“The rugged beauty of the Santa Fe landscape is inspiring. The vast blue skies and famous sunsets are deserving of their wide praises. There are charms among the unique architecture that I have not seen anywhere else, the organic shades and curves of adobe buildings strung with ristras and luminarias” (David Padberg)
Feeling reenergized by the cool elevations of Southern Colorado, Ruth and I now traversed canyon lands of high desert for a two day look at Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our ambitious two day agenda of this region would thus begin at Bandelier National Monument. Here we enjoyed a one mile hike through cave strewn Frijoles Canyon to view excavated homelands of the ancestral Pueblo peoples. Meandering by foot through the narrow streets of Santa Fe proper on day two of our visit, we would then sample the pervasive presence of creative shopping artwork, Mexican food delicacies, colorful adobe architecture, and strong religious traditions that made this city such a fascinating visit for us. Enjoy the following photographic display.
At the entrance to Bandalier National Monument, we gazed down at the steep river valley below and then made our way to the Park entrance.
Our round trip route beginning at the park visitor center would allow us to walk in the footsteps of the Pueblo people who settled here from 1150 to 1600 AD. Passing well preserved ruins of Indian kivas, I sensed the great reverence the Pueblos felt for this sacred place.
We noticed a line of hole filled caves jutting prominently on dry cliffs along the valley. We headed steeply uphill to examine these cliffs more closely. We soon found steep ladders that led to the openings of several caves. Strenuously climbing these ladders, we recovered our energy inside several of these caves.
Our Santa Fe tour would begin primarily outdoors. Driving past the carnival presence of “Meow Wolf” in Santa Fe suburbia, we observed a tantalizing assortment of fantasy sculptures.
Venturing downtown, we parked near the historic centralized plaza for a relaxing lunch at artwork-filled, “The Shed.” Our enticing list of food items of interest sampled on this culinary tour included the fried dough like taste of sopapilla and hot spice sensation of red/green chili peppers.
With an authentic cultural presence of Old Mexico” past in this city, Santa Fe Plaza would prove a worthwhile place for a slow siesta rest.
Entering adobe lined souvenir shops/ art galleries near Santa Fe Plaza, a variety of unusual shopping displays mesmerize our attention.
Spanish Catholicism provides a historic legacy in Santa Fe’s development as a city. At the “Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi” we took a breathtaking look at the ornate interior of this historic Romanesque cathedral.
San Miguel Chapel would become another landmark of religious interest along our Santa Fe downtown tour. Documented as the oldest church in the continental United States from the early 1600s, we impressively noticed well preserved, historic relics as well as portions of the original church walls.
The cool and forest lined walking route along the Santa Fe River would provide a welcome break from the mid afternoon heat on our city tour. As we exited our parked car, I noticed a serene waterfall spot along the trail to mediate in “inner silence.”
The roundhouse configuration of the New Mexico State Capitol seemed more like an art museum than a government complex on the last stop of our Santa Fe visit. With few restrictions about touring the Capital grounds or interior on our own, we roamed freely to view extraordinary sculptures/ quilt works here from the Capitol Art Collection on this visit.