Wednesday, September 19, 2012


They call it 'the City of Brotherly Love', and they are not mistaken (in fact, it's the literal meaning of Philadelphia in Greek). I was there 2 weeks ago and, before my trip, I remember reading the adds in the guides and maps saying something like "hello, future Philly lover", and thinking they were exaggerating. I guess I was wrong, because now, after being there for one week, I declare myself a true Philadelphia lover.

Some of my friends give me a weird look when I say this, but I couldn't help comparing Philadelphia to my home in Mexico, Morelia. Both cities are important in the history of their countries, both have something to do with the independence, they have culture all around and they still keep that special charm  from the past in their buildings.

So let's get to some historical facts, shall we? Philadelphia was founded in 1682 by William Penn and 70 years later, it became the most important British port in America. Home of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and George Washington, the city is mostly known because it was the place where the Founding Fathers discussed and signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution of the United States in 1787. Also, it was the Capital of USA for 10 years before it was moved to Washington DC in 1800 (by the way, in those days the yellow fever was killing a lot of people, but nobody knew that it was caused by a mosquito bite, so they just decided to flee the city).

So, you can tell that the city is filled with interesting places to see and things to do for every taste. You can dive into history in the old city, see famous art pieces in the Museum of Art (and the famous stairs from the movie Rocky), take a stroll by the Schuylkill river, see a show in one of the many theaters of  Broad street, visit the first penitentiary or even go on a tour to hear all about spooky legends and ghost stories (there are lots of them).

On top of all, there is one thing that I felt while visiting Philly: the people who live there are very nice. Everywhere there was someone who would ask us where we were from and immediately welcomed us with a warm smile (for the record, I've always felt good and welcomed while visiting the US, but this time there was something else).

To sum up, I strongly recommend everyone to visit Philly, I can assure that you won't regret planning your next vacation to this amazing and beautiful city.

Source: my personal experience. Pics taken by Lilirog.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


September knocks on our doors and I can't help talking about a Mexican subject. This is a piece that I've been meaning to write for a long time, to explain a topic that can be found in every tourism site for Mexico. I'm talking about Mexico's Magical Towns.

"Pueblos Mágicos" (Magical Towns) is a program created by SECTUR (Mexico's Department of Tourism) in 2001, with the help of the local and state governments, in order to promote the culture, history and natural beauty of several small cities and towns around Mexico.

One of the main goals of the program is to highlight the tourist value of certain places in the country. This way, the Mexican government is trying to improve the tourism offer, making it original, innovative and able to fulfill the needs of the market.

At the moment, Mexico has 56 Pueblos Mágicos located in 28 states. Each one of them represents the soul and culture of its population, enhancing their symbols, legends, history, significal events, daily life and, generally speaking, their MAGIC.

All the towns in Mexico can apply to become a Pueblo Mágico. If any place wishes to be part of the program, it has to fulfill certain characteristics which have to be evaluated by SECTUR. An annual evaluation takes place each year so the places can keep their status of magical towns.

Michoacán, the state where I live, has 5 Pueblos Mágicos: Patzcuaro, Santa Clara del Cobre, Cuitzeo, Tlalpujahua and Angangueo.

If you want to learn more and see the complete list of Pueblos Mágicos, you can go to