We were now in Santa Fe Downtown. It was Sunday. Everything was again about to close at 5pm. We were late and had about 50 minutes to tour the city. We began our walk with the Oldest Church in the USA – yes the oldest church known as San Miguel Chapel is located on Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe downtown. The earliest documentation of existence of the church is from 1628, so it is believed it was built before that. And during these past 400 years, the chapel has been rebuilt and restored several times and now stands as a total adobe building.
On the intersection of the Old Santa Fe Trail and DeVargas is believed to be the Oldest House in the USA. It is an adobe house and not open to public. So took few pictures from outside.
Going north on Old Santa Fe Trail we then reached the Loretto Chapel. Inside the chapel is a staircase which is known as Miraculous Staircase. The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. Also, it is said that the staircase was built without nails—only wooden pegs. The staircase is called miraculous because the carpenter who built it disappeared just after its construction without any pay. 10 years after it was built, a railing was added and the outer spiral was fastened to an adjacent pillar (information taken from the Loretto Chapel website and the Pamphlet provided by the Chapel when visited)
It was 10 minutes before 5pm and the last church we wanted to visit was about to close. We stepped inside the marvelous St Francis Cathedral in just about time.
We spent 10 minutes inside the Cathedral and came out to linger around at the PLAZA in the center of the town. To reach the PLAZA we walked the streets of the downtown, admiring the adobe buildings and remembering India – Jaipur. At the Plaza, toddlers were playing with their mates and mothers watching over them. There was a group of high school kids who were having some kind of sports competition amongst groups between them and were being mentored by a coach. We loitered around for a while and finally felt the urge to eat.
I wanted to eat Authentic New Mexico food, and not just eat a Pizza. When we started to yelp the restaurants around, there was a downpour. Most of the authentic and best reviewed food places were closed because of Sunday (which I have never seen in Atlanta atleast – a day off on Sunday?). I knew restaurants close by 9pm at most of the places in USA (as opposed to India, where dinner time starts at 9pm), but this was something new and being disappointed we ended up eating a Pizza at Upper Crust Pizza :(. But hey, a Spinach Calzone fulfilled my hunger.
A part of both Aman & me didn’t wanted to leave this charming city of adobe buildings and the deserts & plains of New Mexico. We felt some connection, something weird. We were in love with this place in less than a day’s time. The fresh and clean air of Santa Fe was not allowing us to move forward in our journey towards Seattle. But with sad faces and filling our hearts with the lovely experiences this town offered us we embarked on our trip and went south to Albuquerque for our night stay at Extended Stay America.
Summary of the Day – Miles travelled: 340 ; Hours driven: Approx 6 ; Time zone change: From MT to MT; States crossed: New Mexico; Cities visited: Santa Fe,Tao and Albuquerque.