cuitzeo is only a speed bump on the road from A to B.
Who knew? I guess it is like very many Mexican homes, what you see behind closed doors can be very different than the view on the street.
cuitzeo plaza

Benches Waiting Patiently For Couples To Come Courting.

After our snack break we continue on to the main attraction today, the Ex Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene. After 4 years of work, the convent had recently been restored to what it once was. Photo ops await!
church umbrella

Built 1550, Restored, Last Thursday.

Entering the edifice you wander through ancient corridors. In many places you will see what seems to be carvings in the stone above the arches and on distant walls. Cuitzeo Corridor

Centuries of Atmosphere Soak These Stones

As you approach you realize that they are all painted on. Murals are sprinkled throughout the convent, and in some rooms, you are hard pressed to find a surface not covered with scenes or painted accents.wall painting
As you wander through the rooms, you come across a strange dichotomy, museum exhibits, in a building from 1550, lit by halogen lights on electronic timers triggered by ultrasonic motion detectors. While the rooms have all been restored, exhibits have yet to be put in many of them, giving you glimpses of doorways through doorways with the light growing as you approach the courtyard.
Cuitzeo Doorways

Looking Back Almost 500 Years

When I say all the rooms have been restored, I mean all, even the ancient bathrooms. They are basically a row of outhouses on the second floor, I always thought the most important thing about an outhouse was that they are outside, hence the name. Sadly these are not out, they are in. I would not want to live on the first floor.
Yes I took a picture. No , I am not going to post it. You know what an outhouse looks like.
As we approach the end of our tour, a young gentleman beckons us with a medieval looking key. An ancient door opens onto a timeworn pipe organ, then as we enter we realize he has taken us into the balcony that overlooks the main church. cuitzeo church

Here is Where a Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words.

As we turn to leave, we see Mary Magdalene, the Ex Convents namesake, immortalized in stained glass.
Saint Mary


6 comments:

Babs said...

GREAT blog..........and I wish I could buy your house.......it is lovely.

Anonymous said...

Excellent report about Cuitzeo, congratulations. I like to have your permission to publish your "Cuitzeo, Another Pueblo Magico" blog in huandacareo.org, intact. You can see it here and if is not ok please let me know.http://huandacareo.org/blog/

Perla
administrador(@)huandacareo.org

American Mommy in Mexico said...

As usual, I want to be a part of your outings!

Felipe said...

Cuitzeo is a very nifty place. Like you, I used to just drive through, by necessity, to points north, never getting out of the car.

What a surprise when I did.

There are some good seafood places on the edge of the lagoon. If I´m not mistaken, and I don´t think I am, it´s not a Lago. It´s a Laguna.

Todd said...

Thanks Babs! Well, if you cant buy the house, at least try to visit!

Thanks Perla, go right ahead!
Wouldn't mind coming back to do a little more exploring there!

Mommy, Thanks, we always have room for more!

Felipe, actually we ate at a little seafood place just coming out of Cuitzeo on the way home, very tastie!

Todd

Don Cuevas said...

We visited Cuitzeo with a friend back in January of 2013. I was very impressed, especially by the ex-convent.

I think that you saw what I missed: it's the lack of utility wires overhead that make the centro of the town unique.

Saludos,
Don Cuevas

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