🇲🇽 Bernal, Mexico 🇲🇽 June 2021
What a beautiful tiny town! I took the local bus in from Queretaro, which was two dollars each way, and a woman who looked official gave me a packet of candies. I flipped it over and realize that I had to pay for it when she sashayed back through the aisle. The town was about an hour from Querétaro, and I had to follow my phone to figure out where the bus stop was, because there was just a teeny tiny little sign on the side of the street.
There it iiiiiiiiisssssssss! That’s my siiiiiiggggnnnnnnn!!!!!
I got off and traipsed down the dusty hill that seemed to be under construction with lots of potholes and uneven ground. It seemed to go straight down. There were lots of little cats meandering all over the place, chasing dust bunnies and little bugs. I took a right and passed the tourist bus that didn’t have any tourists on it, and then continued to the Museum of Masks.
I was very excited for this museum, but I had read that it wouldn’t be open on the day that I came to visit. Hoping that had just been a fluke, I walked over to it anyway. Alas, it was closed, but they did have some super cool street art and pictures of masks in the windows. There was a beautiful fountain with no water in the middle of the street, right next to a poor smooshed turtle that seemed to have been run over by a car. (I was glad it was already dead, otherwise I would have had to go find a turtle-vet haha)
The houses were beautiful, lots of stone archways around the doors and the tall skinny cacti lining the sidewalks. The neighborhoods were painted with bright yellows and oranges, and everyone’s door was open in order to let in the cool morning air. Bernal had many more hills than I was expecting, so my calves got a good workout lol The massive bursts of pink flowers above the doorways made for some great scenery along the way as I headed to the main square.
There were beautiful lacy patchwork dresses, bright pink purses and hand stitched embroidered belts.
Lots of little shops with hilarious names like Nun Farts. (Needless to say, nothing was being sold by nuns, and I certainly hoped that nobody was farting.)
The beautiful church in the center of town was dark red and bright yellow, sturdy and recently painted, with a pretty gazebo right next-door, all covered in purple flowers. The Peña del Bernal, A.k.a. the giant rock-hill-thing, was always visible in the background and in just about every picture. (Sometimes it seems like it would move in order to be in the picture 🤣)
There was a beautiful covered area that would’ve been wonderful for markets, although nothing was being sold there that day, except for the beautiful clothes in the back corner and the fresh bread shop right next to it. The archways made cool shadows and the wooden ceiling made it seem like we were in a different century.
There were small murals painted on the walls showing old markets and ladies in old-timey dresses.
Next door, there were statues of carved life-size men made of wood, each wearing a surprised expression, an oversized mustache and a protective hat. I posed with them. 🤣 I loved the jean jackets, Frida Kahlo dresses, and mesh long-sleeve shirts, presumably to cover a swimsuit or a tank top.
After some pictures with the massive hill, I went into the local cheese shop and drooled over all of the goat cheeses and freshly made mozzarella and provolone. There was a family in front of me who ordered the entire shop, and by the time it was my turn, the shop owner told me to come back after his break in an hour 🤣🤣
Naturally, I went souvenir shopping. There were brightly colored embroidered hats, long dangling gold earrings that shimmered in the sunlight, and these super cool masks, presumably to sit on a mantle or a side table. They were $7usd.￼￼
There was a beautiful – and shiny – model posing in an upward pelvis thrusting pose in the middle of the cobblestone street right in front of the giant hill. I’m sure it made for a beautiful picture with the photographer down at eye level, and she was definitely a knockout, but it was certainly amusing to walk by when such things were being posed and photographed. 🤣
Then I headed over to the number one restaurant in town, and got a massive glass of orange juice, and a photogenic dish with rice, chicken, beans, cactus and peppers.
It was beautiful with trees and flowers everywhere, colorful furniture painted with pain staking details, and all kinds of funny statues like a chicken gurgling on a wine bottle (but the food was less than amazing, unfortunately. Not bad, but too much food with two little flavor.)
I trudged back up the hill and waited for the unmarked bus at the unmarked bus stop next to the most delicious unmarked street food stand. (I wished I wasn’t full haha) Although, I was a little nervous to figure out when the bus was coming, so I didn’t want to risk not being let on the bus if I had a bunch of food with me or something. With these rural bus stops, there’s no telling when the bus will come, where the bus will come, or IF the bus will come. 🤣 So there’s always a bit of nerves involved with getting there and getting back.
This would’ve been a beautiful place to spend the night in, lots of friendly people and a quiet town in general. The weather was excellent in June, nice and warm. But that also meant that it was nice and warm for all the mosquitoes and flying insects with stingers, so it’s a mixed bag 🤣
I stayed in Queretaro and just visited Bernal for the afternoon. Lovely visit, lovely town and lovely people!