Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Exploring Santa Fe

Noelle and I awoke in our small hotel room and got ready for a day out on the town. The breakfast at The Inn on Paseo was excellent and gave us the fuel we would need for our day exploring the oldest capital city in the United States. We headed out walking to the Santa Fe Plaza. We walked around a bit and checked out the monuments that had been placed there commemorating the end of the Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe Trail end

and the wartime contributions of Santa Fe's citizens.
Santa Fe Plaza

From there we headed to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

San Francisco

There were a lot of interesting things to look at both inside and outside of the church.
Saint Francis
Indian Woman
Inside Cathedral

The artifact that I found the most interesting was a wooden statue of the virgin Mary that was brought to New Mexico in the 1600s. It is know as the Conquistadora.
The Conquistadora
Outside the Cathedral was a little city park with some nice sculptures in it.

Don Diego de Vargas
Cathedral Park Sculpture
From the Cathedral we headed to the New Mexico History Museum where we met our friend Aimee. The exhibits painted a very interesting picture of New Mexico; both it's 100 years as one of the United States, and its pre-statehood time.

History Museum

 We ate lunch at a nearby Burrito joint and went back to the history museum for one more exhibit on the Saint John's book. The book was beautifully illustrated, but I felt it had little to do with the history of New Mexico. From the History museum, Noelle and I headed just across the street to the New Mexico Museum of Art. There were a lot of interesting art pieces inside, including a few interesting paintings by Georgia O'Keefe. We spent a couple hours perusing the museum before we headed outside to walk around and enjoy the public street art.
Tree Stump Carving

Artist Statue
 We ended up walking up Canyon Road and pas the many art galleries. They all seemed way out of our price range and so we enjoyed the outdoor art instead of going inside.
Outdoor Gallery
 Finally, we found ourselves at the Loretto Chapel.
Loretto Chapel
Inside Loretto

It's best known for its "miraculous staircase" which was supposedly built by a mystery carpenter who took no money for his services and whose construction defies the laws of physics.
Noelle and Miraculous Staircase

To me it looks like it was carved out of a single piece of wood. I guess I'm a bit of a skeptic.

We ended our day with another hike up Martyr's Hill
Martyrs' Hill

and the ruins of the Old Fort Marcy where last summer I found some interesting artifacts including pottery and chert flakes.
Mountains from Old Fort Marcy

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