Friday, January 20 – We started our tour of El Paso by stopping at the Visitor's Center to pick up some brochures, a couple of maps and to ask the Center's guide all about visiting El Paso. We had planned several self-guided walking tours but it is cool outside and pretty windy. So walking was pretty nasty. We soon decided to do a driving tour instead.
We drove around most of the “old El Paso” downtown area enjoying the architecture and the tremendous Mexican influence on this area. There are several streets packed with Hispanic stores and hundreds of local residents and Mexicans crossing the near-by border to shop in these traditional shops. (Click on any photo to enlarge it.)
Hotel Paso Del Norte (Camino Real Hotel.) has an 80-year old Tiffany glass dome, once part of the hotel's lobby, is now the showcase of the elegant Dome Bar. The hotel has hosted such guests as Pancho Villa, President Taft, and “blackjack Pershing.”
There is also a Segundo Barrio Murals tour we hoped to walk. But due to the weather, we managed to visit many of the paintings by driving around town. Not easy because there are many one-way streets causing some confusion. These murals are scattered throughout the city. There are so many of them. We did find some unofficial murals that we felt may have been gang related in a scary part of town. We didn't linger long for many photographs.
We then drove over to the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) to visit. By now, the temperature had improved and the winds and died down, so we decided to walk around campus. This is a beautiful campus with an adobe/New Mexico style of architecture we find very attractive. It's a little hilly so we did a little huffing and puffing. We have to get in shape after spending too much time in Texas flatland.
The UTEP football stadium is unusually attractive. It is built into the mountains using the geography as a natural bowl for the stadium seating. It is also home to the Sun Bowl, one of the football bowl games played each year around New Year's.
After our walking tour of UTEP, we decided to drive the Mount Franklin Scenic Mountain highway.
We had some difficulty finding the correct street. It was tucked back into a residential area. But after turning around and back-tracking several times we eventually found the correct street. It winds up the mountain and provides an amazing view of the city, near-by Mexico, and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, it was VERY windy on the mountain top, and we didn't want to spend too much time enjoying the scenery.
We then headed back to the Sunland Casino campground to relax for the rest of the day.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!