Route 66 (3) – Lost in Time with Candlelight.

May 22, 2017

Blogger in front of the sign of New Mexico
Totally enchanted: Welcome to my favorite State!

To be honest: Route 66 between Illinois and Oklahoma is as exciting as the Autobahn between Wuppertal and Herne in Germany. That means fields, fields, electrical towers, fields and scruffy advertisements alongside the road.

But then I hit that yellow sign like jumping into a pot of honey: “New Mexico – Land of Enchantment“. Shining like the sun. And suddenly somebody tore down the curtain for a landscape full of cacti, red rocks and wide open spaces. So wide open that no eye in this life could ever believe. It is followed by the performance of a culture that seems to be a fountain of inspiration in the desert. This is a story about turquoise trails, arts and crafts and candles in the night.
I grabbed the gear lever in my car. Of course, I didn't need it. It’s automatic. But I needed something to hold on. Otherwise, I would have been just swallowed by that huge and endless landscape.

Santa Fe: The Colorful Heart of New Mexico

Gallery in Downtown Santa Fe
Magical Downtown Santa Fe

Swallowed by beauty. Better than death by tornado. Oh by the way: I met Simon and Michael from my storm day again. We came together in Tucumcari to have Mexican dinner. There are special vibes between those people traveling Route 66 and the people living alongside of that historical road. Everyone out here knows that it is not just a dream-road but everyday a new challenge. Everyone stands together, gives hugs and best wishes. Moreover, it is common, to yell “Awesome!” and “Wow!” all the way with a big smile on your face.

 

The next day I arrived in Santa Fe. Guys, this city is so different from everything else in the United States. Like Venice in Italy is different from all the other cities in Europe. Squarish adobe buildings in Pueblo style were framing the cute streets. Everything looked warm and quiet. About 300 art galleries, potteries, jewelry shops and fantastic restaurants had to be discovered. I took all the time I needed and wasted the whole day by talking to artists and just lingering around. Turquoise tiles and wooden beads all around. I’m not sure if I have seen clocks in Santa Fe. But I’m sure they would have no hands in that place 6,500 feet elevated and surrounded by snow-capped mountains and red sand.


Los Angeles, Venice Beach and Hollywood

Bright Lanterns in the Night

Illuminated houses in Santa Fe at night
Candles on the roof - night in Santa Fe
When darkness arrived, the night came over Santa Fe like a deep blue scarf. Now the so called “Luminarias” stared to enlighten the narrow streets. “Luminarias” are small paper lanterns with candlelight in it. I was looking at the sky, seeing lots of stars, feeling like flying upside down. Some wind chimes were jingling in the distance. Well, New York might be the capital of the world and Chicago had lots of charm. But Santa Fe has magic.

 

My next ride took me down the beautiful Turquoise Trail between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. 65 miles of scenic road and wonderful little villages.

Madrid and the Turquoise Trail

Mailboxes in Madrid, New Mexico on Turquoise Trail
Mailboxes in Madrid

My favorite one has been Madrid. Gosh, I loved that place. A former ghost town occupied by Hippies now. It was a magical journey back in time with incredible pieces of art and extremely welcoming people. A purple diner stood next to a green jewelry store and a yellow pottery. This town only has one main street but I spent my whole day there. The smell of joss sticks was in the air. So if somebody has stolen the hands of the clocks in Santa Fe then there are definitely no clocks in Madrid at all. I was feeling like Momo in Arabian Nights with some breadcrumbs of Hansel and Gretel.

 

I especially want to thank Susan from Susan’s Christmas Shop in Santa Fe and Lori from Lori Musils Art & Antiques. You have been wonderful and I hope we will keep in touch!
Find more information about planning your personal journey on Turquoise Trail in my road trip guide.
Blogger dancing in the beautiful landscape of New Mexico
Sky wide open in New Mexico

Only a few days later I left New Mexico to head to Arizona. That’s what a long term journey is about: Leaving. Following roads and trails. To stay nowhere. But everything will stay in my heart.

 

Now I’m off to the big National Parks in Utah and Arizona. The treasure chest of architecture and roadside attractions will be closed for a while but the door to Nature’s wonders opens. I’m just thinking about a song from Iggy Pop: We'll see the bright and hollow sky. We'll see the stars that shine so bright. The sky was made for us tonight. Oh the passenger, he rides and he rides.

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