Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2010 – Mazatlan, Mexico – Sunny - 75F

Distance from San Diego, CA to Mazatlan, Mexico:  939 nautical miles

Another beautiful – and warmer – day in paradise.

Mazatlan is Mexico’s largest commercial port and boasts a population of about 500,000 people.

 Approach Mazatlan (Small) 

 Oosterdam Docked (Small)

Lighthouse Hill (Small)

Top: Approaching Mazatlan; Middle: HAL Osterdam; Bottom: El Faro (Lighthouse Hill)

The lighthouse (El Faro) perched on a hill 443 feet high is one of the highest lighthouses in the world.

When we first came on board, we signed up for a number of tours (the ship has a sign up book – very organized).

Today we are escorting.  “Mexican Show, Sightseeing, Shopping Tour”.  The bus is double decker and I have about 40 people in my group.  Our guides, German and Jesus are very good. 

Our first stop was the Cathedral of Mazatlan (Immaculate Conception Cathedral).  The structure has very unusual stained glass windows -they contain a Star of David at the top of each pane for a total of 28 throughout the church.  The 28 stars signify the number of days in a Jewish lunar month and are there because a Jewish Family donated the money to build the church.

A television crew from Azteca TV filmed our visit.

 Immaculate Conception Cathedral (Small) Cathedral Mazatlan (Small)  Jewish Star Cathedral 1 (Small) TV interview Mazatlan (Small)

From Top:  The Mazatlan Cathedral; Interior of the Cathedral; Jewish Star on window;TV crew interviewing our guide

Next Stop: Mazatlan Cliff Divers.  On our way, we passed some interesting statues.

Statue Mazatlan (Small) 

The cliff divers (Clavadistas) at Mazatlan do not dive from as high a cliff as their Acapulco counterparts but I think the water is shallower and potentially more dangerous.

Cliff Diver Maz 1 (Small) Cliff Diver Maz 2 (Small) Cliff Diver Maz 3 (Small)

Our next stop was the “Zona Dorada”, the “Golden Zone”, an area of high end hotels and shops along the beach. 

Maz Golden Zone (Small) Golden Zone Mkt (Small) Mazatlan Beach Golden Zone 1 (Small)

Top: Zona Dorado main street; Shops along an alley in the Zone; beach along the Zone.

Our final stop was at the Teatro Speculare for the “Mexican Show”.  The dancers portrayed dances from various regions in Mexico and their costumes reflected those locations throughout the country.

They also did the “Flying Indian” routine – not as impressed – kind of an Aztec version of Circe de Soleil.

Mazatlan Mexican Show (Small) Mazatlan Mexican Show 1 (Small)

We retraced our steps back to the pier.  The tour stops were not synchronized between the busses so my bus returned about 30-40 minutes before Ellen’s bus.  The tourist center near the pier is full of bars and other food places and a lot of people were enjoying themselves on the local drink and delicacies.  Braver than me…

We watched the sail away from the Looking Glass Lounge (Deck 10 Forward).  While working on the computer, a local unsecured WIFI source was picked up by the computer (and SKYPE immediately connected me with the kids).  A bit of a bonus.  I also downloaded the Kindle App to my computer so Ellen could read her books on the PC since her Kindle had gone lame.  Unfortunately, as soon as the ship started to push, the signal was gone.  Thanks to the anonymous WIFI donor from Mazatlan. 

The sail away was very scenic (and bluish through the window of the lounge).

Mazatlan Sail Away (Small)

The Showtime Headliner tonight was comedian George Kanter.  Very entertaining, subtle humor – he even joked about his heart attack.  I found him to be very entertaining.

Post show was Carlos Avalon in the Mosaic (nee Cova) Cafe, where the lattes flow non-stop.

Nice day in Mazatlan.

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