"?Hot dog, jumping frog?" Albuquerque by toonsarah
Albuquerque Travel Guide: 773 reviews and 1,599 photos
It has a picturesque, if over-touristy, Old Town (where despite the presence of an attractive old church, shopping appears to be something of a religion), a recently revived and increasingly buzzy Downtown district, and is surrounded by beautiful mountains, a glimpse of which can be had at almost every corner.
Although it is the largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque surprises by not being the state capital ? Santa Fe has that honour. The city was established as the Villa de San Felipe de Alburquerque in 1706. Initially a small farming community clustered around the church of San Felipe de Neri, it expanded rapidly when the Camino Real, the main trade route north from Mexico, was developed to run through the area just a few decades later. Later came the railroad, which triggered expansion to the eastern side of the Old Town, in what then was known as New Town but today is Downtown. This was followed by Route 66, which ran through the city on its Central Avenue, and later still further expansion out into the surrounding desert.
Thus Albuquerque has always been a city for travellers, a stopping point on a journey, and so it was for us. Despite its many attractions, we decided to spend only one night here, preferring to have more of our limited time in more scenic parts of the state. Nevertheless we had time to explore the Old Town and see something of the Art Deco style of the Downtown area too.
If we were to find ourselves in New Mexico again I think we would stay longer here as there was a lot we would have liked to have seen and missed, including the highly-regarded Indian Pueblo Cultural Centre, and it would be a good base for trips to the surrounding area. But Santa Fe beckoned, and that did indeed deserve more of our time ...
And to continue with us on our road trip through New Mexico, please visit my Madrid page
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