On to Puebla de los Angeles

Trip Start Dec 19, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Wednesday, June 4, 2008

We decided to leave Oaxaca on Sunday to avoid all the traffic through the city during week days. On our last day in this beautiful city we made a trip to the nearby village of Tule and see the "Tule Tree".

Being from the west coast of Canada, we have seen big trees but this Cypress was far larger, particularly in diameter.

Over 2,000 years in age it towers over the village church and all other buildings with a height of 138ft and a circumference of 164ft. Around Tule there are several ancient,large Cypress trees.

After our Tule visit we spent the last evening at the Zocalo where there was a wonderful performance of Oaxacan Folk Dancing from various parts of the state.

Sunday morning we had an easy exit from Oazaca Trailer Park and through the city streets. Travellling west on highway 190D we found many other Sunday morning drivers through the outskirts of the city but soon on this beautiful sunny day we were taking in the dry, brownish hillsides of winter where the dearth of traffic gave opportunity to enjoy the scenery.

The road to Puebla twisted through the mountains as we climbed 2,000 feet from Oaxaca. Along the way was a variety of different colours to the soil and varied vegetation.PHOTO_ID_L=colorful-landscape.jpg]

Winding around the mountains made driving a little slow but overall the road was good.

Thanks to the Google Earth Maps sent by our friends who live in Puebla it was very easy to find Las Americas Park. On arrival we discovered two caravans parked and there was only one site left. Luckily this was on the upper part of the park and not difficult to access. We were soon settle in and found three other non caravaners who gave us great tips on getting into the city.
Our Mexican friends came to visit that evening and along with a great reunion provided lots of information for sight seeing.

This was the middle of February with warm days but the nights here were much cooler than in Oaxaca so we had to pull out the extra blanket.
Early the next morning the Park was alive with the Caravans leaving. We had a front row seat for all the action.

After the crowd left we caught the local bus to the center of Puebla.

Puebla is said to be the most European city in Mexico, being established by the Spaniards in 1531. Unlike most of the other Colonial Cities, Puebla was not built around an exiting native village. Left aligned photo tag:

By 1539 the city had a university which continues today.
Our campground, Las Americas was located in Cholula, an historical suburb of Puebla. From here it was just a short walk to the main road, where we caught the bus into Puebla City.

This was quite a ride as the driver darted around cars, other buses, trucks and bikes. At stops passengers were barely onboard before we were on our way again and bouncing on the plastic seats. It seems the buses rush from stop to stop to pick up all the passengers possible before getting to the check-in point. Apparently the bus must arrive at a check in point on time, neither early nor late or the driver is penalized. Bus drivers are primarily paid on the number of fares and they pay for many of the operating costs of the bus such as fuel, repairs and maintenance. Much of this route was industrial with the familiar names such as Volkswagen, many auto accessory outlets and shops of independent tradesmen.

As we found streets that corresponded with our city map we looked for the "yellow church". This was where we were told to get off. Local passengers, on the bus were so helpful and made sure we got off at the right place. We have found throughout Mexico people will go out of their way to help.

Not only was the traffic heavy on the roads but also the sidewalks were filled with people. It was lunch time and there were many teens in school uniforms. The pedestrian walkway was lined with many shops displaying very North American merchandise and lots of shoe stores. We soon reached the Zocalo which is surrounded with very historic buildings,
the Cathedral and in the center a square shaded with large trees and modern sculptures.
What a beautiful blend of old and new.

For the rest of the afternoon we visited the Amparo Museum, considered one of the most important cultural museums in all of Latin America. Opened in 1991 it incorporates ancient masks, sculptures tools and jewelry of Zapoteca, Totonaca, Maya and Olmeca origins. There are wonderful displays of the various civilizations throughout pre-hispanic Mexico and of the changes during the Colonial period. The Museum, housed in an 18th Century building, is named for the wife of Manuel Espinosa Iglesia who designed the Museum. This is one not to be missed.

On our way to find the bus back to Choula we discovered a street full of irresistible Dulces (sweets and candies). These come in many shapes and flavors and are very tasty.

Our return ride was much smoother than the one into the City. We discovered some of the buses have comfortable padded seats and cautious drivers.

Back at the campground we joined the other campers; mostly Canadians, for Happy Hour and all shared the day's adventures. Here we learned where to explore the next day. High on our priority was the Market and the famous Talavera Potter factories.

On our second day we returned to explore more of Puebla. Along the streets to the Market, Mercado El Parian, are many interesting buildings and the European Architecture is very evident.

This market has many familiar shops but the unique Puebla merchandise mak

es it special.
Talavera pottery is displayed in many shops and now comes in many colors as well as the original blue and white.

We found one of the official Talavara Pottery Factorias, Talavera Armando and came away with our arms loaded.

After that, needing some food we found a delightful restaurant that served Pozole. Pozole is somewhere between a soup and a stew made with pork, hominy and vegetables. It is seasoned but not spicy hot and is delicious.

We met our Puebla friends, when they finished work, for some wonderful sightseeing and then off to their home for dinner. First was the Cathedral of Puebla. This was completed in 1649 and has the highest bell towers in Mexico.

It was so nice to have our friends explain the altars, statutes and domes inside the interior of this beautiful Renaissance and Baroque styled building.

There is a story that the bells for the towers were so heavy the workmen could not raise them into place but, when they came to work the next day the bells were had been placed in the towers.
It was believed that this was done by angels and thus the name of the city, Puebla of the Angels.

Atop the pillars of the fence surrounding the Cathedral are angels.

From the Cathedral we strolled to several of other historical buildings and the Santo Domingo church.
The Santo Domingo church was constructed between 1571 and 1611.

Although the exterior is dark stone the interior is very ornate with gilded stucco. The Rosary Chapel, built in1690, dazzles with gold leaf and beautiful onyx. It is an excellent example of Mexican Baroque. Unfortunately the Chapel was undergoing restoration and we could only peak through the barred entrance.

From the historic center of the city we leapt into today and a very unique modern shopping mall.
Built over old factories, parts of the floor are glass and you can look down onto the workshops of the past.

Driving to our friend's house gave us some idea of how large this city is and the many modern buildings.

After a delicious dinner our kind friends drove us back to the Campground.

On our return to Los Americas we drove through others suburbs and saw the area at night.
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Where I stayed
Las Americas Trailer Park
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