Guanajuato is one of those difficult cities to describe. It is stacked on a ravine like a colorful wedding cake with a maze of tunnels below it, making a somewhat geographically impossible city work during the modern age. For centuries the silver and gold mines surrounding it made Guanajuato one of the wealthiest cities in Mexico, and the beautiful colonial houses, churches and theaters still make you feel like you are visiting during the cities glory days. Today over one fourth of the 80,000 people who live in Guanajuato are students (mostly studying the arts), so there is a very youthful feel to the town.
Every night students dress up in slightly silly costumes and participate in a callejonedada, which is a roaming street party with roots back to medieval Spain, where students had to survive off their wit and song. I would have loved to participate in one, however, the students looked fairly bored with the whole thing, so instead we just watched them as they moved past us in the streets.
Most of our time in Guanajuato was spent roaming the cobbled streets, climbing up narrow alleys and sitting in peaceful squares enjoying a beer or a spicy Mexican hot chocolate. We also met back up with some of our friends we have met along the way, which made the time in the city even more fun.
Guanajuato is also famous for its rather grotesque Museo de las Momias (mummy museum) that dates back to 1894 when cemetery workers discovered the low humidity and mineral soil in the area mummifies the cemeteries inhabitants. Why would they even be looking at dead, mummified people you may ask? Apparently, if the families stop paying the burial fees the bodies get dug up in order to make space for more paying customers. We visited the museum and were both totally disgusted and slightly enthralled. However, it was not a place you want to linger, in fact, after visiting it I could not eat dinner I was so grossed out.
Overall, this is a city that is difficult to capture in a blog post. It is a safe, clean, artistic, beautiful city that draws you in. We loved it here, it is a magical place.