Thursday, February 28, 2013

Campeche

While our 2003 visit left us an exceedingly favorable impression of Mexico, memories of specific places are varied. Of Campeche we both had vivid memories of the peaceful waterfront, hot strong sun, graceful colonial streets, and a hotel with a high ceiling. This return visit to Campeche turned out to be more perplexing.

The central plaza and colonial streets are every bit picturesque as we remembered; in fact, most of the buildings look to be freshly painted with coordinated pastels; must have been approved by some committee. Many of the bastions are under restoration. Yet, missing in the walled city is the liveliness we have grown to revel in in almost all the cities in Mexico. Missing are the school children noisily traversing the streets; missing are vendors diligently hawking their wares; missing are the restaurants bustling with office workers. Could be it that we happened to hit Campeche in the early part of the week; not the weekend? Or could this be a reflection of lack development, or conversely, exceeding high level of development? Or could this be the quietude before the invasion of cruise ships?

The bus ride northeast from Villahermso to Campeche along the Gulf of Mexico was very scenic in spots, and we had front row seats.
Headed North to Campeche, Mexcio

The zocalo at night.
Campeche, Mexico

Campeche, Mexico

Campeche, Mexico

Campeche, Mexico

City Streets.
Campeche, Mexico

Campeche, Mexico

Campeche, Mexico

Campeche, Mexico

El Cristo Negro el Señor de San Roman en Campeche.
Campeche, Mexico

A peek into a private home near our hotel.
Campeche, Mexico

Ice cream, sunset, and a sea breeze.
Campeche, Mexico

Modern Government building with mural.
Campeche, Mexico

The Malecon (esplanade) has a bike path and walking path and is very busy in the evenings. This photo was taken in the morning.
Campeche, Mexico

El Fuerte de San Miguel - 4 kms southwest of city center - a good walk.
Campeche, Mexico

Vegetarian fast food at Natura 2000.
Campeche, Mexico

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Villahermosa

Tired from the 11-hour overnight bus ride from Mexico City, we walked into Villahermosa through deserted Sunday AM streets, found a hotel, bought some pastries at Soriana, made coffee and had breakfast in our room, did some laundry, and then walked in unseasonably cool (but comfortable) blue skies to the Museo La Venta and saw the collection of Olmec Heads. And that's the whole story. On to Campeche.

Sun-Ling with Olmec Head in Museo La Venta. The Museo is located on a lagoon with other museums and several parks - a nice area.
Villahermosa - Tabasco, Mexico

John with head.
Villahermosa - Tabasco, Mexico

Monkey Looking at the Sky.
Villahermosa - Tabasco, Mexico

Sunday morning futbol.
Villahermosa - Tabasco, Mexico

A brass band was playing on the plaza Sunday evening.
Villahermosa - Tabasco, Mexico

Cool building.
Villahermosa - Tabasco, Mexico

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mexico City - Part V - The Museo

Saturday, before taking the night bus to Villahermosa, we spent the whole day at the Museo Nacional de Antropología; an impressive museum in a pretty neat building. We only made it through the lower floor.

The Museo in located in the Bosque de Chapultepec, the largest city park in the Western Hemisphere and which features the Art Deco Los Niños Héroes Monument at its entrance.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

The impressive fountain in the Museo courtyard.


And from the opposite end of the courtyard.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Ballcourt apartatus.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Wolfman.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Bird.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Mother of the Universe.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Mayan Exhibition Hall.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Olmec head.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Mask - a Sun-Ling favorite.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Carved shell - very cool.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Near the Museo, one can borrow a bike for free.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

And in our last hour in DF, we finally got a peak into La Enseñanza but only from the street. The church doors were open, but the gate was locked. Next time.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mexico City - Part IV - Metro, Murals, and Art Deco

A recap of Friday Feb 15, 2013 as described by Sun-Ling in an email to a friend.

1. La Ensenanza was closed.
2. The military show in the Zocalo is yet to be unveiled.
3. Took Metro to Universidad.
4. Walked to the Sculpture Garden.
5. Walked to Library, Rectorio, Stadium.
6. Walked to San Angel, quick snack & drink in Plaza San Jacinto
7. Quick stroll through San Jacinto church & grounds, may have been here in 2003
8. Casa Del Risco, impressive fountain
9. Walked to El Carmen, church closed, skipped the museum
10. Walked to Carrillo Gil, quick stroll realized none of the permanent collection was on display. Complained and got our whole 38 pesos of admission refunded. What kind of museum are they running?!
11. Tried to Metrobus to Teatro Insurgentes, card did not work, walked instead.
12. The mosaics at the Teatro were exquisite.
13. Got on the Metrobus by using a kind young woman's card.
14. Polyforum was easily identifiable from the bus, not just by the station name. Had not seen this much David Siqueiros before. But the ceiling murals were closed?! What's going on?!
15. Walked to La Condesa vegetarian restaurant and finally lunched.
16. Walked to La Condesa Hipodrom. A lot more art deco buildings than we expected.
17. Metro back to Isabela la Catolica. Quick look at Regina Coeli, good thing you highlighted it for us.
18. Shop for takeout and breakfast.
19. Zocalo was not very much light up.
20. Passed by Santo Domingo which was better lit.
21. Back to hotel

423 photos taken by John

Waiting in the Metro for the train to Universidad.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

In the Sculpture Garden.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

City University Library. Murals by Juan O'Gorman.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Olympic Stadium with mural by Diego Rivera.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Casa del Risco Fountain - Barrio San Jacinto.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Metrobus station on Insurgentes - love Bus Rapid Transit.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Rivera mural on Teatro Insurgentes. What's up with the pink advertisement?
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

David Siqueiros murals at Polyform.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Lunch!
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

La Condesa Art Deco.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Mural?
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico

Iglesia de Regina Coeli.
Regina Coeli - Mexico City

Plaza Santo Domingo.
Mexico City (D.F.) - Mexico


Playa del Carmen, Mexico

From Aguascalientes, there is a very convenient direct flight to Cancun.  Since the wedding is at a private beach south of Playa del Carmen,...