Side Trips in Puebla

Today in Puebla we will be taking a few excursions. One of our excursions will be to San Pedro is one of two municipalities which make up the city of Cholula. San Pedro is home to what is considered to be the main plaza or square the city, called the Plaza de la Concordia. In the morning, this plaza of Cholula is filled with vendors selling typical street food, sweets and handcrafted toys for children.

The main archaeological attraction, the Great Pyramid of Cholula is actually in the municipality of San Andrés Cholula, marking where that part of the city begins.

cholula-pyramid3

The most important religious institution in San Pedro, and the second most important after the Sanctuary of the Virgen de los Remedios on the Great Pyramid, is the San Gabriel monastery. This monastery was established over the site of the destroyed Quetzalcoatl Temple in 1529 and one of the largest Franciscan monasteries in Mexico. It was established first in the city, because this was the power center and the Franciscans had a limited number of monks in Mexico. The complex consists of a large atrium, a main church, a cloister area, and two important chapels which face the atrium area. Its architecture is rococo style Gothic.

cholulachurch

Time for Talavera…we will also be visiting El Parian, the main market.

Three blocks from the main square of the city of Puebla sits the popular Parian, the best option for buying traditional crafts from the State of Puebla. Set up in the old San Roque square, this space has more than 100 stalls offering crafts from different regions throughout the state. It is open from Monday through Sunday, therefore, there is no excuse not to visit it.

During your stroll down its corridors you will find beautiful creations in talavera – a type of ceramic with colorful drawings – made into decorative plates, vases, glasses, tiles, trays, wall hangings, mugs and clocks. These beautiful crafts come from the capital city of Puebla, as well as from the cities of Atlixco, Cholula and Tecali de Herrera. Be sure to take one home!

A note about buying talavera!

Talavera is a type of maiolica earthenware, distinguished by its white base glaze. Authentic Talavera pottery only comes from the city of Puebla and the communities of Atlixco, Cholula and Tecali, as the clays needed and the history of this craft are both centered there. All pieces are hand-thrown on a potter’s wheel and the glazes contain tin and lead, as they have since colonial times. This glaze must craze, be slightly porous and milky-white, but not pure white. There are only six permitted colors: blue, yellow, black, green, orange and mauve, and these colors must be made from natural pigments. The painted designs have a blurred appearance as they fuse slightly into the glaze. The base, the part that touches the table, is not glazed but exposes the terra cotta underneath. An inscription is required on the bottom that contains the following information: the logo of the manufacturer, the initials of the artist and the location of the manufacturer in Puebla.

220px-TalaveraPlateMAPDF

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On the Road to Puebla

Hopefully, sadly, we are leaving Oaxaca City for the drive to Puebla, more or less a four hour trip.This destination brings us back towards Mexico City which will be our departure point on Sunday.

For a quick overview follow this link Puebla City. Having read the historical info, here is a little more on this city with one of the most beautiful central squares in all of Mexico!

MU_Puebla3_0625101

FYI…the high and low temperatures for February are around 23.9 (75) and 6.2 (43)!! The main square features plenty of restaurants, the cathedral and more Italian Coffee shops than you can count.

Our hotel has an excellent location right on the square! Hotel Royalty seen below.

hotel-royalty-centro

During our first night, Sergio will lead us on a brief walking tour of the downtown. Time permitting we will make a visit to The Rose Chapel –

When it was finished in 1690, the Rosary Chapel or Capilla del Rosario in Puebla, Mexico was proclaimed as the eighth wonder of the world and ten days of celebration accompanied its opening. It is still considered a preeminent example of  Mexican Baroque architecture.  The chapel was the inspiration of Friar Juan de Cuenca and was meant to promote the Dominican order’s cult of the rosary, and to be a tool of conversion for the indigenous. 
Rosary Chapel puebla

The evening will be free after our little tour. Enjoy the many sidewalk cafes and music on the square!

Oh, I almost forgot about the mole poblano – Puebla’s gift to the world…

Mole

The spicy-sweet, sienna-colored sauce is the preeminent holiday dish in this small colonial city 85 miles southeast of Mexico City. Housewives line up with buckets of ingredients they are prepared to be crushed to a paste. Through the rotary grinders go mulato, pasilla, and ancho chiles; spices like anise and coriander; sesame seeds, almonds, and peanuts; burnt tortillas, stale bread, even animal crackers, for thickening; and, for sweetness, brown sugar, raisins, chocolate, and ripe plantains.

If you didn’t have this  for lunch then now is the time and this is the place! You cant say you have been to Puebla until you have tasted the chicken mole! To be on the safe side you MIGHT want to have the sauce on the side the first time…LOL.

You will definitely sleep better if you have some mezcal before going to bed…hahaha/

 

 

Another Journey Begins

Welcome to the first posting for the new blog regarding our trip to Oaxaca in February 2016! Over the course of the next few months, beginning in late October, I will introduce you to some of the sights we will be seeing in Oaxaca City, Puebla City and Mexico City. Each posting will have supplementary info with photos and links to YouTube videos to enhance the preparation for your trip. Please feel free to ask questions about anything you read or see here and request additional information. To subscribe to the site scroll over to the left where you see  FOLLOW BLOG BY EMAIL button and enter your email address.

Oaxaca-night

NB. For those who have been with us in Mexico City previously, we may arrange an alternate trip rather than visiting the Anthropology Museum again…watch for further updates as we get closer to the date.

For now, I am posting our proposed itinerary as shown below –

February 14 – 21, 2016 Mexico City, Oaxaca City and Puebla

SUNDAY.- FLY TO MEXICO CITY, EARLY MORNING, AND TRANSFER TO OAXACA CITY ( 5.30 HOURS APPROX ),
CHECK IN AT THE HOTEL CASANTICA OAXACA AND BRIEF WALKING TOUR IN TOWN.

MONDAY.- VISIT THE TOWNS OF SAN MARTIN TILCAJETE ( ALEBRIJES ), OCOTLAN (KNIVES ), COYOTEPEC (BLACK CLAY) AND ZAACHILA FOR LUNCH AT RESTAURANT LA CAPILLA (NOT INCLUDED ), AND CUILAPAN DE GUERRERO (OPEN CHAPEL).

TUESDAY.- VISIT THE RUINS OF MONTE ALBAN, REGIONAL MUSEUM, SANTO. DOMINGO CHURCH, MARKET, AND DOWN TOWN

WEDNESDAY.- VISIT THE TOWNS OF SANTA MA DEL TULE (FAMOUS TREE), TEOTITLAN DEL VALLE (WEAVERS TOWN), SANTIAGO MATATLAN (CAPITAL WORLD OF MESCAL) AND RUINS OF MITLA AND LUNCH AT REST. ZAPATA (NOT INCLUDED)

THURSDAY.- DRIVE TO PUEBLA CITY, CHECK IN AT HOTEL ROYALTY, AND WALKING TOUR IN DOWNTOWN

FRIDAY.- VISIT RUINS AND CITY OF CHOLULA, TALAVERA WORKSHOPS AT EL PARIAN, AND LUNCH AT REST. FONDA SANTA CLARA (INCLUDED)

SATURDAY.- EARLY DRIVE TO MEXICO CITY TO ARTIST MARKET SAN ANGEL, XOCHIMILCO (FLOATING GARDENS) TYPICAL LUNCH, MARIACHIS AND TEQUILA INCLUDED, CHECK IN AT HOTEL METROPOL, BRIEF WALKING TOUR IN TOWN.

SUNDAY.- VISIT CHAPULTEPEC PARK AND NATIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY MUSEUM. LATE FLIGHT BACK HOME.

INCLUDED –
Land transportation
All hotels
Breakfasts daily
Guide fees for Sergio Solis
NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE…
Airfare to and from Mexico City *Guests arriving from Canada should plan to be in Mexico City mid-morning.
Two lunches in Oaxaca. Dinners will also be at your own expense, as will be beverages,
Single supplement if not sharing a room.
Tips to our driver