That´s Puebla. It is an almost 2 million person city about an hour east of Mex’s town (via the new toll road) and we are totally in love with it! We knew we wouldn´t leave his town very early and that we wouldn´t be in the mood to drive much on Monday so we planned on spending the afternoon here in Puebla. We will definitely come back many, many times. There was nothing about it we didn´t like. Even though it is
one of Mexico’s largest cities, the streets are named in a numerical order that is easy to follow, there are stoplights instead of topes
(pronounced TOE-pays) which was enough to make us love the city! The buildings are beautifully painted, the streets seem clean. There are big shopping malls. The electrical wires aren´t strewn all over the streets like
in Cuernavaca and other cities. The plaza was beautiful and shaded, the weather was fabulous. We can´t say enough good things about it. Many buildings have Talavera ceramic tiles around the doorways and windows or actually pieced in between the bricks of the walls. It was truly lovely.
We settled into our hotel (which had a view of the cathedral from our room- Gilfer hotel, one block from plaza and rooms ending in 14 have great views of cathedral – less than $50 for the night) and then walked around for awhile, hopping on a tour bus about 3 that left from the zócalo. The only unfortunate part
was we sat on the top so we could take better pictures and I wish we had our video camera. Oh yeah… and I forgot sunscreen on my face so my chin and the right side of my face look like I spread hot sauce on them (but only Valentina, yummy). The tour is totally recommended by us but make sure you take the bus and not the trolley because the bus has an English translation via headphones. That was good for me because no other cities have had that. The tour went all around the city and we saw the fort of the 5 de Mayo battle, lots of cathedrals and shopping areas. Puebla is a very modern city that is on par with an American one.
After the bus tour we popped into Burger King on the plaza to buy a water and use the bathrooms. There were some teenagers completely making out in the middle of the restaurant. That is one thing here that amazes me. Every park, plaza, restaurant, is filled with young people all over each other. Maybe it’s because they don’t have as much privacy in their homes here due to stricter families but good grief! Anyway, then we walked around looking for Talavera pottery because I
wanted a few dishes. At El Parián craft market and amazingly there was a set of dishes we both liked! We just wanted to buy the plates but the sales person said we had to buy the entire set of dishes – two large boxes full! After walking around for awhile talking about it and we decided to buy them since it is rare that we both love the same design in anything!
After looking in the beautiful, enormous towering interior of Puebla’s cathedral, we went a few blocks down the street to the Templo de Santo Domingo. Inside this church is the Baroque-designed Capilla de Rosario or Rosary Chapel, with gilded angels, and an amazing array of paintings, and semi-sparkling (only a light layer of dust) gold designs. We finished the evening by eating on the plaza at a seafood restaurant and having some really good shrimp dishes. I looked around for a churro relleno (churro stuffed with chocolate) but sadly the street vendors were not around. From our hotel room we enjoyed a night view of the cathedral while we settled in to sleep.