Monday, December 10, 2012

St James Castle in Xilitla, Mexico

Okay, so here I am again. Looks like once a month is all I have time to blog for. We continue to trek along with the move, Holidays, and Ryan's work project. This last week was another step in Ryan's pilot program for work. In October, Ryan started the pilot program with the employees of a credit unions in a small mountain town, called Jalpan. They are now launching mobil banking to the customers of that Credit Union. For this new step, my Dad came down to help with the launching. So he and Ryan had it all set to visit Jalpan on Thursday, the 6th. Late Tuesday night, Easton and I decided to tag along. The next morning we were on our way. There was a tour set up for the travelers to see parts of Jalpan that same day. In the end we only had time to see one of the popular Franciscan Cathedrals. (In October, Easton and I had gone up with Ryan as well and saw rivers, waterfalls, fresh springs, etc. Jalpan is extremely gorgeous). The following night we hurried up a mountain to show dad the waterfall called Chuveje. We also decided to stay an extra day to see St James castle. Ryan and I had gone two years ago to see it, when I was pregnant with Easton. So we knew that it would be worth the extra night sleeping on those crumby hotel mattresses to see it again. 
On Friday morning, we travelled the extra hour and a half and spent a few hours hiking around the castle. Now, when I say castle, do not expect turrets and ball rooms... or at least not the ones you see in Europe. These are random staircases, walkways, walls, and "structures" just sitting randomly up against a mountain in the jungle. Ryan and I call it the Dr. Seuss castle, because it makes just about as much sense as those children's books. Though the castle makes very little sense to the eye, it is beautiful in its own way and perfectly situated against several cascading waterfalls. My Dad also noted that much of the architecture seemed to mimic the surrounding nature. 
Just some background historical knowledge: This James dude was part of a royal family in Europe, I want to say English. He decided to abandon his royal responsibilities and move to Mexico. I suppose the man was a bit eccentric considering this bazaar castle that he built, literally in the middle of nowhere. He had hippos, cats, monkeys, and who knows what else, caged around the grounds. This all took place 300 years ago. 

This first shot is at the entrance of the castle. Notice the snake-like rocks to the left. That's the beginning to the randomness that I am talking about.

This is looking back towards the entrance. Traffic is heavier at the beginning, but since the castle sprawls out in so many directions, you get to enjoy it all by yourself most of the time.

These are typical pathways you see going all throughout the different parts of the structures, winding through all the gorgeous greenery. 

Some more randomness. Its almost like pillars were put up for some room, that was never finished. But considering that they are everywhere, I think that was all he ever intended.

This is at the beginning. It might not look like these staircases go very high, but I promise you it is extremely intimidating to climb them. I still havent gotten enough nerve to go all the way up, but Fronk did it this time. What a man:) and yes, they pretty much go to... nowhere.

Not the best picture of us, but still fun and love the munchkin in the background

Starting at the bottom pools from the big waterfall. The water in this part of Mexico is THE clearest I have ever seen.

My Dad

Me and me Dad at a pool

Rocks + water = lots of throwing fun for Easton

A better view of where we were

And more rock throwing

My handsome hubby

All of us at the top of the pools by the waterfall


  1. reasons why I think you might be vampires:
    1) your entire family is EXTREMELY gorgeous. Like.. possibly best looking family on the earth. Sorry Cullens.
    2) I have only seen you like once since you got hitched. Are you hiding from me??

    Miss you pal. Hope life is beautiful (and it looks like it is!)

  2. What a stunning place! You all look fantastic, per usual. The pic with Easton doing his cool pose in the back is the highlight of my month. I am so madly in love with that boy.

  3. Beautiful! That castle looks like a lot of fun. Where are you guys headed?