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Published on Mar 26, 2010
I am very passionate about language study travel, and I love to improve my Spanish while being immersed locally in a Spanish-speaking country. So in February of 2010 I spent 13 days in Mexico, with a home base in Guadalajara, Mexicos second largest city. I studied Spanish at the Guadalajara Language Centre and stayed with a local family in Tlaquepaque, a picturesque neighbourhood in the southern part of Guadalajara.
In addition to my 2 hours of language studies every day at the Guadalajara Language Centre, I did a number of excursions: I went to downtown Guadalajara and visited the impressive baroque church and the historic core of the city. My excursions in Tlaquepaque included a guided visit with a tourist policeman who took me up onto the bell tower of one of Tlaquepaques churches. I also got to see some samples of the artwork and handicrafts that are produced in Tlaquepaque, which is renowned for its galleries and arts stores. I visited the neighbouring arts & crafts market of Tonala, a huge outdoor market with hundreds of interesting vendors.
Longer excursions took me to Lake Chapala, a popular retirement destinations for Americans and Canadians trying to escape our cold winters. My local guide Jose Orozco took me to Mexcala Island, a prison island with buildings from the early 1800s, the pretty town of Chapala and the popular retirement town of Ajijic where so many gringos have settled down permanently. We also went on a tour to the magic village of Tequila which is host to numerous distilleries that make this Mexican national drink from the heart of the agave plant. I also went on a second tour to Lake Chapala to meet Greg Clarke, a Canadian retiree who told me about his cherished new lifestyle in Mexico.
In addition to Guadalajara I also went on two wonderful weekend excursions to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: to the historic silver mining town of Guanajuato, and the beautiful city of Morelia and nearby Lake Patzcuaro.
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