Trip to Saltillo

By aaron.axvig, 18 November, 2006

Today I went to the city of Saltillo.  Our intelligence showed that Saltillo is renowned for its blankets and linens and things, and my mom had recently placed an order for some of those items.  Plus it would make a nice little day trip.

We (Christin, from Tennessee, and I) left at 7:00am in a taxi to the bus station.  It was a 1.5 hour bus ride to Saltillo, in a very nice bus.  The route was very scenic, with jagged mountains on both sides.  It was pretty cheap too--just $5.50 for each of us each way.

Outside the bus station:

Landscape

We then crossed the street and walked past a bunch of shops and stores.  One was Waldo's Mart, which we felt horribly inclined to go check out.  It was just a discount store.  We didn't stay long, primarily because of the Christmas music that was playing, composed of meowing and barking sounds.

Waldo's Mart

There were no blankets too be found.  We decided to head downtown, where there would be markets.  So a local told us to get on bus 17.  Annoyingly, a different bus 17 would drive right by us every 5 minutes (no matter how hard we tried to flag it down), and after four times we asked and found out that we had to go to a different corner to get on it.  10 minutes later we were downtown.

The first market we went into had a lot of jeans, shirts, and bootleg movies and music for sale.  After walking around for 1/2 hour, we went looking for something else.  On the way, I saw a man standing by some sticks that were angled from the sidewalk to the building.  They looked kind of like a broken picture frame (a very thin one).  So as I went by, I stepped in between them, being VERY careful to not knock them over or break them.  I guess I should have been as observant as I was careful.  The man standing there hollered something, and I looked down to see wet concrete.  Luckily it wasn't very deep, and really only the sole of my shoe went in it.  But the guy still had to re-smooth the surface.  Note that I successfully managed to not touch any of the sticks.

On we went, making note not to go back down that street lest we get mugged.  A couple of stores later, we were ready to eat, and found a quiet little place.  There were some nice old ladies working there, and when we asked what some of the items on the menu on the wall were, instead of explaining she took us back into the kitchen.  She practically gave us a tour of the place, showing what went into each item.  Very interesting.

At first I ordered 7 gorditas, which are tiny little tortillas (but thicker, like bread) that are cut to create a pocket in the middle and stuffed with meat, cheese, or beans.  But then I saw chilaquiles on the menu.  I've been a fan of the chilaquiles at the cafeteria on campus (fritos and cheese melted with lots of grease, slopped on a styrofoam tray), but my mom said the chilaquiles she had in Mexico City were entirely different.  So I went back and revised my order to chilaquiles.  This time they were like this (soft chips, frijoles, and some cheese):

Chilaquiles

They were just as good, but I'm sure more nutricious.

The ladies then tipped us off to where we could get the linens, and off we went.  There seemed to only be one store in the market that had them, but they had the variety of selection that I needed so the mission was accomplished.  We asked a policeman which bus would take us back to the bus station, arrived there 15 minutes later, and were soon on our way back home.

Large Mexican blanket

Mexican blankets