Steves is a perennial traveller with his own television show and travel book series. He has traipsed all around Europe, but he admits in this Oct. 9 blog posting that this was his first visit to Tijuana. And he came here when many tourists appear to be avoiding the city due to concern over a prolonged wave of drug-trafficking violence.
He apparently didn’t time his travels this way, but Rick Steves in Tijuana is probably one of the best things to happen to tourism officials here lately. (Another boost came from Mickey Mouse, who was in town this month for some park-related promotion). Steves’ visit also appears to be inspired in part by an attempt to amend a statement he made last year – equating old Tangier as the Tijuana of Africa – that some took as an unfair dig of Tijuana. Read this friendly challenge lobbed by World Hum co-editor Jim Benning.
During his short stay, Steves observes the busy border scene and walks down Avenida Revolucion. He takes a city bus tour and he joins mass at the downtown cathedral. Then he repents his former bad thoughts of Tijuana over a bag of churros.
In a follow-up posting, Steves muses about the drug-related violence, finds “no tension” as a traveller during his visit, and considers decriminalizing marijuana.
I’m not sure Mickey Mouse would agree with Steves’ drug policy, but if these two American icons can visit Tijuana safely then that’s probably an encouraging sign for the rest of us.