Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Port 5: Mazatlan

Daniel's dad had arranged in advance for us to take a van tour of Mazatlan. Mazatlan Frank picked us up from the port and took us to the northernmost edge of town and back, giving us an idea of the rich, the touristy, and the working class. It was an enlightening trip.

We stopped inside the cathedral in the middle of town and marveled at its sheer size.

The cathedral was adjacent to a popular shopping area, and we walked through the rows and rows of vendors.

We watched the cliff divers ply their trade. That man perched at the top of the stairs plunged into a shallow dive at the bottom of those rocks.

We walked the streets of Old Mazatlan, an area that has been restored and rejuvenated in recent years.

A theatre in Old Mazatlan.

We stopped by the home of an artisan couple that doubles as their gallery. I was excited to see the saltillo tiles that we have at home paving their floors.

The roof of their house contained a fantastic mosaic wall.

An example of the beautiful restoration. Mazatlan Frank explained to us that the bars on the windows, present on almost every single house we saw, were not so much a reaction to violence as a cultural tradition born out of the need to keep the doors and windows open during the hot months.

We headed up to a beach well-known for its surfing and could see the city stretch back southward along the coast.

After this, we drove through a gleaming gated community, perfectly groomed everything and white, white mansions repeated over and over, cars with American license plates sitting in the driveways. And then we headed over to the working class areas where, Frank explained, people begin with small single-level homes and eventually save up enough money to build another level on top of their flat roofs, a project he was currently in the middle of. The houses were much more colorful.

We ended the day with a sunset overlooking an island.

The whole group!

And back on the ship, we gathered once more for dinner and company.

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