The nearly deserted streets of Mérida heading directly into the main square at mid-day. With the sun directly overhead there were no shadows, no place to hide, and not a lot of activity.
Even though it seems as though we never have enough time, the whole point of traveling forever is to have time to get off the beaten trail. Lots of people go to the Yucatan to go to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and so on, but how many people get to Vallodalid and Mérida? So yes, after another manageable bus ride, here we are in Mérida, a city of perhaps 1 million people and capital of the state of Yucatan.
Lots of interesting buildings and colonial architecture
So what’s most memorable about Mérida? It’s hot. Really hot. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising for Mexico, but I don’t remember many places that felt as intensely hot in mid-day as it was here. And while activity certainly slowed down during the day, we’d still see people doing hard manual labor in temperatures that seemed ungodly.
And the food. Over half the residents here are Mayan – a greater percentage than any other Mexican city – and their influence on food is significant. So we had great food. The architecture was fun, too, a real mix of rundown buildings, nicely maintained buildings, and a section of the city that had old and beautiful mansions.
We had some great ceviche at a little hole-in-the-wall that served, primarily, ceviche. While we were eating there was a guy behind the counter polishing his shoes, which we thought was odd.
Otherwise, the thing I remember most is how hot it was. Wait, did I mention that already? OK, it was a surprisingly big, hot city with great Mayan food. After a few days here, we’re ready to go to the beach in Playa del Carmen!
The Plaza Grande is in the heart of the city, and on Sunday morning there was a traditional (or at least I assumed it was traditional…) religious ceremony. Or at least I assumed it was religious…
OK, I know this was a religious ceremony. There’s a big old cathedral on the Plaza Grande and I went in to look around on Sunday morning. What’s interesting to me is that big churches all over Europe are beautiful but largely empty, even on Sundays. In Catholic Mexico, though, there were hundreds of people here for services. Hundreds.
We both love shots like this of old derelict buildings. There were some more typically attractive buildings, too, but somehow they’re not as photogenic.
This cute little restaurant was Sunday lunch. Great courtyard, great Mayan food, beautiful wooden bar – and the Detroit Lions in the background!
More good food, though this has a lot more to do with Italian than Mayan culture. Beef carpaccio with avocado … why didn’t we think of that?
And here’s my idea of heaven. Late afternoon, small pool at our hotel, little bed, my Kindle.