Annual ABQ Grecian Festival held at St. George Greek Orthodox Church – just a walk away from our home. After seeing our first morning session over at the Balloon Fiesta, we stopped in at the Greek Orthodox Church to enjoy the food, traditional dance, and music. This made for a fun way to cap off our very long and very busy first day in ABQ. Opa! (Greek expression like an exclamation ! used during celebrations, and I think we might have heard it a hundred times while we were there.) Yes, we Opa’d with the best of them!
The Rail Yards Market
As you know, we enjoy going to the local farmer’s markets and ABQ has a rather unique location for their Sunday market. Known as the Rail Yards, the old Atchison, Topeka, and Santé Fe railway had 4 maintenance yard locations across the country in the 1880s with this rail yard used as the core operations for steam locomotive maintenance and complete rebuilds that were necessary nearly every year. Currently the yard has 18 surviving buildings from 1915-1920, but use has been in decline since the 1950s when locomotives went from steam to diesel. Shops here continued to operate into the 1980s. The city of Albuquerque currently owns the property and plans are moving forward to utilize this site. The Blacksmith shop, where the farmers market is located, was the first of the buildings to be renovated for functions (at a cost of $900,000 to repair and stabilize). The complex was added to the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties and the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.
Petroglyph National Monument
This national monument is known for having some 20,000 documented petroglyphs and is a site known for having the densest concentration of petroglyphs in North America. The monument is a 17-mile escarpment within an urban area and was just a short drive from our home. There are 3 different trails along the escarpment as well as the visitors center, but all four locations must be driven to. We chose the Piedras Marcadas Canyon trail as it had the most glyphs for visitors to see. This canyon has 5,000 documented glyphs and 400 that can be viewed along the 1.5-mile flat trail.
We were staying 1.5 miles from old town so one afternoon we walked to the area, had a fantastic meal, enjoyed poking around the alleyways, and listening to music.
If you ever travel in New Mexico, make sure you find a bakery that makes the traditional bizcochitos. Spice cookies with a hint of anise (black licorice) that aren’t too sweet and they melt in your mouth. And why do they melt so nicely – they’re made with lard! Great with my morning coffee and, I must confess, a glass of red wine in the evening. Gotta try ‘em.
Thanks for joining our journey.