St. Philip Neri Church
Getting into Albuquerque was fairly easy. The land along the way became rocky mounds of beige and mint. We had been to the city before, and we passed on visiting the zoo and museums, heading right to Old Town. We had been there before but wanted to see it again. There is a most beautiful adobe church there founded in 1709. Last time we met two twin sisters who were nuns and aged 98. Unfortunately, they had both passed away fairly recently.
Here the natives set out their wares under the roofed sidewalks just like in Santa Fe. The streets were lined with stores selling jewelry, tee-shirts, art, and the usual touristy trappings. We just had a good time lingering around the square. We got some great iced tea in a restaurant and took it to the square to enjoy. There was live music just off the square that floated in the air. The whole atmosphere was delightful!
Can't you picture a rough character escaping from the upstairs and jumping on his horse to ride away into the Old West from this balcony?
Then we looked up the New Mexico Tea Company. I was disappointed here, but I did bring home two teas to try. Then we headed west again. Along the side of the road we met three women selling jewelry in horrid heat. (I could not buy something everywhere!) We were close to Laguna Pueblo and I asked on if she lived there. No, she lived five miles away, but her mother lived there. When I told her we had gone up there on a Sunday years earlier but did not want to disturb anyone, she urged me to go now. So we did.
St. Joseph in Laguna Pueblo
We wandered around on rutted dirt roads again and finally found the road that climbed into Laguna Pueblo. The homes looked poor and rough, stacked like children’s ancient blocks. The adobe church was at the very pinnacle of the mountain and was to be the oldest church we saw. It was built in 1698 and still had the dirt and straw floors. There roughly hewn vigas in the ceiling. The saints and paintings were primitive art. The walls were painted with ancient designs that suggested a mix of beliefs to me.
While I was allowed to take pictures of the church’s outside, there were no pictures of the private dwellings outside the adobe walled fence. They did sell some post card views. DH took off and next thing I knew I heard voices. He was talking to an elderly lady who sold pottery and a little jewelry out of her kitchen. Julia was a darling woman, and I so enjoyed meeting her.