Saturday, February 26, 2011
Puebla es bella
One of the perks about my job is the travel. I especially love visiting Mexico, because it's not too far away and the people are wonderful. On dia de los muertos (day of the dead - the day after halloween) my guides took me to the city of Puebla. Located about 3 hours east of Mexico City, Puebla is one of the most important colonial cities in Mexico, with striking examples of renaissance and Mexican baroque architecture.
We walked around the city, which is designed in the grid pattern with tiny sidewalks straddling the bustling streets. The building are covered in painted stucco and the cityscape is dotted with many fine sandstone spires and domes. One notable thing about traditional Mexican architecture is that the building fronts do not have large windows or open, welcoming entrances. Rather, the interiors turn their backs to the streets and the beautiful atriums are hidden within the center of the structure. From the outside you can only see the cast iron gates with little indication of what's inside.
We stopped into one of the town squares where they had a market. I suppose it was touristy, but more local-tourists so I liked it very much. I found a vintage Beatles record with the the titles and liner notes all written in Spanish. I would have bought it but I was already carrying a lot of stuff and didn't want to carry it on the plane.
A line of people waiting to get into the Cathedral for day of the dead celebrations.
These guys were waiting on line too.
Dia de los muertos is a holiday where Mexicans honor their family and loved ones that have died. They build altars with sentimental memorabilia and flowers and you can see these all over town, in restaurants, shops, squares and even on the sidewalk. This celebration dates back to the period of the Aztecs.
We had an incredible meal and drank tequila. They served us what is called La Bandera (or "the flag"). A large shot of pure agave tequila, with limes and a spicy tomato juice chaser. It's called the flag because the 3 colors, white tequila, green limes, red tomato juice, represent the color of the Mexican flag. I had one of these drinks with my corona and I was feeling pretty good afterward.
It was a long drive back to Mexico City (Mexico has terrible traffic) and I passed out from exhaustion by the time I arrived at my hotel. I won't forget my day of the dead in Puebla.
My friendly guides...