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Can you see this angel in both photos?
Look near the center -- he's there.





    

26 Feb. 2009
MEXICO 190 to Puebla
Left Oaxaca at 9:00 a.m. for a short drive to Puebla. Got there at 2:00 p.m.
The peaks of snow-capped volcanoes Popocatépetl, Iztaccihuatli, and La Malinche are visible for miles. Lore tells of a warrior, Popo, forever guarding his sleeping princess Izta. Popocatépetl has been active for over 100 years.

A bastion of conservatism, Catholicism, and tradition, Puebla feels as if the colonial era never quite ended. Unlike other Spanish colonies, Puebla was not built on top of a conquered Indian city. The city was laid out in a traditional grid with 70 churches in the historic center alone, more than 1000 colonial buildings adorned with the azulejos (painted ceramic tiles), and a long culinary history. Puebla is a UNESCO world heritage site.
 
Our local guide, Charlie, told us that the city of Puebla was designed to resemble Heaven. From the Zocalo, there are 14 cathedrals set out like Stations of the Cross.

 
Charlie arranged for us to tour Talavera Pottery, where we spoke to artists throwing pots and painting porcelain tiles. They use traditional firing techniques to produce their renowned ceramics.

Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman is incredible. Every surface was gilt with gold leaf, and sculptures of saints and angels adorn every flat or curved surface.

Puebla was all I had imagined:  fountains, children with balloons, and orchestra in the Zocalo... I wish we could have had another day to spend in its markets and museums.


Our hotel was a Holiday Inn like no other. Hotel Palacio San Leonardo was built in 1895, is adorned with crystal chandeliers and stained glass trimmings, and is listed as a UNESCO heritage site.

27 Feb. 2009
Our last day in Mexico broke clear and cool. After breakfast, I took one last stroll to the Zocalo, where newspaper distributors were handing out bundles to their venders. The magazine peddler set out his wares in stacks right on the sidewalk. We left Puebla at 8:30 a.m..

MEXICO 190 to Mexico City

All along roads near Mexico City, there were venders selling fresh fruit, building tiles, tamales, or cell phones. The world's third-largest urban area (19 milion people) fills a highland basin 2240m above sea level. Maybe that's why I felt a bit lightheaded upon arrival in Ciudad de México-- or maybe it was just the ever-visible air pollution.

Melody announced our total trip mileage from Cancun to Mexico City.

We drove 822 miles.


Departed Mexico City 4:10 p.m.  Arrived Seattle 8:10 p.m.  Got home at 11:10 p.m.
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