If This Doesn’t Make You Want to Retire in Mexico…

I don’t know what will. It snowed today in my hometown. It was 85 and sunny today at my home in Cuernavaca. Now it is cool and breezy.

Parque de la Soledaridad in Cuernavaca

We just spent some time strolling around on of Cuernavaca’s largest parks. Parque de la Soledaridad is very family oriented and has lots of fun things for people of all ages. There are many play structures with slides and swings; trampolines for 10 pesos for 15 minutes; open grassy areas for informal soccer matches; a smooth cement pad for rollerskating lessons; row boats for rent on a small, green pond; and huge, four-wheeled pedaled vehicles that the entire family can enjoy together. The park is shaded by many trees and has a network of paved pathways, winding around the different areas of the park.

I got such a kick out of seeing the families pedaling by on these wonderful 4-wheeled contraptions. I tried to get some pictures, but unfortunately they didn’t turn out as well as I wanted. It was just so fun to watch children laughing and playing together and the adults being with them. The air was cooling down as the sun set and there was a slight breeze blowing. It was really relaxing.

There is a huge mural on the outside of the library located in the center of the park and I got some nice shots of that. People were just strolling by, enjoying each other’s company.

Low Lighting Adds to the Ambiance in Mexican Central Squares

We were in the zocalo of Cuernavaca the other evening, just after dark and I noticed that, in comparison to places in the U.S., the lighting is relatively low for such a large public area. Most of the light is indirect and comes from businesses or the accent lighting on the architecture. The illumination in front of the palacio de Cortez comes from the lights hung by the owners of the individual stands in the silver and crafts market and from the restaurants across the street. There is only one yellowish street light visible from the front of the palacio and the lights in the zocalo itself are soft white globes. The result is a dark twilight that is light enough to move around, but not bright enough to read comfortably. The effect is one of romantic calm.

The first zocalo where I noticed this romantic lighting was in Patzcuaro, Michoacan where the lighting was so dim it made me feel as if I’d gone back in time. The light posts seemed to be the very same ones that had been installed when electricity was first brought to the little town (which may not have been all that long ago). The zocalo in Oaxaca, Oaxaca was also dimly lit when we visited there a couple of years ago.

When combined with a cooling breeze after a hot, sunny day, the low-light ambiance of a Mexican zocalo can be delicious.