Friday, October 28, 2011

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The above picture is of the main street of Raton, New Mexico, a few hours before their first major snowfall. The day before, Tuesday, we had left Denver about 12 hours before the first snowfall of the season had arrived there. We drove from Denver southwest into New Mexico over the Raton Pass, and about two days later that pass was covered with snow and ice.  Wednesday morning we had some light snow showers in Raton and fortunately drove out of there before the heavier snow storm arrived. We made it to Albuquerque Wednesday afternoon where, most fortunately, we only encountered rain. Albuquerque lies in a big valley between the Sandia Mountains and sweeping plateau country. Yesterday, Thursday, we toured the old town of Albuquerque which in the late 1600s was the heart of the business district. St.Felipe Catholic church dominates the town square there, the parish had its beginnings in 1706. The building has been reconstructed several times. We toured the church, and was surprised to find that it is quite small inside
There were many little shops around the town square, however many Native Americans had their wares on display outside of the shops. Most of of the items on sale were turquoise jewelry
In the Turquoise Museum, located near old town, we learned that many Native Americans purchase the semi-precious gem from China to make their turquoise jewelry. It is cheaper to buy turquoise from that country as the labor needed to mine it is less expensive. Another nugget of information we learned about the gem is that word turquoise means "of Turkish origin". During the middle ages Europeans who bought the gem from Turkish traders thought that the gem came from Turkey, but in reality the traders had obtained it from Persia. The rest of our afternoon in old Albuquerque was spent in the Turquoise Museum, where there are samples of that gem from around the world, in its raw state as well as a finished product.

No comments:

Post a Comment