Sunday we made the short drive to Old Town Albuquerque. This area was not as large as Old Town Santa Fe and was mainly restaurants and souvenir shops. Both Old Towns had a central Plaza where tourists seemed to gather to listen to live music or magic shows. In both Old Town Santa Fe and Old Town Albuquerque we saw chilies hanging to dry. Chilies are a staple in
almost every southwest dish. Bill enjoyed chatting with two men who served in World War II as Navajo Code Talkers. They were signing copies of their book. During World War II the Japanese were able to intercept radio military communications so Navajos spoke their own code in the Navajo language and the Japanese were unable to break the code.
Saturday while on the way to Santa Fe we stopped by the Sandia Peaks Aerial Tram. Since it was a Saturday and a holiday weekend there was a three hour wait to ride the tram so we decided to return Tuesday. On Tuesday there was barely a line and we were able to get on the next tram. We don’t know why they call this a tram since it seems much more like a gondola to us. It is advertised as the world’s longest single span aerial tramway. We rode 2.7 miles across deep canyons with rocky walls to the top of the Sandia Peak at an elevation of 10,400 feet. It was much colder at that elevation and we had a view of 11,000 square miles, including Albuquerque in the distance. This is a double reversible passenger aerial tramway so we passed another tram both going up and coming down.
Also on Tuesday we drove to Petroglyph National Monument. Here they have the world’s largest accessible collection of prehistoric rock art. There are more than 17,000 ancient petroglyphs carved into the remnants of boulders of dormant volcanoes by Native American and Spanish settlers 400 to 700 years ago. The monument was established in 1990 to protect the petroglyphs and surrounding area. No, we did not find all 17,000 petroglyphs, but Bill did take pictures of a few.