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Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 11 May 6, 2013

Day 11
May 6, 2013
Zacatecas, Mexico

Zacatecas is a wonderful city full of history, lots of museums, great food and very friendly people. Many people here speak some english, so with my little spanish things get worked out rather easily.

Yesterday I was up early and took a taxi to the Mina El Eden, it is in the city but about 800 feet above the central city and at 9000 feet above sea level that is a hike. This mine was in operation for nearly 400 years, first by the Spanish then Mexico after their independence. It produced gold, silver, copper, iron and lead. All of the work was done by hand in this mine until it's closing in 1966. No one knows how much gold and silver the Spanish took from this mine, but the Spanish considered it one of there most prized possessions in The New World.

This is about a block from the hostel.

 The Cerro de la Bufa  and Telferico viewed from the mine entrance.

A monument to the thousands of slaves who died in the mine under Spanish rule. As many as 2,500 slaves worked a day in this mine and two to three died in the mine each day.

This shrine dates from the early days of the mine.

The mine has seven levels, the tour is conducted in levels four and five.

After touring the Mina Del Eden I crossed over the city on the Telferico (cable car). On the other side is the Cerro de la Bufa (Hill of the Bufa). It was named Bufa by the Spanish and is thought to have been a land mark for people here for over 10,000 years. It has been the "high ground" in several battles in both Mexico's war of independence with the Spanish and their revaluation.

 Poncho Villa....larger than life.

The Chapel at the Bufa.

Now I will hike down to the city.

After hiking from the Bufa back down the center city I was taking a break and Phillip, the owner of the hostel, asked if I would like to go to the bull fight with him at 5:00PM. Of course I accepted his offer. About the bull fight I will say I found it both elegant and brutal. I am still dealing with how to interpret it. But I was brought to my feet many times by courage  displayed by both the matador and toro. I can say I left the plaza knowing I had witnessed a display of elegance and artistry.

 More will be revealed...

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