Running east from the zocalo in the very center of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Real de Guadalupe is a pedestrian street at it’s western end where gentrification is having it’s way, apparent even to a first-time visitor. Expat gringos speak with disdain about the situation but I admit I found walking along it every day a pleasure, stopping for coffee, observing the action, shopping for bread or cheese or pecans out of big jars at a corner sweet shop. I loved that there was room to walk, even when it was full of people, rather than squeezed onto the narrow sidewalks elsewhere in town.
I don’t buy much these days but I did bring home a shirt that I know will be a favorite for a long time, purchased from a shop, below, on Guadalupe from a lady who thereafter greeted me as I passed.
The traffic began again at Avenida Diego Dugelay . . .
. . . and if I turned left I’d be at my favorite produce shops or, continuing uphill, to Sweetbeat for a late breakfast or lunch. In other words, Real de Guadalupe was pretty much my freeway-on-foot, the easiest way to walk just about every place I routinely wanted to go.
Heading east and raising my eyes above the heads, the view included a white church growing larger as I walked. One day I decided to keep going to see what I’d find. Foot traffic largely subsided where motorized traffic began, shops and cafes were simpler and local-looking but no less interesting.
The street widened until it came to a small park and just beyond . . .
. . . 79 steps leading to the white church on the hill, Iglesia del Cerro de Guadalupe (1834) and . . .
. . . turning, for the first time was able to see San Cristóbal from above and take in the undulations of it’s cityscape in a bowl.
Walking back the way I’d come but different in the opposite direction, as it is always is, everywhere. And on, back to the beginning at the corner by the zocalo where Real de Guadalupe begins . . .
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