After falling asleep at 8pm last night, it should not have been a huge surprise that I was ready to go at 4am! I managed to stay in bed until 6am and then couldn’t wait any longer to start the day! The worst part is that breakfast here at the hotel doesn’t start until 8am. That might as well be lunch time for me! Once again, we are here in Mexico during the two week period where the US has already gone to Daylight Savings Time and Mexico has not. Therefore, the time difference is 2 hours right now. Next Sunday, it will go back to only being one hour when Mexico leaps ahead. Unfortunately for us, this means a bigger time difference to get used to while we are here. As those who know me well can attest, I’m an early bird. Breakfast at 8am here is 10am to me and that’s when I eat lunch at school each day. My body clock is already confused after just one day! In any case, I decided to hit the rooftop track to walk a few early morning laps while Kevin slept. I’m glad I did! It was a beautiful morning in Puebla. The volcanos were visible, but not as clearly as I would have liked. Maybe that’s because Popocatepetl actually had several mini eruptions about two weeks ago. Apparently, the air still has ash and atmospheric residue from the eruptions. Fortunately, no lava was spewed and Puebla did not have to be evacuated. Phew! The other volcano is called Iztaccihautl. There is a beautiful legend about these two volcanos that involves tragedy, true love and everlasting loyalty. I remember being told this legend the first time I came to Mexico and it still resonates with me today. If you are interested in learning more, click HERE.
After my morning walk, Kevin and I had a delicious continental breakfast at the hotel. We were served coffee, green juice, fruit, homemade granola, organic jam and freshly made nut and orange bread. It was delicious! The green juice was a combination of cactus, pineapple and orange juice. Delicious!
On the way into the city center, we stopped to take some pictures at one of the Puebla welcome signs. We also stopped at El Templo de San Francisco to see the Talavera facade. Then, we stopped at the Talavera Armando Factory. I have always loved Talavera tile, but have always been told to be very careful about purchasing it. The only truly authentic Talavera tile comes from the rock and minerals in Puebla. There are only a handful of certified Talavera factories here and the one we visited today is one of them. The pottery was exquisite. If I had the money, I would purchase an entire dinnerware set and ship it back home. Unfortunately, that’s not in the budget this year. Oh well. I’ll have to settle for an ornament, a mug and a holy water wall plaque. We had a very interesting chat with the store owner. She asked us, “How are things going in the US?” We kind of laughed because we knew that she was referring to life with President Trump. Her next statement surprised me. She said, “We don’t hate you. You are always welcome here.” It surprised me because I never stopped to think that I might truly be unwelcome in Mexico. I hate that this is what has become of our relationship with our neighbors. I wish President Trump knew the Mexico that I know. It’s really about the people, the culture, the shared history. This place is so culturally rich and the people are so truly human. To focus any major presidential efforts on controlling the border between the US and Mexico is absurdly ignorant as everyone knows that you truly can’t separate people, family and cultures by building a wall. Walls only create division. Enough about that…for now.
Next, we walked into the city center to take a quick walk around the Museo Amparo. This is an art museum. It was very interesting to see the mixture of pre-Hispanic art along with several very contemporary exhibits. The museum itself is unique in the sense that much of the building is several hundred years old, but the top two floors are built from glass and are very modern. The views from the cafe at the top are amazing!
After the museum, we tried to visit the library (Biblioteca Palofoxiana), but it’s closed on Mondays. We might try again tomorrow before we head to Cholula. It’s the oldest public library in the Americas.
We stopped by a local churreria for some churros and chocolate. Honestly, the place was a dive and they didn’t even come close to the ones in Mexico City at El Moro. We will definitely be going there later this week.
After our little break, we Ubered up to the Fuerte de Loreto and the Fuerte de Guadalupe. These are the sights of the Battle of Puebla. For those who don’t know, the Battle of Puebla in 1862 between the Mexicans and the French (who ruled Mexico for a short period of time in the 19th century) was the battle that led to Cinco de mayo. The Mexicans were the underdog, yet they won this particular battle. Mexican pride was abundant after this battle (even though they lost the war) and continues today every year on Cinco de mayo. Many think that Cinco de mayo is the celebration of Mexico’s independence from Spain. It is not. It’s a celebration of Mexican pride and as such, it is celebrated wherever Mexicans reside. It originated in Puebla. The views from the forts were spectacular. We really enjoyed walking around and seeing the historical explanations of the battle.
We Ubered back to the hotel to change for lunch. Again, we walked to the city center to eat lunch at La Fonda de Santa Clara. The pictures will have to suffice. I’m not sure there’s a whole lot more I can say, except that I have now officially tried ant larvae (aka escamoles). Mole poblano