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Cuernavaca and Taxco

R. Sapozhnikov (2003)

Surprises of Cuernavaca and Taxco

Beginning of a ten-hour journey beyond Mexico – to the cities of Cuernavaca and Taxco – was spoiled by an unpleasant incident. There were too few tourists for a big bus but too many for a small tight van. Naturally the latter variant seemed to the head of the company a more practical one and the van acquired the shape of can with sardines. Among the tourists there were Venezeulans, Chileans and few Europeans. Venezuelans were the first to get outraged. During the years of the Bolivarian revolution they learned how to “stand up for their rights”. All the rest soon joined them. The “Noah's Ark” of a tourist van started uprising. Somebody suggested “to get money back” and go to te neighbouring tourist agency where they understand legal needs of the customer much better. The threat reached its goal and soon the body of tourists, who closed their ranks in unequal fight with the shark-proprietor, occupied their seats in a spacious bus.

It became clear very soon that our guide Manuel, a man over 40, used to serve mainly American groups. He seemed to be a normal Mexican guy with certain experience in life and definite sense of humor. But he seemed to get seized. Did he have any right to deviate from the learned text by a single letter? On the way to Cuernavaca Manuel enthusiastically spoke about American politicians and famous actors, who used to live in their own villas to the right and left from the highway. So, we learned a lot of interesting about Weissmuller-Tarzan and John Wayne,who despite his cowboy image, for many years in his life “was henpecked” by his Mexican wife. We also penetrated into the biographical mysteries of Sylvester Stallone, who unexpectedly visited this area, looking for some wild nature for making another blockbuster.

In Cuernavaca our “Noah's Ark” docked to the house-museum of American collector Robert Brady, who led a pretty good life travelling around auctions and getting at reasonable prices the artifacts starting from African statues to the ones of Azteca masters. He also belonged to a sexual minority and resembled singer Freddie Mercury. Close to the collection of Brady you can see his “gay-costumes” and decorated belts. Probably separate citizens of the superpower, more and more sinking into hedonism of the dawn of the Roman empire, enjoy visiting this sanctuary of “gay-culture” in Mexico. But we, tourists with traditional orientation out of “majority”, leaving this cosy, sinking into fragrant gardens Cuernavaca were thinking with remorse that we failed to visit the village of Cuautla, the birthplace of a legendary Zapata, as well as we missed the Rivera mural in the Palacio de Cortes. Could it be the revenge of the tourist firm for the morning uprising?


Official web site of Cuernavaca:

»El Zocalo square (8)
»Paseo La Reforma (12)
»Mexico City (26)
»Museums of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (8)
»The Leon Trotsky Museum (10)
»Cuernavaca and Taxco (26)
»Souvenirs (9)
»Robert Brady (4)

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Final point of our destination – is a “silver city” Taxco. It is called in such a way because of its inexhaustible resources of precious metal in the Earth. Industrious American Guillermo Spratling was the first person to awaken this provincial city having opened the first jewellery shop. The “indigenes” whom he trained were not born yesterday and very soon they understood that it was better to work for yourself than for “gringo”. Now the city counts more than three hundred shops. Local craftsmen of silver supply the whole country with their silver goods, though the main “commodity mass” goes to Mexico. Taxco is a very beautiful city. Colonial environment is very well “sold” by tourists firms. However the commercial side is also kept in mind. Every tourist, coming to Taxco just has to loosen his purse-strings, helping the leading branch of economy. So we, passengers of the “Noah's Ark” were briefly instructed how to tell real silver from the fake one. At this they also guaranteed that every shop where they would take us, would have the precious metal of genuinely first-class quality.

I still recollect with admiration delicate items of Taxco masters. Naturally I also tried to help the city economy as much as I could afford. But I think that shopkeepers of jewellery stores expected from me a bigger contribution, offering me some bright unique things worth hundreds of dollars. When I used say “no” for the next time their eyes were getting dim, and one could see an abrupt emotional leap from disappointment to indifference. By the way, my companions did not rush for their wallets purses either. With pleasure I walked along the streets of this original city, dropped into a local church made of pink marble, Museum of silver and the house of Alejandro Humboldt. Probably there is not a single country in Latin America, which was not visited by this tireless German traveller. There is a feeling that his “houses” are everywhere, starting from Maxico to Patagonia. He just spent a night in Taxco but this fact was recorded by the city chronicles as an outstanding event in history...

Tourist agencies of Mexican capital offer numerous one-day trips beyond its boundary. If you choose Taxco and Cuernavaca you will not be disappointed!

The panoramic view of Taxco: (click on photo to enlarge)
Vista panoramica del Taxco

Taxco is beautiful from every point.




Raful Krayem Sanchez Baron Alejandro de Humboldt Baron Alejandro de Humboldt

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