Monterrey, Mexico is a bustling commercial
center, where they say “we appreciate the good life and work
hard to pay for it,” thus heavy traffic, sprawling suburbs
and noise. But you would be missing a lot to be deterred by this
initial impression. Their drive and energy has created some magnificent
community spaces to enrich the people of Monterrey and their visitors.
Two central areas which excite us are the Macroplaza and Fundidora
Park. The Macroplaza is the heart of Monterrey. The 250-foot
tall Beacon of Commerce, and its laser beam aimed towards el Cerro
de la Silla, and the dramatic Fountain of Neptune are but two of
the remarkable sculptures illustrating the diversity of this cosmopolitan
city. On the periphery is the old quarter, with its shops, galleries
and cafes; splendid museums; the baroque, Our Lady of Monterrey
Cathedral, and at the Governor’s Palace, recorded classical
music plays to grand effect. El Cerro de la Silla, the symbol of
Monterrey, and other mountains provide a dramatic backdrop as well
as recreation opportunities. Nearby Fundidora, the imaginatively
transformed old steelworks, is now a 280-acre civic marvel, boasting
public greens, lakes, exhibits, sporting events and even the Sesame
Street Amusement Park. Plans to connect Fundidora with the Macroplaza
will make the city even more remarkable in its dedication to making
human spaces in their bustling midst. Be sure to allow time to
explore picturesque villages outside Monterrey. Take your camera
and wander. Photos from our visit are a testament to the warmth
shown respectful visitors. In the Monterrey area two restaurants
worth considering are Restaurant El Tio for its traditional mesquite-grilled,
savory meats and La Catarina for modern and imaginative interpretations
of classic Mexican cuisine. Both are popular with locals and visitors.
The stunning caves of Villa de Garcia are
only 45 minutes outside of the city. A cable car takes you up the
mountains to tour 16 subterranean halls to see stalagmites, stalactites
and petrified sea creature remains from over 50 millions years ago
when the area was underwater. Less developed, but very special caves
are found further north, outside of Bustamante.
In the village, dining and even an overnight at Hotel Ancira is a
special experience. Hint: don’t leave town without trying the
baby goat. Bustamante is also well-known for the artisan breads and
sweets created in the traditional manner by the most endearing family
team Spending time with the sisters was as sweet as their breads.
Find more information at www.turismomonterrey.com.