As we started our trek up and over to the north east we stopped for 1 night in Truth or Consequences, a fun sounding name for a city, but nothing special in our minds! Our first major stop was in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
As we were driving through Albuquerque with the rain pouring down, the rain started to COME in and UP through the bottom of our front windshield!! As you can imagine, this was quite a shock and there was some screaming!! We quickly managed to get some towels stuffed down in the large space that had appeared between the window and the dash and stopped the water from coming in.
Upon arrival in Sante Fe, after a very lengthy and frustrating conversation with the glass replacement company in Canada and the US we had some tape put on the outside of the window with a promise to have it fixed once we were back in Canada. This story will continue later!!
This was our first visit to Santa Fe but definitely will not be our last! It is a beautiful town surrounded by snow covered mountains. Our RV park was conveniently located close to town and directly on a city bus route.
With a quick visit to the visitor centre we started to walk around the market square and downtown. One of the first buildings that we ventured into was the San Miguel Chapel. This is considered to be the oldest church in the USA.
The exact date of the original building here is considered to be around 1610 however the first documentation of it is 1628. There is a wooden statue of San Miguel inside the chapel that was carved around the year 1700 and the wooden alter dates from 1798.
Then right across the street from the chapel is what is considered to be the oldest house in the US, which was built when NM was part of Mexico and not the US. The current structure does not date back to 1200 when the original house was erected here, but from 1646, it is however built on the same foundation that was put in place back in 1200 when the first building was erected. That is Old World old!
After checking out these old buildings we went for a walk down Canyon Road. This is a 1 km street that is known for its old Adobe architecture. These homes have been turned into art galleries, jewelry stores, shops and cafes. It was an interesting walk but none of the sculptures found their way home with us!
With a quick stop in the Loretto Chapel to see the “miraculous staircase”, which is considered a work of engineered art. It was built in and around 1880 and rises over 6 meters, has two 360 degree turns, has no centre pole or support and is held together by wooden pegs. The carpenter is unknown as he showed up to help the nuns with their problem of getting to the loft. He built it and left before they could pay him or even find out his name.
We then finished our first day with what the locals call a Christmas meal, which is New Mexican meal of tacos or burritos with local red and green chilis on them. They were tasty and yes, they were spicy. The perfect drink to pair with this feast is a jalapeno margarita, which was also VERY tasty!!
Saturday morning found us enjoying the Santa Fe Farmers Market. It is at the old train station and is filled with wonderful local artisan’s and their beautiful crafts. There was no shortage of chili peppers and its byproducts!
After wandering around for a few hours we headed down to the market square again and checked out 109 East Palace Avenue. Located a few blocks from Santa Fe’s city center, this unremarkable building served as the first stop for Richard Feynman, Enrico Fermi, Robert Oppenheimer, and innumerable other scientists working on the top secret Manhattan Project in nearby Los Alamos.
For years this was the “place” where these scientists would arrive for work only to be secretly transported to Los Alamos where they invented and built the first atomic bomb. It was mind blowing to have been at the door that these famous people walked through.
To round out our Santa Fe experience we had a great lunch at Café Pasqual’s, a local, very popular café where there is always a waiting list for a table, and it was worth the wait!! Then for “dessert” we went to a local winery that had some nice jalapeno chili infused wines, which were surprisingly very tasty!!
We thoroughly enjoyed this city and will be back!!!