Santa Fe, NM Part II: Walking Tour
One thing we noticed on the tram tour was the fact that there were several food carts around the square. They were selling hot dogs and brats, fajitas, and all sorts of good-smelling foods. As soon we got off the tram, we walked right over to the square to check out the goodies. The food cart that caught our eye (and noses) was the one that won the award for the Best Food Cart of 2008. They were selling carnitas. Carne means "meat" in Spanish, and carnita means "little meat."
We bought a carnita to share. In the photo below, Paul is enjoying his turn at taking a few bites of the carnita, which is beef, fried onions and peppers, and salsa - all wrapped in flat bread.
After our snack, we walked around the square and some of the side streets. There weren't quite as many picturesque little alcoves off the main sidewalks as there were in Albuquerque, but there were a few.
we walked some of the side streets and got around the square almost
back to where we had started, we noticed people eating something out of
Frito bags. On further investigation, we found out what they were
eating were called a Frito Pies, and they were sold at the lunch
counter in the Five and Dime Store. They cut open the edge of a snack-size bag of
Fritos, ladle in some chili, and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. You
eat it right out of the bag. Well, it sounded so good, we decided we
had to give it a try. Yum! What a great idea for a picnic, camping, Super
Bowl party, etc! Eating out of the Frito bag really saves on cleanup.
After our second shared snack, we continued our walking tour. We wanted to get a closer look at some of the places we passed on the tram tour. A block from the square is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, which is also known as St. Francis Cathedral.
The cathedral was built by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy from 1869 to 1886 on the site of an older, adobe church. French-born Archbishop Lamy chose Romanesque Revival style that stands out in stark contrast to the surrounding adobe structures.
The truncated towers were originally intended to have 160 foot tall steeples, but the steeples were never completed because of lack of funds. In fact, the archbishop had to rely on funds from at least one Jewish contributor to get the cathedral completed to its present state. The Hebrew inscription over the doors was probably the archbishop's "thank you" to his Jewish benefactor.
Loretto Chapel is located about a block from St. Francis Cathedral. The chapel was built from 1873 to 1878 for the students of Loretto Academy. The chapel is Gothic Revival style. The chapel is known for its spiral staircase. Today, the chapel is a privately-owned museum.
Early May is an excellent time to visit Sante Fe if you are a fan of lilacs. They were in full bloom and fragrance during our visit.There was a bush to the right in the photo below in front of San Miguel Church, which is located a few blocks from Loretto Chapel right along the Old Santa Fe Trail.
San Miguel Church is still a functioning Catholic parish. The church was built around 1610 and the original adobe walls still lie within the stucco exterior. The roof was destroyed during the Pueblo Indian rebellion of 1680, but the roof was replaced in 1694 after the Spanish returned to Santa Fe. The present bell tower and the massive stone buttresses were added in 1880.
The photo below shows the interior of the San Miguel Church. There are cutouts in the floor in the front that show the original adobe steps to the altar under the existing wooden floor.
From San Miguel Church we walked back to the car for the drive back to Albuquerque. We really liked Santa Fe, and one day wasn't nearly enough time there. We knew it wouldn't be, but it was all the time we had on this trip. We are definitely planning to return someday.
We spent the next day catching up on laundry and did some grocery shopping. Then the following day, we continued traveling west.