Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 9 - Albuquerque & Santa Fe

The Sandia Peak Tramway Car, Albuquerque, New Mexico

On the way up to Sandia Peak - the world's longest tramway

Almost to the top (10.300 feet) of Sandia Mountain - Albuquerque is in the background

Another view of Albuquerque, New Mexico

This is the site of the 1955 TWA air crash that killed 14 people - at 9,000 feet the aircraft took off from Albuquerque and flew straight into the mountain 

Descending Sandia Peak after the ascending car passing us

Wow!  Inside our La Fonda Hotel room, Santa Fe, New Mexico

St Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe

One of the fine adobe buildings in Santa Fe

The American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe

This used to be the Spanish soldiers quarters back in 17th century, now a collection of shops, Santa Fe

We can't remember what this building is about, however it is a good example of a adobe style building in Santa Fe

One of the many interesting art form along Canyon Road, Santa Fe

An impressive statue of an Apache Indian along Canyon Road, Santa FE 

A memorial to mark the end of the famous Santa Fe Trail

We left our hotel at 8:45 am and stopped at the Albuquerque Walmart to buy our daily supplies - lunches and other eats. From there we drove to the Sandia Peak Tramway visitor's centre and paid the $20 USD each to ride the tram. This is the world's longest tramway that ascends to 10.300 feet in the Sandia Mountains. Basically these mountains are located on the NE side of Albuquerque and are rugged and majestic. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the top and we passed by a canyon where in 1955 a TWA Martin aircraft crashed killing all 14 on board. For many years the pilot was to blame but recent findings found that the instruments were unserviceable that led to the disaster. After ascending we continued to Santa Fe about an hours drive north of Albuquerque. We were lucky to check in at 1230 pm and had lunch. Our room is great, styled in the old Spanish decor. The entire city of Santa Fe have adobe style buildings - in all 20 or so shades of brown. We walked around the centre (Santa Fe is not a big place) and found many many many jewellery shops selling Indian artifacts - a heavy tourist trap it is. At 2:30 pm we took a tour in a Loretta Trolley bus and was introduced to the history of Santa Fe - very interesting with its Spanish past and Indian wars. It was the old style cowboy town that we see in those old movies and western TV series. We now are back in our room preparing for dinner and at 8:00 pm we head off in the desert to our Astronomy Adventure activity. Hopefully to see many galaxies and stars that the unpolluted countryside will allow us. Tomorrow we head north and will visit Taos and then enter Colorado to our overnight stay in Colorado Springs. Cheers.

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