Kerry knew a hotel in the colonial district, the Delores Alba, that is clean and has good rates. Parking is in a gated and locked lot. It is monitored by camera and guests are buzzed in and out. As in any large city, security is important. Any tourist, anywhere, should always be careful. There are some bad people everywhere in this world of ours. Here is a photo of another hotel security system. Not state of the art, perhaps, but effective. The parking garage is below the ledge.
My room was on the second floor and had two windows--with wooden louvers but no glass. One looked out on the center court of the hotel. The other onto a hallway. It wasn't fancy, but it was clean and had an air conditioner. I turned it on just before bed and it kept me cool through the night. Expedia has some great pics of the hotel. To see them, click here.
After checking in we headed out in the car to have a look around. It was hot enough that I wanted to buy a fan. We went to a local market--a sort of indoor/outdoor mall. Most shops were linked by passages that wormed through the buildings to no discernable plan. Outside the streets were narrow. Everywhere the people were friendly.
We had intentionally not gone to a tourist area. I wanted to see how the "real" people lived--especially since I planned to become one! A saleslady brought out fans, one-by-one, and plugged them in so I could test them out. I made my selection, we took it to the car and then wandered around. This wasn't a grocery store (Tienda de comestibles) but nearly everything else was available in the many small shops. As expected, clothes and electronics were more expensive than in the states.
After we returned to the hotel we walked to a nearby square and had dinner outside,"fuera,"in the plaza. I had grilled fish (I have forgotten which kind), with a black bean & corn salsa that was excellent. The side was rice and I had a cold Modelo. All good!
The plaza was packed with people. Tourists, of course, but local families and sweethearts, too. Sunday in the plaza is a big event.
I was able to attend a service in the oldest cathedral in the new world; the Catedral de San Ildefonso (1598), first in the continental Americas. The service was in Spanish but was still enjoyable. The building was spectacular.
The Nave (center section)
A side section
Afterward, worn out from the long day, we headed back to the hotel. I slept like a rock.