Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012 SW Travel Destinations - OLD TOWN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

Approximately 63 miles SW of Santa Fe, on I-25, sits quaint and historic Old Town Albuquerque.
The town of Albuquerque was built in the traditional Spanish village pattern: a central plaza surrounded by government buildings, homes, and beautiful San Felipe de Neri Church. This central plaza area has been preserved and is open to the public as a museum, cultural area, and center of commerce. It is referred to as "Old Town Albuquerque", or simply "Old Town."  If you go, leave your javelin at home.  They're not gonna' let you in with it! 
Albuquerque was founded in 1706 as the Spanish colonial outpost of Ranchos de Alburquerque.  Present-day Old Town Albuquerque retains much of its historical Spanish cultural heritage.
When the railroad arrived in 1880, it bypassed the plaza, locating the passenger depot and rail yards about 2 miles east, in what quickly became known as New Albuquerque, or New Town.  Old Town remained a separate community until the 1920s when it was absorbed by the city of Albuquerque.  I did NOT visit the Rattlesnake Museum, but was very content taking a picture of the window - it's probably why the railroad bypassed the town!
San Felipe de Neri - its beauty speaks for itself.
Down a few blocks, on a street that looks like an alley really, you will find The Church Street Cafe.
Not to be missed, this fabulous eatery was originally a hacienda (Casa de Ruiz) built during the founding of Albuquerque, sometime after 1706, making it the oldest residence in Albuquerque and one of the oldest structures in the state of New Mexico.  A better bowl of Posole, you’ll be hard pressed to find…the rest of the menu is equally as grand.  Church St. Cafe, 2111 Church St. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104 - you'll be glad you stopped.
Make sure to take notice of the beautiful and unique SW vegetation...from the hollyhocks to the cacti, each one more vibrant than the next - the honeybees like 'em, too, and that's a very good thing!  No time for a siesta after lunch, as we're headed to Acoma Indian Pueblo next...


Debi said...

Thank you for sharing those lovely pictures. I like seeing other areas of our beautiful country.

Ahl Cooped Up said...

Very nice tour. I would be happy to skip the rattlesnake museum too!

Anonymous said...

great pictures. wish we were there now. lets do it again. your the best. love you mom

vicki said...

Your travel photos are magnificent - I have always wanted to go to Santa Fe - and Albuquerque. It looks like your trip was truly a wonderful and beautiful experience. The pictures are just vibrant - thanks for sharing - they are incredible!