Puebla - The Most Spanish of Mexico's Cities

Trip Start Aug 16, 2003
Trip End Apr 21, 2004

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The following morning we made the one hour bus journey to the "seething, cosmopolitan megalopolis" (Lonely Planet Guide) that is Mexico City. As we approached, it was actually quite difficult to see much of the city due to the thick smog that hangs oppressively over it. Our precise destination was the Terminal Norte where we wasted no time in jumping into a "taxi autorizado". We had been well warned to avoid using normal street cabs because of the city's reputation for violent taxi crime.

As the taxi pulled away from the terminal, any worries of potential crime were quickly replaced by the more immediate fear of being involved in an accident. Our driver appeared to be like all the others on the road - blissfully unaware of the need to stop at junctions and happy to weave in and out of the traffic, at what felt like break-neck speed, with reckless abandon. Dan and I simply clung on to our seats making 'oh my god' faces to each other as we prayed we would make it in one piece to 'TAPO' or Terminal Oriente.

Of course we did make it, and were soon on another bus bound for the slightly more laid back city of Puebla whose citizens have reputedly maintained Spanish affinities longer than most in Mexico.

After checking into the Hotel Teresita - another pretty good room - we went straight back out to the nearby restaurant, Fonda de Santa Clara which is renowned as a superb place to sample poblano food. Dan opted for a plate full of assorted meat while I tried the enchiladas tres mole. Whilst I enjoyed it at the time, the thought of the sickly, spicy chocolate sauce cloying with the green and red sauces that were also swimming all over my chicken enchiladas began putting me off food for a while!

After lunch we wandered into the 'zocalo', main square, and marvelled at the grand cathedral, whose image appears on the 500 peso bill. Feeling a bit lethargic, we decided to jump on to a tour bus (the first we've seen in Mexico) to see a bit more of the city. The commentary was only in Spanish so we struggled to follow much of what was going on but it was still good to take in the many sights that we would never have managed to get to on foot.

Having been dropped off back at the square we soaked up the lazy Sunday afternoon atmosphere and listened to a covers band who we sang along to in English.

Andrea and Dan
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