San Miguel de Allende – Rich in Colour

by sebastien on March 2, 2011

As a break from our regularly scheduled updates from our last trip, I'll post about a (relatively) short trip to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. I'm excited to share these pictures, as it's definitely more colour than I'm used to photographing. Colour makes me happy. Click the link to find out more about this trip.

A note from my fiancée Sejin about one of her favourite qualities of this city:

In San Miguel de Allende, you will see people with bags of 50 oranges for their daily fresh juice. Wherever you go, if you order a glass of orange juice, you won't be disappointed by the freshness.

This tour was organized by two local photographers, Mark Hemmings and Jamie Wilson. I had visited Japan with Mark last March, and I knew from then that I would want to visit San Miguel as well. I'm glad I did!

As you first drive into this charming town, about 3 hours away from Mexico City, the view you're greeted with is of the entire town laid out below you. As you can see in the photo below, the light is magical at sunset.

Mexico, Parroquia de San Miguel, San Miguel de Allende, Skyline, Sunset

Door, Mexico, San Miguel de Allende

I'm not sure what it is about this photo, but I absolutely love it... :)

Mexico, Pigeon, Red Car, San Miguel de Allende

Colour, colour, and more colour. A lot of the buildings are falling apart though, but it does add some character.

Mexico, Ruins, San Miguel de Allende, Wall

This photo kind of reminds me of a frame out of a movie, I really like it.

Cell Phone, Girl, Mexico, San Miguel de Allende, Sidewalk, Sitting

During one of the afternoons, we spent some time photographing a model named Shantel. She was very charming and fun; it's too bad we didn't know a bit more Spanish...

Casa de Joe & Marti, Mexico, San Miguel de Allende, Shantel

We witnessed a lot of day-to-day activities of the locals, spending a lot of time wandering the streets photographing people going about their business. Always a treat to do everywhere I go.

Cobble Stone, Mexico, San Miguel de Allende, Street

Spent some time up on the roof of the villa we stayed at taking some pictures of the foliage against the sunset. Sean McGrath inspired.

Casa de Joe & Marti, Mexico, San Miguel de Allende, Sean McGrath Special

Can't go to Mexico without getting pricked by a cactus or two... Here's a note from Sejin describing her impression of the landscape.

During the 7 days with Mark and Jamie, we only discovered the very essential parts of the San Miguel de Allende area. Most of the places we went to are reachable in an hour and when we went farther, we saw more ruins and barren mountains. Understanding the life under the flaming sun and appreciating the greenery, my heart grew fonder, as the days passed, for the people who grew plants and crops.

Botanical Garden, Cactus, Mexico, San Miguel de Allende

Not a single cloud in the sky for days on end.

Botanical Garden, Cactus, Mexico, San Miguel de Allende

This charming little lady couldn't have been more than 4'8". She is apparently a regular visitor to this church, especially when foreigners visit. She is a very talented model though, with reasonable rates.

Atotonilco, Beggar, Mexico, Old Ladie, San Miguel de Allende

We visited a mine named Santa Brigida in Pozos, about an hour outside of San Miguel. This mine is a great place to wander around ruins, so long as you're careful not to fall into seemingly bottomless pits. Here are some photos of the old smelters that have been slowly falling apart for almost 2 centuries.

Mexico, Mine, Pozos, Smelter

The little surprises you find on your journey if you just look around can be wonderful. Luckily the others on the tour were doing just that and found these little ants marching about. I've never seen anything so organized in such a small scale. Thousands of ants marching up a tree empty handed, then back down with some bounty.

Ants Marching, Jalpa, Mexico, Worker

Apparently this church in Jalpa, a tiny village about 30 minutes from San Miguel, has been under renovations for many years, slowly being brought back to its original status. They've certainly come a long way, but it's interesting to photograph some of the unpolished elements.

Church, Jalpa, Mexico

Lovers... It's a common sight in San Miguel.

Alley, Lovers, Mexico, San Miguel de Allende

A walk around the Parroquia at night will always reveal some interesting things. You won't need to bring your iPod either, the mariachi bands will keep the air filled with music. :)

Cell Phone, Children, Mexico, Pacing, Playing, San Miguel de Allende, Soccer

Mariachi, Mexico, San Miguel de Allende

Just make sure you look to your sides when walking around, or else you might miss an opportunity like this one, of a lady preparing some food in a restaurant kitchen. The restaurants are another great trait of this city, often with really interesting gardens setting the backdrop as you can see in the photo on the right.

Cook, Hecho en Mexico, Mexico, San Miguel de Allende

I also wanted to share with you Sejin's thoughts about an art gallery we visited on our last day in San Miguel. There were no photos from there, but we did buy some little stained colour wooden boxes that add some pizazz to our bedroom décor.

At Fabrica la Aurora, the holy art maze place, I was so confused; I wondered if I was in Mexico or in New York. I couldn't believe my eyes and the reaction from the whole sensation I had was like when the astronauts saw the earth from the space with their naked eyes.

Well there you have it! Another city added to my list of 'must revisit.' I'm glad I had a chance to experience the atmosphere of this beautiful gem. As always, if you would like to see the other photos from this trip, please see the album posted on Facebook. Take care for now!