Sunday, July 31, 2011

Guadalajara's Top 20, Number 7: Ajijic

Wow, it has been forever since I did an entry in the Top 20 series (In all fairness, our visit to Ajijic occurred on May 30th, but even accounting for that, it has still been a while...). Good thing I still have about 15 months left here in GDL to get through the final 13 entries!

It's a shame that this falls into the Top 20 series, because "Mexico: It's Closed on Mondays" would have been a much more suitable title.

Monday, May 30th, was Memorial Day. And since diplomats living abroad enjoy the benefit of observing most US and local holidays, we found ourselves spending a Monday away from the office. We took advantage of this and invited our friend Antonio to come visit from Tepatitlán. This would be an excellent opportunity to take him to the zoo, which he had been wanting to see and we had been putting off.

Except after driving to the zoo, we found that it is closed on Mondays.

So then we drove back home, deciding to walk around our neighboring municipality, Zapopan. This would be great, as I have not yet blogged about Zapopan (and really, it's all about blogging). We parked and headed to a local Greek restaurant, hoping to grab some lunch. Except that, at noon they were still only serving breakfast. And not even Greek breakfast. No, it was chilaquiles...a delicious meal, to be sure, but certainly not what I want to take away from a Greek dining experience. So we excused ourselves and decided to walk to a nearby museum.

Except it, too, is closed on Mondays.

Frustrated and not knowing what else to do, I suggested that we go to Ajijic. It's a nearby town that we had not yet been to (meaning that I hadn't blogged about it), and is for all intents and purposes the sister city to Chapala, which was my first entry in this series.

Like Chapala, Ajijic is home to a large number of retired Americans and Canadians (est. 7,000) that wish to experience life in a small Mexican community while not being too far removed from the conveniences and luxuries offered by life in the big city.

Ajijic offers quite the array of activities for the country club set: golf, tennis, horseback riding, and boating, to name but a few. The town is full of tiny art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques. It comes equipped with your standard town square & church combo that we have found to be so common in Mexico.

There's also this really awesome looking dive bar located on the dock called The Pier and Bar/Restaurant. I say it looks awesome, not that it is awesome. I wouldn't know if it actually is or not.

Because it appears to be closed on Mondays.

We were only in Ajijic for about an hour before we got bored and headed over to Chapala. We got bored pretty quickly there, too, but at least we were able to find a restaurant that was open for lunch...though I guess the Greek restaurant may have been open for lunch by this time, too.

After visiting Ajijic and revisiting Chapala...especially having now seen all of the other wonderful things I have seen since the initial visit...I frankly don't see how either could make it onto a Top 20 list. They're great for what they are, but at the end of the day they're just small towns like any other. I wonder if it's the large concentration of Americans and Canadians that allowed them to wrangle two slots on the Top 20 list away from worthier candidates?

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