Saturday, February 26, 2011

San Xavier del Bac

Mister C and I went to Tucson on Thursday to hear a lecture by a photographer. The lecture wasn't until five thirty but we headed down early so I could visit San Xavier del Bac, which I absolutely love. It's so beautiful and so very out of place. You come around a bend in the *rode and it just rises up out of the desert. This gorgeous, blindingly white mission contrasting sharply with the mostly brown background.

It's really hard to get a decent photo of the place though because of the tourists. When we went a few years ago, we made the mistake of going on a weekend and there were thousands of tourists milling aimlessly around. This time, since it was a Thursday afternoon, there were probably less than a hundred. But it was still amazingly difficult to get a decent photo because even though the total numbers were down substantially, the number of idiots didn't seem to be reduced much.

I don't mean to judge (or maybe I do), but the fact is that NOBODY needs to make a cell phone call while standing smack dab in the middle of the front gate to the place. Nobody. Especially not four hundred pound bald guys with mismatched outfits and heavy facial hair. And especially not for an extended period of time. I mean come on, it's obvious that other tourists are trying to take a picture of the place in it's entirety. Which means that we'd like to get the whole path leading through the pillars with the gorgeous heavy wooden doors to the chapel beyond. No, really, we would. We're not actually all standing here with our cameras pointed in your direction because we want you in our pictures. I finally gave up and went to take the rest of the pictures I wanted and then managed to get a few on our way out. Even then though, it was like playing a game of cat and mouse trying to avoid having a tourist show up through one of the portholes just as I was pushing the button.

But, idiots aside, it's really such a beautiful, peaceful place and they've done a fantastic job on the renovations so far. When my friend Brandy eventually comes down here we're going to head on down to Tucson so she can take pictures as well. I've already given her the heads up that I want to try and get there right about when they open, which is seven in the morning. Which means that we'll have to leave our house by about five am. It won't be pretty, but it's doable.

So anyway, here are a few shots that I managed to take that didn't have tourists milling around in them. Well, that's not entirely true. I'm pretty sure there's a tourist in the fifth portal from the left but he/she is wearing a brown or black top so they aren't standing out.

*I'm leaving this in as written because it made me laugh out loud when my mother pointed it out to me. Guess I shouldn't type up posts past my bedtime! I do actually know the difference between "rode" and "road", just not late at night apparently. Thanks for the heads up Mamoo!