Santa Fe, New Mexico

Leaving the green lush landscape of Colorado behind, we continued our trip south-east into New Mexico a State full of interesting history: not only was the first nuclear bomb – Trinity – developed here (in Los Alamos) during the Second World War, it was also tested here a few miles down the road at the White Sands Missile Range close to the Mexican border. Further, New Mexico was also under Spanish and Mexican reign before joining the Union as 47th State in 1912. It is also the only State that ever had a successful revolt of its indigenous people – the Chimayó Rebellion in 1837 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Mexico).

But that's enough history. We drove through the HOT New Mexican desert for nearly 500km, hot, tired and dehydrated till we made our next stop Santa Fe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Fe,_New_Mexico). Santa Fe was a pleasant surprise indeed. The city is famous for its art culture and architecture and in 1957 the city council passed an ordinance prescribing a 'Pueblo style' of architecture to all new and rebuilt buildings in the downtown area, resulting in amazing streetscapes with flat roof houses, lots of wood and mud-coloured stucco facades. There is also a density of art galleries only surpassed by New York city.

Wondering through the historic city centre was a real treat – DB fell in love with the place. There were tons of little cafes, al-fresco restaurants and markets tucked away in some side alleys or courtyards. Indigenous artists were flogging off their stuff and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, which was built in 1869 and worthwhile looking at. We have been to many Catholic cathedrals in Europe but Spanish/Latin American churches and cathedrals are full of colour and sparkle.

The highlight though was stumbling upon a boot shop selling handcrafted cowboy boots. The owner was a real character, and we quickly engaged into an interesting conversation on boots and life in general. DB managed to convince me that we HAD to buy some Indian art…hey the official Team Berg policy is "you carry your stuff and i'll carry my stuff". Surprisingly she managed to find space for these three rather interesting totems we picked up at the Museum of Native American Art.

We could have easily spent much more time in Santa Fe but riding with a stuffed front brake wasn't fun or safe so we pushed ahead into Fort Worth, Texas for some much needed repairs.

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