Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Road Trip (Part 22): Albuquerque and Santa Fe

I went to Albuquerque during their world famous Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.  Unfortunately, due to stormy weather, the balloon fiesta was cancelled.  They still had a fireworks show, but no hot air balloons.

So instead of seeing balloons, I went to the Petroglyph Monument.  I did this mainly because Nancy Drew did this in Secret of Shadow Ranch.  I took the long trail, through the rocky areas.  Some of the petroglyphs are really cool looking.  I wonder if humanity will ever find out who carved the symbols onto rocks and what they mean.


After that, I went to Santa Fe.  Sadly, everyone else had the exact same idea, due to the cancellation of the balloon festival.  It took me 40 minutes to find parking in that town.

I saw some nice art places in the town, and I visited the Cathedral of St. Francis.  That's the somewhat famous cathedral, built by Archbishop Lamy, as detailed in the book Death Comes for the Archbishop.  I liked all the old, original stuff that was there when Lamy was alive.  I did not like the more modern things; they were, by and large, ugly.  The stations of the cross, in particular, look like they were done by a third grader.

Saint Anthony of Padua, distributing food to the hungry.

That's not the world's most accurate Spanish-to-English translation.

Nearby the cathedral were the Miraculous Stairs of St. Joseph, at Loreto Church.  That particular church is no longer owned by the Catholic Church.  It's run by a for-profit organization, that turned it into a hokey attraction, along the lines of Ripley's Believe It Or Not.  It made me sad to see capitalism destroy something which was once sacred.

On a somewhat related note, I don't understand why Loreto Church does not have any references to the Litany of Loreto anywhere.  What were they thinking when they made the place?  That's like a Holy Cross Church not having any crosses inside, or an Our Lady of the Rosary not having anything to do with the rosary.  That completely goes against common sense.

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Anonymous said...

I am so happy you visited Albuquerque! It's unfortunate that the Fiesta cancelled, but don't feel bad-it happens at least one of the days of the Fiesta every year. If you ever get the chance to try and see it again, DO! It is an amazing sight to see hundreds of balloons in the air. I still am in awe every year. You would think as a native I would get used to it. Did you visit Old Town? The San Felipe de Neri Parish is there. It was constructed in 1793 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Anyways, have a great day!