New Mexico is a very interesting state with the highest elevation of 7,000 feet and the lowest of 2,842 feet above sea level. If flying into Albuquerque, the landing approach to the airport is a breath taking. Flying around the mountain is providing a perfect view of the terrain that looks like another planet. The colorful soil is very unique and inspiring.
Looking from the sky a first impression is that it’s a big desert, with no water and life, which is a wrong perception. On the contrary, there is a lot of water and life concentrated around the big cities presented down below. The visit of New Mexico to me was a very impresive history lesson.
Albuquerque, the Duke City
Albuquerque is a city that is going to leave you with a lifetime memories.
It is a home of Sandia Mountains, the Rio Grande, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and the famous red and green chile.
The history and culture is shaped by Native Americans who have called this land home for millennium; Spaniards who sailed over the ocean and passed the desert to settle here; Mexicans who created a new country in 1821 and Americans seeking a new live on the West.
The city was nicknamed the ”Duke city” after the Spanish 8th Duke of Alburquerque in whose honor the city was named. The first ”r” was dropped by American after New Mexico became a U.S. Territory in 1848.
It was officially founded 1706 by Spanish settlers in what is today called Old Town, considered to be city’s historic and cultural heart.
Today, the unique art, architecture. fiestas and cuisine honor city&$8217;s rich history and traditions.
Santa fe, The City Different
Santa Fe, New Mexico’s capital, sits in the Sangre de Cristo foothills. It’s renowned for its Pueblo-style architecture, and as a creative arts hotbed. Founded as a Spanish colony in 1610, it has at its heart the traditional Plaza. The surrounding historic district’s crooked streets wind past adobe landmarks like the Palace of the Governors, now home to the New Mexico History
Santa Fe was first designated UNESCO Creative Cit for craft and folk arts and design, and with its more than 250 galleries, is the third largest art market in the country.
Besides galleries and art, there are plenty of unique shopping opportunities around the town with the eight nearby Native American Pueblos.
Additionally, more than 325 days of glorious sunshine a year with perfect sunsets at elevation of 7,000 feet makes Santa Fe very attractive place to start your adventures
The famous Santa Fe Opera, is located on the hill outside of the town shining the high desert. It is mystical and magical place contributing to a living art form.
New Mexico’s 22 pueblos and tribes still sell jewelry beneath the Palace’s long portal, as they have for hundreds of years.
Pueblos & Reservations
Bandelier National Monument (Frijoles Canyon)
Bandelier National Monument is a 33,677-acre United States National Monument in New Mexico preserving the homes and territory of the Ancestral Puebloans of a later era in the Southwest
It is named for named for Adolph Bandelier, a Swiss-American anthropologist who researched the cultures of the area and supported preservation of the sites.
Human presence in the area has been dated to over 10,000 years before present. Permanent settlements by ancestors of the Puebloan peoples have been dated to 1150 CE; these settlers had moved closer to the Rio Grande by 1550. Looking over the cliff dwellings, Bandelier said, ”It is the grandest thing I ever saw.”
Frijoles Canyon contains a number of ancestral pueblo homes, kivas (ceremonial structures), rock paintings, and petroglyphs. Some of the dwellings were rock structures built on the canyon floor; others were cavates produced by voids in the volcanic tuff of the canyon wall and carved out further by humans.
There are multistory dwellings at Bandelier. Rock wall foundations and beam holes and cavates carved into tuff from upper floors.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, located 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico (near Cochiti), is a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed site that was established as a U.S. National Monument by President Bill Clinton in January 2001 shortly before leaving office. Kasha-Katuwe means ”white cliffs” in the Pueblo language Keresan
The area owes its remarkable geology to layers of volcanic rock and ash deposited by pyroclastic flow from a volcanic explosion within the Jemez Volcanic Field that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago. Over time, weathering and erosion of these layers has created canyons and tent rocks. The tent rocks themselves are cones of soft pumice and tuff beneath harder caprocks, and vary in height from a few feet to 90 feet
The monument is open for day use only and may be closed by order of the Cochiti Pueblo Tribal Governor. A 1.2 mile (1.9 km) recreation trail leads up through a slot canyon to a lookout point where the tent rocks may be viewed from above. A 1.3 mile (2 km) loop trail leads past their base. The park is located on the Pajarito Plateau between 5700 and 6400 feet (1737−1951 m) above sea level. The monument is closed to dogs
Science fiction TV series Earth 2 filming locations included the monument. This park was a great surprise and should not to be missed on the road from Santa Fe and Albuquerque.