Santa Fe is like a town that has come from the earth, in the way that mountains do, pushing up the yellow dust and sloping gently towards the sky.
It is America's oldest capital city (although not the oldest continually occupied city) - and its incredibly harmonious architectural scheme is actually regulated so that all new developments fit in with the surrounding environment. The colours of New Mexico's landscape are echoed in the buildings, which have gently curved corners and with bricks made of dried earth and straw. It is the first city I have been to that seems to swing gently with nature instead of brashly announcing mans mortar-and-bricks intervention.
We wandered around the town, dropping into the wonderful clothing stores, art galleries, jewellery markets and cowboy havens along the way. In the main square we ate burritos for lunch from a tiny pink & blue stall- since mine was almost entirely lettuce, sour cream and spicy sauce I spent a good ten minutes with my tongue in the air trying to cool it down afterwards. It was definitely worth the burrito. Inside the Loretto Chapel we lit a candle and gazed up at the 'miracle staircase' (a beautiful story of its own accord).
As someone who is not in any way religious, I always like to go say hello to the universe anyway when in places of contemplation and worship (providing its respectful). Whether its just a picturesque garden, a Buddhist temple, a cemetery or a Church there is something restorative about taking a moment to think about the bigger picture. Anyone who knows me will know how much time I have spent in the wonderful Clovelly graveyard discussing matters of the world with those buried below.
For lunch-time dessert we found a little candy store with caramel and nut toffee apples (I later realized these are rife in America- and delicious). I could not have been happier with a day in such an artistic and creative haven and am I already thinking about bringing like-minded friends back here. Thank you New Mexico!
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