Saturday, January 21 – It is rainy, windy, and pretty chilly here in El Paso, Texas. Winds on our weather station were registering 26 mph with gusts of 38 mph. Coupled with the rain and low temperatures, it wasn't the greatest day for sightseeing. Regardless, we have things to do and places to see! (click on any photo to enlarge it)
Our first visit this morning was the Chamizal National Memorial.
The Memorial celebrates the peaceful settlement of a dispute over the international boundary at El Paso, Texas and Cidad Juarez, Mexico. After decades of arguing about who owned a piece of land shaped and reshaped by the meandering Rio Grande river, the question was finally settled by diplomacy and technology. The river was diverted to a concrete channel for four and a half miles, forming a permanent border between the two nations.
The Memorial Visitor's Center is small and takes less than 30 minutes to tour. We started with a short video and then walked through the displays (mostly photograph) reading about the disputed land and how it was settled peacefully. We really enjoyed the Memorial and would recommend it to our traveling friends. The Department of Transportation did an excellent job with this museum.
Marking the boundary required the surveyors to locate points dictated by the Treaty. Without modern technology, they verified longitude and latitude from the moon and star positions.
The Bridge of the Americas was built between El Paso of the The United States and Cidad Juarez, Mexico. So busy is the port of entry, the two cities feel more like one metropolis.
Next up was the El Paso Mission Trail tour. The tour consists of three missions – Ysleta Mission, Socorro Mission, and San Elizario Chapel. We stopped at the Trail Visitor's Center. Even though the Internet said they were open on Saturdays, the sign on the door indicated it was closed on weekends.
The first chapel we visited, the Mission Ysleta, was also closed due to reconstruction. The gentleman in the lobby said the remodeling was complete, but they were having difficulty getting an occupancy certificate from the city. We took pictures outside and headed to the Socorro Mission.
The Mission Socorro was open, and we found it quite beautiful. Paul especially found the ceiling interesting and very attractive. Old timbers with a “reed” style covering. The flooring also caught his eye as unique. Adobe pavers cover the entire floor of the church. Marsha enjoyed the religious statues, and the beautiful alter and side alters. We enjoyed this Mission immensely.
The third and final mission was the San Elizario Chapel. Unfortunately, we found it closed due to reconstruction. Again, we took exterior photos and moved on. Not a great tour with two out of three missions closed, but hopefully the construction will result in a wonderful tour in the future.
We did enjoy an interesting stop on the way back to the Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino. We pulled into the Licon Dairy. Having served the community for over 50 years offering freshly made “Azadero” cheese. A thin six-inch disk of soft, mild, string-type Mexican cheese, with or without jalapenos. There is also a free petting zoo and fishing pond, but with the wind and rain we chose not to visit that area. We purchased an Azadero cheese with jalapeno peppers. Delicious.
Of course, no visit to El Paso is complete without a photo or two of “the wall.” We had to get some photos taken before the huge, beautiful wall is built.
Looking from El Paso to Mexico, the big red X is visible every where. The 20-story tall sculpture in the shape of a giant "X" is a symbol full of meanings; a mark to welcome people (to Mexico) and to demonstrate the ancestral Mexican culture.
We really enjoyed our few days sightseeing in El Paso, although if the weather was nicer we would have stayed longer. We do recommend a stop in this city full of culture.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day.