Friday, March 9, 2018

Oaxaca to Puebla, Mexico, March 9, 2018

Today is a special day; well every day is special in paradise but....  It's my Dad's 88th birthday and all I can say is wow, is he old!  But he's very lucky because he's still in great health - driving, walking, vacuuming, cooking, following sports and telling annoying jokes.  I don't have a picture of him with his birthday cake but I do have one of Nico with his cake from last week-

What an imp!  He could also blow out his candles - something Uncle Nico certainly couldn't do at the age of 2.  He looks so excited and so much like a Wall!  

This morning I visited the market for breakfast and ended up having mole negro.  Oaxaca is renowned for it and there are numerous moles but negro is the culinary signature dish of Oaxaca.  Negro is smoky, chocolatey and savoury heaven-

Oaxaca is also famous for tlayudas which are like gigantic tostadas-

My restaurant also served croquetas de papas which I had instead of rice-

Today was also a church day and the first one I visited was Templo de San Juan de Dios.  It's old and small-

But has great ceiling art-

And beautiful fresh flowers on the altar-

While passing through the market, grasshoppers and worms were for sale.  They keep the hot sauce and chili sauces close by-

Other treasures in the market are fancy dresses-

other colorful clothing-

and mezcal, lots of mezcal-

I visited el Templo de la Compañia de Jesus-

And really liked the altar statue-

Next I stopped at Catedral-

which was begun in 1533 and finished after several earthquakes in the 18th century.  It dominates the Zócalo.  The front has beautiful baroque carvings and inside is pretty nice too-

I walked to Templo de Santo Domingo and it too has a baroque facade.  It was built between 1570 and 1608 as part of the Dominican monastery-

Inside, just about everything is 3D relief with intricate gilt designs swirling around painted figures-

The ceiling depicts the family tree of Santo Domingo de Guzman (172-1221) who is the Spanish monk who founded the order of Dominicans.  They observed strict orders of obedience, poverty and charity and protected the Indigenous from nasty colonists-

The French influence-

The side altar - Capilla de la Virgen Del Rosario is from the 18th century and the most ornate part of the church-

The ceiling has a large dome that's very decorated-

A side altar in the main part of the church--

The dome-

Next to the Templo de Santo Domingo is the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, housed in monastery buildings-

I went there specifically to see the treasure found in Tumba 7 at Monte Alban which is no longer open to the public.  The Mixtecs found the tomb in the 14th century and "borrowed" it from the former Zapotecs to bury one of their kings and his sacrificed servants-

An absolute treasure chest was found in 1932 by Alfonso Caso including turquoise and silver jewelery-

Pearls, gold and finely carved bone-

The Museo also showcases the history of the region including Colonial weapons and armour-

Funeral urns-

Sculptures to honour different gods in order to have good weather and crops-

and stellaes-

There was contemporary art on display by Antonio Alvarez Morán.  This shadow box is filled with Christian symbols-

The Queen of Day of the Dead-


There was also a photography display by Pierre Verger who visited rural Mexico in 1937.  Naturally the pictures are in black and white-

The Jardin Etnobotanico is adjacent to the museum-

The second largest library in all of Mexico is here.  There are 30.000 books and the oldest is from 1472.  Researchers and historians use the library a lot-

Walking home, groups were celebrating Samaritana by handing out cold drinks and ice cream for free-

Lineups were long-

I walked through the Zocalo one last time.  Shoe shine men take their jobs very seriously-

There is also a tent village demonstrating against racism and prejudice towards the Mixteca people-

They are also protesting the lack of women's rights-

I went back to the hostel, gathered my stuff and walked to catch a bus to the ADO depot.  My bus left for Puebla at 3:30 for a 5 hour journey.  Once again the bus was awesome.  Along the way-

The highway from Oaxaca to Puebla passes through dry hilly terrain.  I didn't see any crops growing at all.

Upon arrival in Puebla, I took a cab to my hotel and am hoping for a good night's sleep.  Gente de Mas Hostel is known for the art on it's walls.  My room is no exception-

Looking forward to exploring Puebla tomorrow!

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