For Thanksgiving we decided to head to Santa Fe and see the sights. We left on Thanksgiving day and got back on Sunday. Our first morning there we walked around Old Town Santa Fe where all the buildings are made in the adobe style and there are many shops and galleries. This is San Miguel chapel, the oldest church in the country.
Theses are other interesting buildings and the sidewalk market where many people display their Native American and Mexican jewelry and crafts for sale.
After lunch we went exploring a National Park called Tent Rocks. These rocks were formed by volcanic ash and then eroded for thousands of years. We went on a trail that took us all around the rocks and gave us great views of the cliffs and mesas around us.
The next day we went to Bandalier National Park where there are many ruins and cliff dwellings of the Anasazi people. We were told that they lived here around 1200 A.D. That is when they began to group together in communities and farm the land. Before that they were nomadic and lived in very small groups.
This part of the site was build in a large circle to represent the sun. This was a kind of village that housed many families. The ring was four rooms thick with all the rooms being relatively uniform and quite small.
Along the path there were many parts of ruins and also caves that the people could enlarge by carving. The rock is quite soft because it was formed by volcanic ash. This was a very large cave. It had a domed roof with noches cut out in the wall that were probably used for some kind of storage. The girls, however, used them for beds. It also had a window and a fire pit on one side with two chimney holes for the smoke.
After we did the main loop we went on another hike. This took us to the 'long house' which was hundreds of feet above the ground in a cliff. It once had as many as 22 rooms with 2 stories and housed numerous families. This is one of the many long ladders we had to climb to reach it. Some of you might know that Kyle is afraid of heights. He was not enjoying himself too much and I think he told the girls to go slow and be careful only 3 or 400 times.
After all the long hiking and climbing we finally made it to the top. The round building is another Kiva. It is amazing that they not only lived here but that they were able to build it in the first place. I don't know how they would have carried logs and other building materials up and down the cliffs.
We had to go back to Old Town after our exploring to get the girls some souvenirs they wanted. It was very cold and windy and we forgot Brooklyn's hat in the car so mommy used her sweater as a hat instead.