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Tiles and Towers

I’m guessing that quite a few of you have saltillo tiles in your homes – those in Arizona almost certainly do.  We are now in the birthplace of those tiles, Saltillo, Coahuila.   I never knew before this trip that there was even such a place.  I thought they were just tiles, but now they’re special because they’re like champagne.  They can’t be called saltillo tiles unless they’re from Saltillo.  But they don’t tickle your nose, so they’re not exactly like champagne.  I’ll never look at the saltillo tiles in my home the same way.

We did lots of sightseeing in the old city center today and that included seeing saltillo tiles everywhere.  Beg Ky, and he just might be willing to post his vast collection of tile photos on Facebook.

The city was founded in 1577 by a Conquistador and Spanish colonists and it is the oldest post-conquest settlement in northern Mexico. According to Wikipedia ” The Colonial Center of the city is built in pink marble, giving Saltillo’s architecture a distinctive flavor.” My favorite building was the cathedral (built from 1745-1800) which is Spanish Baroque. I guess I’m just a sucker for all that ornate bling.

We saw a large Casino in the middle of town and wanted to go in and take a look, but it was all chain locked up.

As we walked on the side of it there were some workers behind the iron fence on the north side of the building.  We asked them when the Casino would open.  They told us is was, but that the entrance was on the other side.  Seemed a bit strange that the grand main entrance was locked.  We were warmly greeted by the parking attendant with a smile and a handshake.  Not that odd, but… We entered the unimposing side door in to the “Women’s Bar” area which had been converted in to a reception room.  The woman behind the desk didn’t greet us as warmly as the parking attendant, and she even seemed suspicious about our intentions on entering.  When she asked if we were members and we replied no, she was about to tell us to shove off, but was interrupted by another kind gentleman.  Turns out he was the general manager and instead of kicking us out, he gave us and extensive private tour.

The building was converted from a casino about two years ago in to a formal event center and private club and restaurant.  When we asked him why, he rather sheepishly admitted that it was because there were too many corruption problems and people were fearful to go there.  Things have gotten much better though and the city is quite stable and tranquil now.

Our tour included the top of the building, which has some of the best views of the entire city and certainly the best views of the cathedral.

Carlos, the manager, asked us to return in 6 months to a year to get another tour of the tunnels that are being renovated.  Seems there was a direct connection underground from the casino to the cathedral.  Hmmm… I’m not judging, but just saying, Hmmm…

Pretty public spaces and free museums and art galleries all over the place, and if you want to take your laptop and work in quiet surroundings with historic architecture all about, this would be the spot.  I won’t bore you will all the details, but rather just let the pictures do the talking.

Window shopping through pretty windows.


Yummy snacks


And a cutie pie that feels the same way I do about pigeons.


Hugs and salsa!

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