Edit Blog Post
Published: January 12th 2012
Guadalajara, and more specifically Tequila, had been recommended by several people as a great place to visit. Tequila being the town that is, as well as the home of the drink. I've always fancied a world tour of birthplaces of alcoholic beverages, so what better opportunity to visit the home of Tequila?
So after an uneventful drive to Guadalajara...well nearly
uneventful....we arrived back at the airport to return the rental car ahead of schedule and were able to take in downtown Guadalajara and the historic centre in the afternoon. Maybe we've been spoiled by the charms of smaller centres but Guadalajara was a little underwhelming. The main attraction is the Cathedral, which is very impressive indeed, and on each side boasts a handsome plaza.
We walked into the downtown area and viewed the Cathedral, the plazas, a number of various churches. We also went to a couple of buildings where there were some amazing murals by an artist called Jose Clemente Orozco. The only thing of real interest that happened in Guadalajara was that we were evicted from a church by the priest, as we sat in pews reading the information from the Lonely Planet. He clearly wasn't looking
for new recruits. Apart from that, Guadalajara did not offer much to remember it by.
Good thing that Tequila was nearby! We took ourselves on a day trip, feeling rather proud of ourselves having negotiated the public transport system yet again, getting off at the Casa Herradura just on the outskirts of Tequila itself. It was privately owned until five years ago, and now the family own the Hacienda and the museum only, while the American liquor company, Brown Forman, owns the rest.
We took a tour, which was absolutely fascinating. Tequila is made from blue agave, and to be called Tequila must be grown in the county of Tequila only (like Champagne). Outside of this area it is called Mescal. The first thing that struck us is how incredibly labour intensive it is. The harvesting is all done by hand, and delivered by the truck load to Casa Herradura, who make 60,000 litres of Tequila every day.
We got a very good understanding of the whole process, and the tour also included samples at the end. Unfortunately I seemed to have picked up some kind of virus and the thought of drinking Tequila was not appealing
in the slightest, however Lucy tried the varieties on offer, including one bottle which retails for $US170. She proclaimed it smooth as silk, and said she could quite happily sip on one or two of those. However she didn't like it so much as to buy as a bottle.
I was fading fast by then, so we got a taxi all the way back to Guadalajara, which was astonishingly cheap at around $35, and took half the time of the rickety public bus. Money well spent I thought! For me it was straight to bed, while Lucy went exploring the Guadalajara restaurant scene on her own.
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