Mexico

Puerto Escondido – surf, drugs and enchiladas chili con carne

Puerto Escondido

We decided to take a minibus from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido. If you do the same be prepared for an adveture…

on the way to Puerto EscondidoOn the way, first and only stop… I can’t believe we survived this ride… 7h of rollercoaster is too much even for me… it’s hard to describe but imagine narrow, mountain road (where 2 cars can bearly pass each other) going up and down the mountain, no air conditioning or ventilation in the old smelly minibus (while it’s boiling hot outside) and a crazy driver who sits on the other cars back bumperall the time, I loved it for the first half and was sick the other half… well made it finnally… and when we did even those waiting to sell us stuff knew better than to try it.

There is also alternative route coach and it takes highways rather than small mountain roads. So you can try it. We flew back from Puerto Escondido (splendid, beautiful airport) to Mexico City so this is another route to take.

We wanted to go to Acapulco when we planned this trip but Fishing in Puerto Escondidoin the end decided against concrete hotels next to the beach and someone recommended us Puerto Escondido. It’s one of the most important tourist attractions on the Oaxacan coast. It caters to a more downscale and eclectic clientele than neighboring Huatulco, mostly surfers, backpackers and Mexican families. West from the town is a large lagoon area popular for fishing and birdwatching.

We loved our hostel having a room with ocean view. It was called Hotel and Youth Hostal Mayflower (Andador Libertad, Mayflower Hotel and Hostel, Puerto EscondidoOaxaca, Puerto Escondido 71980, Mexico). We could also see a night market in the street below. I think only here we got ourselves nice suveniers. Acctually I bought Maya Calendar earlier in Teotihuacan. I think I bargained it to an extent when the woman was unhappy about the price. I don’t think it’s ecologic attitude and I guess now I believe that both parties should feel happy about the price. When you can’t afford not to sell but at the same time price gives you no margin it just seems so unfair.Night market Puerto Escondido

There are many small and mid-sized hotels and restaurants around and a few upscale hotels to choose from. Most cuisine is based on seafood and local plants, which include eleven species of banana, chocolate and coffee. In one of those restaurants I ordered Enchiladas chili con carne. enchiladas chili con carneI didn’t speak Spanish much but after the time we spend in Mexico I was able to make decisions from the menu lol before ordering I spoke to the waiter and made sure that enchiladas where with beef and tomato chili sauce. What did I get… well dry chicken and black bean sauce hahahaha so yes, at the sea don’t be stupid like me and order sea food! Anyway when the waiter after the meal asked if I would like to go out in the evening to a disco I refused straight away I was so disappointed with the food. My thinking went along the lines “How dares he! Serves me this instead of what I wanted even though I’d made sure it was with beef and tomatos and than asks me to go out!” silly, silly girl I sometimes am.Live music

The beach is lovely and it’s famous among the surfers because of the waves. The sunsets are stunning. You can take a walk along the Andador Escéncico (Scenic Walkway) which is a set of paths, stairs and bridges that begin at the main beach of the town and wind their way over rocky oceanside cliffs, passing below the lighthouse to a lookout the named Sueño Posible (Possible Dream). In some places the walkway is very near the ocean and gets wet from the waves.

pelicansWe tried surfing, not really on surfing boards but on body boards. I managed to catch the wave only once but it was enough. Going with the flow gets a totally different meaning. No wonder surfers have something of a hippi style of life. You don’t want to loose what you feel in the water after getting out of it.

The pelican are like gulls you can see them everywhere around. Summing it up if you don’t like crowds of people, fancy hotels and do like surfing Puerto is for you :)

P.S. You might wonder what happened to the drugs… well i’ve never seen any drugs in Puerto Escondido, only after some time when I told somebody about my trip there I got to know it’s famous for drugs. So maybe it is. Be sure if you don’t want to find them you won’t. unless things change which they do lol

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Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca CityThe unforgettable city of Oaxaca is the cradle of a multicolored culture with continual fascinating enchantment. For me it was also the city of romance. We had a very handsom guide on our tour to Monte Alban. Dark sparkling eyes, boyish smile, cute black curls and nicely built tanned body. I typically don’t like the “latino” type but he was  just so alluring… he asked me out which totally shocked me. Now, when I’m more aware of “customs” it doesn’t seem so shocking and makes me and my adventure less special. But let’s not spoil the sweet memories by thinking too much.Beer in Oaxaca City

We went out to have something to drink in beautiful Zocalo. In front of the cathedral I could hear opera singers entertaining the crowd. The plaza and restaurants were full of lights and people. The air was warm, the alcohol strong and his eyes bright and deep. After not that long we seemed to be talking only about desire, senses and romance. His fingers gently touching my skin crawl the length of my arms to climb to the line where the neck meets the hair. Then he slowly moved his hand down my spine probably reaching the intended effect of electricity in the air between us.

But… well but… just straight after coming back from Mexico I was to move in with a person I really cared about, so it didn’t really work that way. There was no electricity and the romance ended before it even started. Thinking about it now I just can’t believe feeling for one huy can make you so insensitive to seduction by another even though he was so very attractive and I recognised it. Strange. But well, happens right?Basilica de la Soledad

The city was formerly known as Huayacac, a Nahuatl word whose roots “huaxin”, stand for “gourd”, and “yacatl”, which means “pinnacle, point or beginning”, thus being defined as “The beginning or pinnacle of the gourds”.

The cathedral I mentioned earlier is called Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption (Nuestra Señora de al Asunción). It is acctually the third to be built as the first two were destroyed by large earthquakes in the 16th and 18th centuries.

Basilica de la SoledadBasilica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad is located four blocks west of the Cathedral on Avenida Independencia. It is built between 1682 and 1697 by Father Fernando Méndezon a site where supposedly an image of the Virgin Mary appeared. According to legend, the image of the Virgin was found in the pack of a mule that sat down on an outcropping of rock and refused to get up. When the image was discovered, the Virgin appeared, and a basilica was constructed to commemorate the event. The outcropping of rock is surrounded by a cage of iron bars immediately to your right along the wall as you enter the church.Wedding outside basilica de la Soledad

The concave facade of the Basilica de la Soledad, projecting forward from the building, is unique in Mexico’s religious architecture. The way the top is rounded and the tiers are divided suggests an imitation in stone of the traditional carved wooden retablos (folding altarpieces) common in Mexican churches.

Oaxaca is now preserved as a  “Cultural Heritage of Humanity” site by UNESCO.

Cuilapan de GuerreroDuring the tour around the city we visited also Cuilapan de Guerrero, famous XVIth-century open-air chapel hosted a mass by Pope John Paul II. Cuilapan was originally called Sahayuca and inhabited by the Mixtecand Zapotecpopulations. the monastery is located on a small hill which gives it a view of much of the valley area.It is one of the most extravagant and elaborate colonial area construction in Oaxaca.Built of green quarried stone and river rocks, it is a quiet place where footsteps can echo in the hallways. The extravagances of the site, include the tall basilica, the elaborate baptismal font, the Gothic cloister and murals remain as national treasures. The decorative work of the monastery, especially its murals, are important because they show a systematic blending of indigenous elements into the Christian framework, done in order to support the evangelization process in the local Mixtec and Zapotec people.Pope John Paul II in Cuilapan de Guerrero

One of the parts of the monastery is open air chapel. It is a three-nave chapel, also called “Church of the Three Naves.” The chapel has been given to the convent of Cuilapan fame for being the only of its kind throughout Oaxaca. The main facade stands out for its Renaissance elements. It has three entrances with semicircular arch on fluted pilasters. Central access is framed by Corinthian columns fluted shaft and a double cornice, above is a frame that Cuilapan de Guerrerocontains the shield of dominica order, flanked by two dogs carrying a torch in his mouth. Dogs, symbol of the Dominicans, represent, according to legend, a dream of the mother of Santo Domingo. On the sides of the frame are two human figures representing the virtues. The side entrances are lower than the central concert is an oculus with iron bars. The ends of the facade are occupied by two cylindrical towers, pierced in arch, and covered with spire. The top center of the facade is a triangular pediment.Cuilapan de Guerrero

The interior is in three naves. The naves are divided by two rows of 13 arches, supported by Tuscan columns, one of the rows is unfinished. The side walls have nine hits with arch. The bottom of the central nave ends with the triumphal arch, located near the main altar, now walled up. In the nave west, also at the bottom, is built a stone quarry with inscriptions Mixtec historical perspective, accompanied by the date 1555.

Cuilapan de GuerreroIf I remember correctly the chapel didn’t have a roof because the natives believed they wouldn’t have contact with God if they couldn’t see the sky.

We also visited Arrazola and San Martin Tilcajete, two towns which specialize in the art of crafting alebrijes (brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures), which can be purchased directly from the artists. And San Bartolo Coyotepec where the artisans specialize in black clay pottery.

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Oaxaca de Juárez and our trip to Monte Alban

Monte Alban

This post will be about Monte Alban and I think there is a need for another one devoted to Oaxaca. Ok, let’s start with what is Monte Alban…

Oaxaca mountainsSituated on a mountain 400 m above the Oaxaca Valley, Monte Albán (“mohn-teh ahl-bahn“) was once the holy city of more than 30,000 Zapotecs. How could it fit so many people? The peasants built their houses on the slopes of the mountain and an irrigation system supplied water to bottom lands east of the site and permitted intensive cultivation of the area. It is estimated that only about 10% of the site has yet been uncovered and still the largest Mesoamerican discovery had place here. in 1934 by Alfonso Caso found a buried treasure consisting of 500 pieces of gold and jade: bracelets, necklaces, nose and earrings.Monte AlbanThese pieces can be seen in Oaxaca’s Regional Museum next to the Santo Domingo church. It is of course a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

People have lived in the Oaxaca Valley since about 2000 BC until 800 AD when it was largely abandoned. In XIII century it was adopted by the Mixtecs, who added little to the existing architecture but left magnificent gold-laden tombs for their royalty.

Monte Alban Great Plaza

The various structures of Monte Albán center on the Great Plaza, a large open space created by flattening the mountaintop. In fact all the terraces, dams, canals, pyramids and artificial mounds were carved out of the mountain. In the center ofGreat Plaza there are three temples which contain several tombs. A tunnel is running from the Palace on the east side of the plaza to one of the temples, possibly so that people could appear here as if by magic.

Mountain mistTo the south of these center buildings is the Observatory and on the eastern side of the Great Plaza is an I-shaped ballcourt (Juego de Pelota). This ballcourt differs slightly from Maya and Toltec ballcourts in that there are no goal rings and the sides of the court slope. The ball game played on this court had ritual significance, and if I remember correctly the winners were usually put to death as an offering to the gods. The players had to manipulate the ball using only hips, shoulders, knees and elbows.Monte Alban tunnel

Los Danzantes (Building of the Dancers) is the main highlight of the west side of the plaza. It is the earliest surviving structure at Monte Albán. This building is covered with large stone slabs with carvings of humans in strange, tortured positions (these are copies; the originals are in the site museum). Because of the fluid movement represented in the figures, they became known as the Danzantes, but this is only a modern label for these ancient and mysterious carvings. Monte alban woman giving birthThe distorted bodies and pained expressions might connote disease or suffering; some have clear features of childbirth, dwarfism, and infantilism. Other experts believe they are prisoners of war. It is remarkable that they are so negroid in character, because there is no record of any Negro tribe inhabiting Mexico except for one faint legend in far-off Yucatan telling of a wicked black people.

To the north of the Gran Plaza are the cemetery and tombs. The tombs contain magnificent glyphs, paintings, and stone carvings of gods, goddesses, birds, and serpents. The tombs may or may not be open to the public when you arrive, but it’s worth checking.Monte Alban

Tittle-tattle: Monte Alban Mezcal is the authentic Mexican spirit with the worm in the bottle. Mezcal is Tequila’s ‘big brother’ – almost 500 years ago, Spanish conquistadors looking for a rum substitute began distilling an Aztec soft drink made from the agave plant. They ended up with a premium spirit called Mezcal. Much later, a similar drink was distilled in the Tequila region, made from a different species of agave.

Monte Alban is distilled from the agave plant in the centuries-old tradition and technique. The worms live in the agave and one is added to each bottle. Legend says that the worm gives strength to anyone brave enough to eat and some even believe it acts as an aphrodisiac. Prominent on all materials is Monte Alban’s promo slogan: “Live the Legend, Eat the Worm.”

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Puebla or Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza called also City of Angels and City of Tiles

Popocatepetl volcano

On the way from Mexico City to Puebla we passed Parque Nacional Iztaccihuatl – Popocatepetl (Izta-Popo, Zoquiapan and Anexas National Park). It covers Mexico’s second and third-highest peaks, the Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatlvolcanoes. Popocatépetl (the Aztec word for smoking mountain) is an active volcano as you can see in the picture above and is the second highest peak in Mexico (5,426 m). The volcano is also referred to by Mexicans as El Popo or Don Goyo. The name Don Goyo comes from the mountain’s association in the lore of the region with San Gregorio, “Goyo” being a nickname-like short form of Gregorio.

Ixtaccihuatl volcanoI’m not sure if you heard but it has acctually erupted earlier this year. First at the beginning of April and then again in May. On 12 May gas-and-ash plumes rose 4 km above the crater. Incandescent tephra was ejected 2 km above the crater and again rolled 1 km down the flanks. Ashfall was reported in most municipalities within 50 km NE from the volcano. According to paleomagnetic studies, the volcano is about 730,000 years old.

The neighboring volcano is Iztaccíhuatl (the “Woman in White” – reflecting the four individual snow-capped peaks which depict the head, chest, knees and feet of a sleeping female when seen from east or west.)

And legend goes:

Thousands of years ago, when the Aztec Empire was in its heyday and dominated the Valley of Mexico, it was common practice to subject neighboring towns, and to require a mandatory tax.  It was then that the chief of the Tlaxcaltecas, bitter enemies of the Aztecs, weary of this terrible oppression, decided to fight for his people’s freedom.
The chief had a daughter named Iztaccihuatl: the most beautiful of all the princesses, who had professed her love for young Popocatepetl, one of her father’s people and the most handsome warrior.
Both professed a deep love for each other, so before leaving for war, Popocatepetl asked the chief for the hand of Princess Iztaccihuatl.

The father gladly agreed and promised to welcome him back with a big celebration to give him his daughter’s hand if he returned victorious from the battle. The brave warrior accepted, prepared everything and departed keeping in his heart the promise that the princess would be waiting for him to consummate their love.

Soon afterward, a love rival of Popocatepetl, jealous of the love they professed to each other, told Princess Iztaccihuatl that her beloved had died in combat. Crushed by such tragedy and overwhelmed by sadness the princess died, without even imagining it could be a lie.

Popocatepetl returned victorious to his people, hoping to find his beloved princess. Upon arrival, he received the terrible news of the death of Iztaccihuatl. Devastated by the news, he wandered about the streets for several days and nights, until he decided he had to do something to honor her love and to assure that the princess would not ever be forgotten. He ordered a great tomb built under the sun, piling up ten hills together to form a huge mountain. He carried the dead Princess in his arms, took her to the summit and laid her on the great mountain. The young warrior lovingly kissed her cold lips, took a smoking torch and knelt in front of his beloved to watch over her eternal sleep.

From then on, they continue together, facing each other.  Eventually the snow covered their bodies, forming two majestic volcanoes that would remain joined till the end of time.

The legend goes on to say that when the warrior Popocatepetl remembers his beloved, his heart – that preserves the fire of eternal passion – shakes and his torch smokes. That’s why, even today; the Popocatepetl volcano continues spewing fumaroles.

As for the coward, Tlaxcala, who lied to Iztaccihuatl, overcome with repentance for the tragedy that ensued, he went off to die very near his land. He also became a mountain, Pico de Orizaba, another of the region’s volcanoes and now, from afar, watches the eternal dream of the two lovers, never again to be separated.

Inside courtyard of hotel in PueblaI will just add that the volcanoes used to be covered by glacier but because of the frequent eruptions and climate change it has changed. There is still ice at the peak but it no longer has characteristics of glacier.

I really, really liked Puebla, it’s atmosphere, place where we were staying, narrow streets, colorful houses and squares full of people. our hotel in PueblaIt’s one of the five most important Spanish colonial cities in Mexico. Due to its history and architectural styles ranging from Renaissanceto Mexican baroque, the city was became a World Heritage Site. It is also known for Mole poblano (sauce) – a number one of “typical” Mexican dishes. It contains about 20 ingredients, including chili peppers and chocolate, which works to counteract the heat of the map of pueblachili peppers, but it is not a chocolate sauce per se, as it is just one of the many ingredients and does not dominate. It helps give the sauce its dark color. This sauce is most often served over turkey at weddings, birthdays and baptisms, or at Christmas over shrimp cakes.

The historic center is filled with churches, Puebla church monasteries, mansions and the like, mostly done in gray cantera stone, red brick and decorated with multicolored tiles. The Zocalo – main plaza originally was rectangular, but later made square because the earlier version was considered to be ugly. Until the end of the 18th century, this was the main market for the town. Today, the Zocalo is a tree-filled plaza and contains a large number of sculptures, but the most noted is the one of the Archangel Michael that is in a fountain. Many notable buildings surround the Zocalo including City Hall, the Casa de los Muñecos and the Cathedral.

Now have a look at the rest of the pictures in the slideshow below:

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Teotihuacan – Where people became gods

Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Moon

Teotihuacan – “City of gods” or “the city where gods are created” or “Where people became gods”.

Pyramid of the moonThe city was located on an island in the middle of the lake,the water was brought water from mountain streams by aqueducts. Teotihuacan was built on a plan of a chessboard. We know it consisted of temple group, the ceremonial avenue surrounded by palaces, place of assembly, and a large residential area.

It is the biggest and the most moving of the pre-columbian cities in Mexico.  It’s situated at 2285 m above the sea level so almost as high as Machu Picchu. One would never say that considering Machu Picchu seems to be located among towering peaks. It might be hard to believe but the biggest of pyramids was built at the same time as Colosseum in Rome. You can believe me it’s much bigger than Colosseum.Palace of jaguars

At the beginning it was believed to be built by Aztec’s but they only have discovered it around XV century. There is evidence that this site was already inhabited 400 years b.c. but the most magnificent of the structures were built around the time when Christ was born.

The thing is we don’t don’t that much about Teotihuacan. Who and why built it or why was it abandoned.

Pyramid of the sunThe biggest of the pyramids as I mentioned is the Pyramid of the Sun. It’s build from bricks called adobe (made from sand, clay, water, and some kind of fibrous or organic material(sticks, straw, and/or manure), which the builders shape into bricks using frames and dry in the sun). It was being built over 30 years by 3000 man without help of animals, iron tools or wheel. Nobody knows what is the real meaning of the pyramid. Pyramid of the sun stairsBecause it is situated on the east-west axis it is seen as a center of universe symbol. The four corners direct four sides of the World.  this reminds me the pyramids in Egypt. Underneath the base of the pyramid there is a natural cave considered to be sacred. The steps are higher than usual and not all the time the same hight. Climbing them is pretty tiring unless like me you have adrenaline circulating in your veins. At the top of the pyramid we met a guard and a small latino family (mother and two children) carrying pink umbrellas. Well why not…

Road of deathThe road of death – main artery begins at the southern side of the pyramid of the moon, passes the pyramid of the sun and ends at the citadel and the temple. It was consider the symbol of connection between sky and earth. Road of deathIt’s 3,2 km long and believe me walking in full sun with no shade you can feel every meter of it. That is once you get back to your hotel because it makes such an impression you can’t think of tiredness. I remember being very exicited about it all. It’s just so magnificent.

The Palace of the Jaguars is located southwest of the Square of the Moon, near the Palace of Quetzalpapálotl. The courtyard is surrounded by rooms, whose walls are remains of mural paintings with figures of jaguars, which in some cases have shells and plumes. Believed to be the graphical representation of a ritual to bring rain. The palace of mythological animals is a low structure of two stepped sections, in this stand paintings for an older temple, brightly colored and zoomorphic representations of feathered serpents, jaguars in different positions, winged fish and lizards.

Named after the remains of wall paintings seen in the walls of the rooms surrounding the courtyard, mostly related to the feline.

Quetzalcoatla and TlalocaOn the left you can see a head of god called Quetzalcoatla (feathered serpent) symbolizing the connection of air with water and sky with earth. It occures alternatively with the head of the god of rain Tlaloca.

It is possible that the reason for Teotihuacan to be so prosperous was obsidian – naturally occurring volcanic glass.obsidian It is produced when lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly. It was used to manufacture weapons and tools.

As i said before nobody exactly knows why the city was amandoned and the mystery of Teotihuacan remains unsolved.

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Mexico City the sweetness of chocolate, dynamics of dance and magnificence of culture

Mexico City dance performance

The highlight of our stay in Mexico City was a dance performance we saw one evening. It took us on a journey through dance history of Mexico. Let me share some of it with you.

The Jarabe Tapatío The Mexican Hat DanceThe Jarabe Tapatio – The Mexican Hat Dance was named the national dance of Mexico in 1924 in an effort to bring together several different cultures together as one national identity. Since it became the national dance it has also become a symbol of Mexico around the world. The dance tells the story of love and courtship. It can be performed either by a couple or a group of couples. A charro, dressed in the traditional charro suit, a three-piece suit composed of a vest, jacket, and pants bearing silver buttons down the seam, makes initial courtship gestures to la china (wearing the traditional China Poblana outfit). It looks almost like a mariachi band’s attire. They flirt throughout the beginning of the dance, during which time the man attempts to woo the woman with his zapateado (stamping and tapping) and his machismo. Just as he has impressed the woman, he becomes drunk with glory, and is shooed away as a borracho (an inebriate), but ultimately, he succeeds in conquering the china, throwing his hat to the ground and kicking his leg over his partner’s head as sheThe Mexican Hat Dance bends down to pick it up. The two do a triumphant march to a military tune called a diana, and the dance ends with a romantic turn or the couple hiding their faces behind the man’s sombrero in a feigned kiss. I only have pictures of Dance of the Rope which developed in Jalisco which roots it with The Mexican Hat Dance.

La Danza del VenadoLa Danza del Venado, known as the Deer Dance, is a ritualistic dance illustrating a deer hunt, with dancers playing the roles of the hunters and the dying deer itself. This evening this was a one man show and I can’t say you often see such a craft. It was amazing, the movements mastered to perfection, a tribute to dance and human body. The performers (pascolas) wear wooden masks and bells. The performer playing the deer wears minimal costuming except for a headdress, usually of a deer.La Danza del Venado The Deer dance He also carries rattles in his hands, and tied around his legs are tenabaris, dried butterfly cocoons, which also ratter as he dances. It is still performed almost identically to the way it was originally choreographed. While the Mexican Hat Dance has changed with the times, this dance has remained true not only to its theme, but also to its steps and rhythm.

La Marcha de Zacatecas (called Mexico’s Second national Anthem) is a result of a bet between Villapando and Genaro Codina, Mexican dancewhich consisted of writing a military march. Both compositions were submitted to a jury composed of friends and relatives, who gave the victory to the song of Genaro Codina. The original title was “Marcha Aréchiga”, to be dedicated to the governor Arechiga, but he suggested that the name was changed to March of Zacatecas. After the revolution the “Zacatecas March” has become a forced identifier of any civic or commemorative heroic event. It is used in remote villages and large cities to announce the beginning of every activity from a civic assembly to the curtain raiser of a circus function, a starter for a movie theatre show or a school event; and it is recognized by every single Mexican national, as the second national anthem.

Spanish dance dressIn some of the dances we could clearly see Spanish influences. This was because of style of the dance but more evidently because of the costumes. The Spanish costume shows the white guayabera pants and shirts and red waist sash and straw hat. The women wear imported white lace dresses; their hair up in buns in a comb and shawls, or rebozos, accompanied by fans. The style of dance: bambas, and huapangos, which are greatly influenced by flamenco steps. The music is mostly acoustical, violin and harp, which were influencedspanish dance during the conquest and also penetrated by elements of the Arab, African, German, Dutch, and other European cultures.

In 1910, the Mexican working class began their long battle for land reform against accordions, guitars, electric bass, and drums. “La Cucaracha” talks about revolutionary leaders Francisco (Pancho) Villa and Emiliano Zapata. In Revolución: Tierra y Libertad“La Adelita,” the most famous corrido, is about a woman who followed her lover into battle. “La Adelita” is now known as the archetype of the woman warrior, the soldadera who cooked and cared for the wounded and fought alongside her brother, son, or husband. Her story allowed for the perception of the Mexican woman to change, and today the name “La Adelita” refers to any strong and fearless women. In Revolución: Tierra y LibertadThe dancers wear the traditional ranchera style clothing from the era. Men wear striped pants, white shirt, zarape (blanket-like shawl), bullets, straw hat, and black boots. The women have added bullets and rifles to their colorful daily wear to represent their struggle for justice.

Changing the subject. I’m a chocaholic. I love dark chocolate in all types and forms. I don’t like milk chocolate that much anymore, but anything from cakes to House of chocolate cakedrinking chocolate is always welcome and mostly this is how I sin. Eating too much of this mouth watering delicacy. In Mexico I got a piece of cake that was so rich that I couldn’t eat it. I’ll put it to having a rough day, but I was shocked. No less were shocked those with me. Anyway I have only one picture of the place where they serve it. have a look on the left. I did a small investigation and the restaurant is located in Cerrada 5 de Mayo. I think anyway. It felt a bit like in an old bath house because of the walls being covered with tiles all over. if by any chance you know this place please let me know.

National Museum of Anthropology Mexico CityThere is so much that can be said about the National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia) that one doesn’t even know where to start. I highly recommend visiting. The museum is located on Avenida Paseo de la Reforma and Calzada Gandhi, Colonia Chapultepec Polanco. It is just outside the gates of Chapultepec Park. by the way the park is really nice as well. Here are some highlights for me:Carved conch National Museum of Anthropology Mexico City

  • Carved conch
  • Man smoking a cigarette, you can see how peaceful he is and how much he enjoys it even though it’s not very detailed figure
  • Maya Display in the open air garden of the Museum including statue of Death
  • Grolier codex which is a folding-screen book painted on bark paper which has been coated with stucco
  • A skull with preserved teeth with little stones in them (Filling? no the people had semiprecious gems soldered on to their teeth as a pure form of decoration. The ornamental gemstones (including jade) were attached with an adhesive made out of natural resins, such as plant sap, which was mixed with other chemicals and crushed bones. SkullThe dentists likely had a sophisticated knowledge of tooth anatomy. The other doctors did brain surgery drilling the skull)
  • Jade mask of the Zapotec Bat God in Oaxaca exhibit room

In front of the Museum we were witness to The Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers), or Palo Volador (Pole Flying), which is an ancient Mesoamericanceremony/ritual. The ritual consists of dance and the climbing of a 30 meter pole from which four of the five participants then launch themselves tied with ropes to descend to the ground. The fifth remains on top of the pole, dancing and playing a flute and drum. According to one myth, the ritual was created to ask the gods to end a severe drought.

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