Category Archives: Tlaxcala State

A little "lost" never hurt anyone

Yeah, we got lost… Not incredibly bad. On Tuesday morning we got up pretty early and left the hotel by 8:30 to make our way from Puebla to San Miguel de Allende. It looked pretty far on the map since we wanted to go as far north as we could in order to completely avoid Mexico City and still arrive before dark. We started out going west towards Mexico City and then exited on a road which we thought would take us north. Instead we ended up going back east the entire way to Tlaxcala city which is directly north of Puebla where we started! After going a few kilometers north we doubled back west on a different road. We both agreed that Puebla city and the state of Tlaxcala are the best places we’ve been so far. Tlaxcala is the perfect temperature (75 with a slightly cool breeze) and so incredibly green. There are actually trees with leaves and alfalfa fields and green hills. Beautiful! The roads were fabulous too and they were the cheapest toll roads we’ve been on so far. It reminded us of driving through central Minnesota or Wisconsin. So in the end we weren’t too upset about the detour because we got to see some very beautiful countryside.

Our hotel - Posada de las Monjas

After getting back on track we skirted around Pachuca and headed west on a terrible two-lane road that snaked through the dry countryside towards Querétaro. Then we went north to San Miguel. The streets of San Miguel are cobblestone, full of topes and very skinny. We were lucky that our hotel – Posada de las Monjas – is on a main street and has totally private locked parking. Especially since the entire back is now full of pottery!

Our hotel in San Miguel

Unfortunately, as I was planning out our evening tour route Mex got horribly sick. He was sick from 4ish until 7:30 when I had to go out to get some food and water. We hadn’t eaten anything except rolls for breakfast and some chips we brought with us the entire day. He decided to come with me and seemed to feel better until about three minutes after we sat down at the restaurant where he got sick again. We got our food to go and stopped at the pharmacy where they loaded him up with 3 different kinds of pills to help kill the bacteria, etc. Thankfully, he hasn’t been sick since then and he bought extra pills just in case. We have both been sick a number of times and in a number of different ways and we are never sure what causes it. Usually when one of us has gotten sick it has been on a day where we’ve eaten exactly the same thing so it makes no sense at all! Oh well… we’ve definitely learned how to live through it although Mex is still upset that most places here don’t actually have toilet seats on the toilets. Remember that when you travel around the countryside in Mexico! And don’t forget your own toilet paper and hand soap!


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Filed under Guanajuato State, Mexico, Tlaxcala State, Travel Tips

Tlaxcala is cool… literally

Last Monday (17th) we took a side trip to a small town called Ayometla in Tlaxcala state where Mex’s brother-in-law is from (Sofia’s husband). We drove thru Puebla city and had some great views of the volcanoes Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl, Mexico’s 2nd and 3rd highest peaks. The drive was only a little over an hour on the toll road and the city of Puebla seems like the nicest large city we’ve been in. All the roads were well-marked and the areas we saw on the south side were very clean. There are lots of modern malls there. We did not have time to go downtown and see the plaza (zócalo as they call any city’s central plaza.

We had lunch with his brother-in-law Jose’s family and it was tasty; these gordita looking things that had a very hard name I can never remember, bean tamales and wonderful green salsa. They

Parroquia de San Jose - Tlaxcala

had this sauna-type structure that looked like a cement igloo. We did not go inside because I can’t imagine the need to add extra heat to yourself here. It was also in the pig pen so I was unsure exactly what would be inside. Tlaxcala state is higher in the mountains than Mex’s town and it was probably at least 10 degrees cooler there. A very welcome relief since Saturday and Sunday (15th & 16th) were at least 95 degrees with little shade and no AC.

Palacio del Gobierno on Plaza de la Constitution - Tlaxcala

After lunch we drove about 45 minutes north to Tlaxcala City which is fairly small for “big city” standards at around 90,000 people. Most of the city is in a valley and very near the volcano La Malinche. Just to the northwest side of the zócalo, called Plaza de la Constitución, is the pinkish orange stucco and brick  Parroquia de San José with many fountains in front.  The zócalo, is surrounded by 16th-century buildings with very European architecture. These include the Palacio Minicipal and Palacio de Gobierno on the north side, and the Palacio de Justicia on the north-west side. If you look around the doorway you can see a two-headed eagle, the seal of the Hapsburg monarchs who ruled Spain while these buildings were being built.

Pottery and Crafts for sale in Tlaxcala

Capilla Abierta - Tlaxcala

We were there with our nephew Ernesto, Mex’s sister Sofia and her sister-in-law, Carmella. We took a short walk around the Plaza Xicohtencatl, which adjoins the zócalo, looking at the talvera pottery, hand-woven rugs, and other items in the perpetual craft market. We walked past a chapel (Capilla Abierta) with three Moorish style arches and a 19th-century bull ring. We walked past a former monastery called the Ex-Convento Franciscano de la Asunción, and the Museo Regional de Tlaxcala, both of which I would have loved to enter, but Mex’s family is not in to “tourist” spots. Then we wound through the streets pausing for Sofia to look in furniture shops

Old Plaza de Toros next to Capilla Abierta

finally, climbing the 300 stairs back up to the car. There are fountains all the way down the center of the stair case but unfortunately they were turned off for cleaning.

One thing Tlaxcala city has a lot of... stairs!

After a quick stop at a market we made our way back to Ayometla where they generously fed us another meal before our trip home. Unfortunately we got a little lost going through Puebla city but we ended up getting out of the city limits before dark. We had to drive the hour back to his town in the dark but we made it all right.

I would definitely recommend Tlaxcala City as worth a trip from either Puebla or Mexico City. It has a “small town” feel compared to either of those two and lots of interesting architecture.

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Filed under Holidays and Celebrations, Mexican culture, Mexico, Tlaxcala State