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Archive for the ‘Veracruz City’ Category

img_4036a.jpgFriday I said goodbye to Linda and Eric and to Veracruz and headed for the airport. I left feeling like I had barely scratched the surface of what there is to do and see here.

I may not be able to get back here soon, as I want to make a couple of trips to Europe next, but I do want to come back. Veracruzanos are really nice to be around.

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Last Day in Veracruz

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Was back in Veracruz by 12:30. Thought I’d go down by the malecon again to see if I could find some souvenirs. Even though Veracruz’s sidewalks are in bad condition, I reminded myself how much easier walking is here because it’s so flat.

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And then there is that tantalizing sea breeze…

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I was able to fill my chatchka quotient at last. Found a nice little shop which sold a variety of handicrafts by Veracruzano artists. It was across the street from the so-called artisanal market on the malecon, where they seemed to sell mostly things made in China.

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Here there were embroidered items for the home, some clothing, rattan furniture and some pottery. I bought a number of clay figures and hoped they’d get home all in one piece.

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Last Day in Xalapa

This is my last day in Xalapa. I’ll be getting on the ADO bus around noon to head back to Veracruz, as my plane for Mexico City leaves midmorning tomorrow.

Miscellaneous Observations

I don’t think anyone has ever exaggerated about the climate in el puerto de Veracruz. Veracruz can be uncomfortably warm and humid at times, and this is still winter! However, it does have nice breezes and did cool off nicely in the evenings, although I did need to turn on the AC in my room for comfortable sleeping after a couple of days. Didn’t get any bug bites while I was there, but Eric confirmed it was partly because of the time of year. It’s got lots to see and do and is close to a number of interesting little towns to visit. It’s flat, so I was able to do a lot of walking without problems. In the warm weather, I seemed to have fewer aches and pains.

Xalapa wasn’t too hot and had a much more comfortable level of humidity. Pat got quite a few bug bites. She wore capri pants sometimes; I always had long pants and shoes with socks. I only got a few near my elbows and a couple on my hands. I’m assuming these must be the no-see-ums. The bite is pretty small, very red and leaves a tiny blister. Hers itched quite a bit, but mine didn’t. They’re taking a long time to heal and go away.

I liked Xalapa very much, especially the people, who are wonderfully kind and friendly. What I didn’t like so much are the hills. Coupled with the altitude, it may be a big issue for me ten years from now when I retire. The city is very charming, with lots going on. Coatepec is even more charming, and much flatter, but Dennis told me there isn’t much going on in the way of cultural activities or nightlife.

I’ve really enjoyed my first taste of Mexico and am now looking forward to exploring other areas on my next trip, whenever that may be. There are a couple of trips to Europe I want to make first, and I ought to do them while I still live on the East Coast. But I will be back!

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This is a reproduction of an Olmec piece. The card next to it stated that the Olmec civilization flowered throughout the states of Veracruz and Tabasco from 1800 to 400 BC. The piece is about 20 inches tall.

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I was enchanted with the figure on the right, which was maybe ten inches tall.

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This was like a preview of what was at the Xalapa Museum.

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No cards explained the significance of these pieces, where they were found or anything else. The few cards that were posted were in Spanish only, which wasn’t a problem as they were brief and I had Miguel with me to answer questions.

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This cabeza colossal is a copy of one found in Texistepec, Veracruz. It’s about nine feet tall. The card in front of him says this head displays strabismus (cross-eyed). Want to check?

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The museum was small, and the second story was unavailable for viewing that day.

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Veracruz: The Museum of the City

After classes today I had an “out and about” scheduled with Miguel. This is a two-hour period of time where the student and teacher go anywhere in Veracruz the student chooses. It’s another opportunity to go out with a teacher one-on-one, speak Spanish, ask questions and see things. My choice today was the Museum of the City.

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The first arrival: the Spaniards offer gifts.

I had seen the sidewalk in front of the museum a few nights before on a walk through el centro but at that time didn’t know it was connected to the museum. The inlays on the sidewalk tell the story of the Spanish arrival in Veracruz.

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The Spaniards realize there is treasure here and begin to wage war for it.

The sidewalks in Veracruz are narrow, and this particular street was a main thoroughfare with no parking and nonstop traffic. No way to step off the curb and get a better shot.

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The indigenous peoples are slaughtered.

This is also a busy sidewalk near a bus stop. Not an ideal place for a tourist to lollygag snapping pictures while people with places to go and buses to catch zip around me. Such are the burdens the obsessive tourist photographer has to bear!

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I found the inlays fascinating, though gruesome. Not knowing the extent of the museum’s artifacts, however, I didn’t linger.

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Valentine Girls

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This was my favorite sight out the bus window going back to the school from el centro.

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I was told that an unknown artist paints murals on this wall on a regular basis, and the owner of the property just as regularly paints them out. Since it was just before Valentine’s Day when I arrived in Veracruz, this mural has a Valentine’s theme.

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This portion of the mural welcomes visitors in five different languages.

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Veracruz gets a lot of tourists, but not many of them are Americans.

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Scenes of Veracruz

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The malecon

Veracruz is a working seaport. You can see the cranes for offloading cargo to the left of the street lights.

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Near the Mercado Hidalgo

I eventually noticed that taxis always have the name of the city from where they’re dispatched on them. That was quite useful information on a trip a few days later.

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Most of the buildings and homes are made of cement blocks. They often have flat roofs to make it easier to add on a second or third story when the money is available.

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Half a block from the school was the main boulevard which ran alongside the Gulf. Here you can catch any one of many buses to downtown for 5 pesos (about fifty cents). It was about a five-minute trip. To the right are bleachers that were set up for the Carnaval parade a week earlier. They are being taken down.

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