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Santa Fe – part 2 No comments yet

Here are some more pics from the Santa Fe trip. We took a day trip out to Bandelier National Park one day. It’s about an hour’s drive north-west of town in one of the mountain ranges that flank Santa Fe.

Most of the land around there is Native American reservation and undeveloped, and with everything all snowy it was a really beautiful drive. At the park headquarters you start a trail that takes you past the Tyuonyi Pueblo (village) ruins and then up to old cliff dwellings. Some of the dwellings are accessible from the path and you can climb up the wooden ladders and explore. Needless to say, this was a hit with the boys.

This is a picture of the village as it looked (as per historian’s guess) in its heyday. You can see what’s left in the pics in the gallery.

 

Apparently there are several of these pueblos in this particular valley, and many groups of cliff dwellings in the general area. The Tyuonyi Pueblo was first excavated at the beginning of the 21st century, when the local population had considerably less say about it. The other discovered pueblos remain unexcavated out of respect for the spirits of the ancestors, as per the wishes of the local tribes that believe they are descended from this civilization.

So it’s a really interesting and beautiful area to explore. And when you’re tired of history (which happens when you’re three), there’s always the snow.

 

Santa Fe Christmas No comments yet

Well, it’s been a week since we arrived back from our lovely snowy Christmas holiday in Santa Fe, New Mexico. While we would still have preferred to spend Christmas with the rest of the family in South Africa, it was a pretty fun next-best option.

Aside from the massive snowstorm that caught us unawares on the drive up, the snow had done falling by the time we reached Santa Fe and we had lovely clear, sunny days during which to go sledding, skiing, snowballing and all the other fun things that people who never see snow put at the top of their list.

We arrived late on Christmas eve, sliding and skidding along the icy dead-end to the casita we had rented. The owners had thoughtfully put up a christmas tree with lights, so we had somewhere to put all the presents once the kids were tucked up in bed. Adam thoughtfully (and with GREAT concern) pointed out that we needed to remove the grate from the fireplace so that Santa could get down the chimney.

After a few days of family fun, I called on my other great talent, finding a babysitter in a new town at short notice so that Werner and I could take a day off to go skiing. The sitter arrived early in the morning like a granny Mary Poppins with a great bag full of coloured wool and colouring pages and other things to amuse the boys who were already content to dig around in the dirt and snow outside for most of the day.

Santa Fe is a really beautiful city. I understand that it is deserty under the snow, and it sits between two mountain ranges. The architecture is all traditional earthy adobe, and at some point the city council mandated that all new buildings need to be built in the traditional style, so even the gas stations have this very traditional adobe look (although I guess it’s all cinderblock and pressed board underneath). The effect is less Sun-Cityish than you might think, and means that the old parts of town fit rather seamlessly with the new.

Happy happy holiday.

 

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