The bus to Zacatecas was most definitely not a luxury bus – but it was no worse than an average Greyhound bus. After a long and uneventful journey we arrived in a city that was once one of the wealthiest in the world due to the close proximity of silver mines with seemingly massive deposits. Zacatecas has great public buildings that reflect its glorious past – the cathedral, plazas and churches, as well as La Moneda, The Mint. But the most interesting site is the Mina el Eden, the fabled silver mine that was open for over 400 years. The mine tour takes you deep down into the various levels, and true life figures of the enslaved indigenous Indians are located throughout the mine, depicting the hell that slaves were forced to work in until they died.
Going down any mine is usually great fun for kids- at El Eden, depending on their age they may or may not understand what the point of the life like figures is, but for an overall experience, it’s really a good one for kids as well as extremely thought provoking for adults.
Other than the sites, Zacatecas is a good walking city. Not big enough to be daunting, we felt completely safe wandering around the back streets – in one of them we discovered an incredible Argentinian steak house where we ate one of our best meals in Mexico. At night the Zocalo (The Plaza in front of the cathedral , which is an element of every colonial Spanish city) was buzzing , with bands and musicians performing all the time.
A Day Trip into the Past
We hired a taxi to take us to the archaeological site of La Quemada – huge remains of a great settlement, with giant pyramids, walls, playing courts and huge columns – the bottom line is that no -one really knows very much about this place and in any other country it would be a major site – but in Mexico it is just one of many great reminders of past civilizations, and we were the only visitors on the day. In itself that was incredible, as we were free to wander around without any hassles, and it was a great place for kids to run around as well.
Best for Kids – Mexican ice cream – they come in flavours you’ll never find elsewhere, like Black Sapote – where the ice cream is made of a fruit that is totally black!
Mexican markets are great too – dolls of all shapes and sized are available – girls will love them.
After a couple of days in Zacatecas it was time to move on.
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