In the last week I’ve gotten accustomed to the 6-foot snow mound outside my window at work, dodged deeply dangerous potholes and lost my once-wonderful tan to peeling and fading. I’ve also gotten eight rolls of film developed and uploaded all my digital shots to my flickr page. I’m planning to trade photos with my travel buddy Britta, but she’s been sick so we haven’t been able to do that yet.
In the meantime, a few notes about our trip and an invitation to check out any of the photo sets you might be interested in…
We spent the first three days of our trip in Fermin’s hometown, Libres, Puebla. I’ve been there several times before and while it’s not the most exciting place in the world, it does have a nice small-town atmosphere and it’s always wonderful to reconnect with my mother-in-law and Fermin’s youngest siblings.
(making tortillas with my mother-in-law Edith and Britta)
On Sunday afternoon after we got in we walked to the tianguis (big, weekly, usually regional market) in Libres to reacquaint our winter selves to fresh produce, meat, clothes, spices, teas and pottery. Lots of beautiful pottery. Britta and I became acquainted with the wonder-fruit Mamey that day:
(Mamey looks a little like a cantaloupe outside. The inside fruit has the consistency of an avocado, and the pit is also reminiscent of the large avocado seeds. The taste of the fruit, however, is a lot like sweet potato! Yum…)
On Wednesday morning we trekked back to Puebla to catch the bus to Oaxaca city, the capital of the southern state of Oaxaca. Oaxaca is legendary in Mexico for food, tourism, and occasional political turmoil. We encountered a calm, pleasantly busy Oaxaca and delighted in the amazing food, colonial architecture, and stunning ruins. I also felt my first earthquake.
(Outside and inside the gorgeous Santo Domingo Church)
One of my favorite things about cities like Oaxaca and Puebla is that very few modern buildings litter the city centers. Virtually all the historic buildings have been restored and adapted to whatever modern business they now house.
This is not pizza. It is a sort of fusion Tlayuda from the wonderful chefs of La Olla. Large crispy tortilla – usually covered with mashed black beans – this one had red mole, Oaxacan string cheese, tomato and avocado. Deliciously simple. For more food photos check out the set of cooking class photos from our Casa Crespo Cooking Class.
We spent one day at a small town a few miles outside Oaxaca called Zaachila, where we enjoyed their huge weekly market, checked out their church and some small ruins. There are a few more Zaachila photos here.
Monte Alban, America’s first metropolis. See the whole set of Monte Alban shots here.
Fermin and I in front of one of Oaxaca’s wonderful churches. I am already sporting stage two of my sunburn at this point. It was Fermin’s first time in Oaxaca, and while he was only with us for a few days (before he returned to the states and Britta and I stayed another week) he enjoyed the city. I think I have finally given him my travel bug. Where once his idea trip to Mexico included 5-7 days in Libres, he now thinks every trip we should spend a couple days in his town and then a couple exploring other Mexican places neither of us has been.
For the final few days of the trip Britta and I took a sickening (literally) van ride through the Oaxacan sierra to the gorgeous, isolated coastal towns between the Huatulco resorts and the surf capital of Puerto Escondido. We spent most of our time in Zipolite.
Quiet, undeveloped Playa Aragon between Zipolite and Mazunte at sunset.
Shouldn’t all vacations end with a little of this?