First published: Fall 1997
Xilitla, Mexico – From the terrace of the Hotel Ignacio, the proprietor points across the wide sweep of valley to a forest that appears as a jagged demarcation between rolling fields of coffee plants and bare, rugged mountains. 'Back in there,' she says, 'are the crazy buildings'.
So they existed after all, those 'crazy buildings'. I had begun to doubt. Back in Canada, even veteran travellers to Mexico whom I had spoken with had hardly heard of San Luis Potosi, the state where I now found myself. Nobody had heard of Xilitla, a tiny village in its southeast corner. Even in Mexico, I could find no-one who was aware of the outrageous fantasy brought to fruition in the jungle by an eccentric English genius named Edward James.