Making my way west along the Southern states of America, I reached Santa Fe. The 'missed' Route 66 city. Passing the welcome sign you can immediately see the culture shift from the US Texan Cowboy state to a more relaxed Mexican influence.
Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, is home of delicious Mexican cuisine, Adobe architecture and phenomenal Native American artwork. This city was a hotbed of American history standing as the oldest state capital city in the United States, founded by Spanish colonists in 1610, and the oldest city in New Mexico.
Meaning 'Holy faith' in Spanish, Santa Fe is also home to El Santuario de Guadalupe, the United State's oldest extant shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe. You can see that religion and the church have a significant influence on the population and contribute to the building of the community base.
In addition to the spiritual identity, Santa Fe also has a thriving art community and has been designated as a UNESCO Creative City in Design, Crafts and Folk Art. Near to the central plaza, Canyon Road has the highest concentration of art galleries in the city, and is a major destination for international collectors, tourists and locals showcasing a wide array of contemporary Native American, and experimental art.
Santa Fe's vibrant contemporary art scene is no more evident than at Meow Wolf. Meow Wolf is an elaborate art installation space, which was backed by George R. R. martin, and has been designed establish a permanent interactive art installation that warps your sense of reality and challenges your expectations. The installation is called House of Eternal Return and i had the pleasure of visiting it during my stay. My experience was a tantalising childlike adventure of suspense and twisted anticipation.
Santa Fe is colloquially know as 'The city of 50 shades of brown', on account of is monotone streetscapes and traditional Adobe architecture. However, the cultural undertones of the city, and warm personalities of the people, are far more vibrant than the nick name suggests and should be a city that does not get forgotten on your USA adventure.