Although my posts have inevitably been about our mountaineering objectives, Derek and I have also been able to experience something of Mexican culture, whether this has been the food, the music played on the car radio, the state of their buildings and roads, etc. Perhaps one thing I regret is not having had more time to explore some of the historical sites. There is a lot of pre-Hispanic and early Hispanic history to be found at sites dotted around Mexico City.
Between Izta and El Pico we stayed in a beautiful hotel in the centre of the city of Puebla. Puebla is one of Mexico’s largest cities with a rich historical heritage. Our hotel had clearly been used for another purpose in the past, probably religious in nature.
This part of Mexico is off the typical British tourist’s radar. That’s a bit of a shame as I have seen Germans, Italians and, of course, Americans in some numbers. Derek and I had the opportunity one evening to spend a couple of hours wandering around the central historic area. It was a Sunday evening and roads around the central square had been closed.
Derek pondering some new kit to help lighten his backpack?
Puebla’s cathedral dominates one side of the square. It is a UNESCO site. It was completed in the mid 17th century but started about 100 years earlier and is enormous. Hemmed in on two sides by buildings just the great west facade and the northern side are easily seen.
The whole place had an easy, relaxed feel to it. Restaurants, cafes and bars were full. Families, couples and people like us milled around enjoying the balmy weather, the entertainment and the general vibe. The entertainment consisted of jugglers, people dressed up as characters (Minnie Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, Edward Scissorhands to name but a few) and various groups acting out comedy routines (all I can say is that the Mexican sense of humour is different to ours). The object of much of this was to relieve the populace of their cash – and many seemed to be happy to oblige!