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1)Pátzcuaro: Mexico's Enchanting Lakeside Village 墨西哥帕慈库罗:迷人的湖边村落

  The petite, 2)raven-haired women in their shimmery, rainbow-colored 3)pleated skirts jumped off the boat, carrying bundles and bags, and then disappeared up the stairs that climbed the steep hillside wherever I looked.
  I scurried to follow. I was intrigued by these living symbols of folk tradition, who still wore the finely 4)embroidered blouses and silken skirts of their ancestors, as they went about their daily routines. But the Indian women seemed to evaporate like a fading rainbow into a 5)rabbit warren of stairstep shops, rooftop terraces, and 6)crooked alleyways.
A massive statue of Mexican revolutionary hero José María Morelos tops the island of Janitzio, in Lake Pátzcuaro.  My husband, Eric, and I were visiting 7)Janitzio—a tiny, 8)gumdrop-shaped island on 15-mile-long Lake Pátzcuaro, 9)tucked among volcanic mountains in Mexico’s 10)Michoacán state. The houses, churches and other buildings on the island seemed squeezed, as if by a giant grip, pressing skyward. We had approached Janitzio on a long, wooden, 11)canopied boat filled with three dozen passengers, mostly Indians returning from their marketing chores in the lakeside town of Pátzcuaro, and a few Mexican tourists.

  We 12)disembarked in a plaza, and worked our way up the well-worn stone steps. We crept upward 150 feet until we emerged from the 13)stuffy, tomblike interior, to an observation platform teased by a fresh breeze.
  The lake spread before us to nearby islands, distant green hills that looked like 14)rumpled velvet, and farm fields. To the south, we could make out the patch of buildings on the forested slope that is Pátzcuaro—one of the loveliest towns in Mexico, and the place where we were staying. This high mountain town of 45,000, surrounded by pine forests and lush tropical 15)vegetation, is in an area where the volcanic soil and moist heat of the day create a jungle-like profusion. The town’s two plazas are shaded by immense elm trees that form a 16)canopy over the 17)adobe buildings with red tile roofs. Red-and-black signs, all using the same style of writing, identify each business.

  We had arrived in Pátzcuaro in the evening, and settled into La Mansión de los Sueños, (House of Dreams), a lovely boutique hotel in a restored 17th century home, with hand-carved furniture, folk art and a fireplace in each room.
A merchant measures out yellow beans and smoky black chiles for our future attempt at making the local specialty, Tarascan bean soup.  Next morning, we set off to explore the area. Following a small group of people on the road, we turned a corner and wandered into the town’s market. We waded into the bustling crowd, some shopping, and some selling their local harvest or catch at rustic wooden stalls or just out of baskets lined up in the church square. A 18)hum of conversation swirled around us as 19)diminutive grandmas in 20)gingham aprons and shawls, their hair wrapped in cloth, pushed past, carrying bundles and crates.

  21)Papayas, oranges and lemons were stacked high in the fruit section. Near the church door, used clothing was heaped in piles on the 22)cobblestones. Back toward the street, permanent market stalls catered to those in need of embroidered blouses, a shave or hardware. Three little girls in pink and orange dresses played ring-around-the-rosy in the center of the sidewalk. They flashed shy, curious smiles, as we edged past.
  Leaving the market behind, we strolled to Plaza Vasco de Quiroga, to shop for some of the local crafts. When Spanish 23)bishop 24)Don Vasco de Quiroga was sent to Pátzcuaro in 1536, he decided to help improve the local economy. He did this by encouraging the people living in traditional villages around Lake Pátzcuaro to develop unique crafts, which they could use for trading. This early business venture blossomed, and today the region is well known for its traditional crafts: hand-painted pottery, copper plates, woven tablecloths, silver jewelry, and straw 25)ornaments.
  In El Mesón Galeria, gorgeous pottery pumpkins in green, gold and brown 26)hues with 27)whimsically curly vines caught my interest. They were displayed next to heavy glassware with 28)cobalt blue 29)rims, and wooden religious icons. Painted tin decorations—hearts, crosses and other symbols—made up a 30)kaleidoscope-bright display on one wall.
Colorful wooden boats line a walkway along an inlet of Lake Pátzcuaro, awaiting passengers to the lake’s islands.  When we had our fill of shopping, we settled onto a bench in the square nearby. An evening concert in the courtyard of a local college brought out a blend of locals from 31)well-coifed women in pantsuits, to moms in shawls and 32)voluminous skirts, with toddlers on their laps. As day settled into evening, bats flew overhead, and Grupo Gaban, five musicians in 33)serapes played festive music from throughout Mexico on violins, guitars, a 34)clarinet, and a harp.
  Two bright-eyed little girls in 35)braids and 36)ruffled party dresses played hide-and-seek, families relaxed and chatted after a day’s work, and Eric and I sat among them, 37)ruminating about the vividness of life here, and feeling very much a part of this inviting, beautiful place.


  死人节虽然是全国性节日,在米却肯州(Michoacán state)的贾尼兹奥岛(Janitzio)过节气氛和习俗最浓厚。