Posted by: jimndianne | November 28, 2009

Saturday in Xalapa!

28 November 2009 Mexico020

Our day began well with a great little tour on a tourist ‘tram’. For the modest price of $3 each, (includ003ing a drink and a biscuit) we were taken all around the town of Xalapa for a whole hour on this quite slow-moving vehicle. We discovered that there is a lot more to Xalapa than first meets the eye. The town itself is set  amongst a number of very hilly streets and is quite a pretty place, with many older  colonial buildings, its wonderful Cathedral which dates back to 1642 right in the town centre and the numerous squares and parks that are around every corner.008

There are several universities here and one of the largest seemed to have a huge emphasis on sport, with a number  of students out in the stadium practising the pole vault and high jump as well as on the track. Close by, in a large Olympic sized swimming pool, were students doing their laps of the po015ol. We also  spotted a game of Hand Ball in progress on a court as we passed, with supporters shouting on the sidelines. A very pict011uresque lake with many ducks was a favourite spot for picnickers, who watched in some amusement as the tram passed by!

After the tour finished, we walked to the nearby square in the town centre, heading for a cafe called “Au Petit Cafe”, (Yes, Jen, we have found a little bit of France!) which seemed to be inviting us to have a coffee under big 026sun umbrellas on their rooftop.  The day had by then become very warm so our sweaters were soon being pulled off! After finishing our great $1 coffees, the sound of a band playing some very lively Mexican music called us up into the square once more and we were delighted to find a group of traditional Mexican dancers in black tops with full white skirts, performing on a large stage outdoors. All older women,  they certainly knew how to dance, including wiggling while waving fans and with a candle balanced upon their  heads! Following their act was a group of high school children, most playing guitars and singing with gusto!

A bit of sh037opping  was next on the list with Jim purchasing a very nice beige sweater made in Italy for a whole $24 and for me a pair of silver and white sandals, made in Mexico, for $8! Mexico is so inexpensive for just about everything, clothing, food, even travel, as we’v033e discovered. We have just purchased tickets to return to Mexico City on the ADO autobus system. There are three levels of pricing so we’ve opted for the middle level and for the incredible price of $25 each we will be on a very well appointed bus indeed for the almost five hour trip, even better than the one we used from Veracruz to Xalapa! If we had decided to fly, it would have cost us $270 each and probably taken almost as long by the time we’d got to the airport, waited around, (weather can be a factor with the small planes too) and then flown to Mex. City.

The Museum of Anthropology, we had been told, was not to be missed, so a short taxi ride took us right to its front gates. A fine looking building in attractive grounds, it was most impressive! They offered an audio system in English so with headphones clamped to our 028heads we spent a good three hours there digesting all of the information we were given about the most important collection of pre-Columbian works produced  over three major cultures, those of the Olmec, Totonacs and  Remojadas. There are 18 galleries to visit, containing 2,500 pieces. Their skill was not limited to stonework as there were also examples of very fine pottery, including this incense burner and of children on swings, with whistles at the back!  Our photographs will give you some idea of the immense importance of these pieces of art.

We found it all totally amazing and were so glad we made the choice to visit this museum.





  1. Love the traditional costumes and the museum, how interesting, it all looks very cute and is very reasonable with pricing. Very very hot here – it is unrelenting for this time of the year. The usual round of Xmas parties have started,my French friend has arrived back so will be able to chatter on now….which is the level I am at. Look after each other and keep on travelling and reporting all that you are doing, I enjoy your updates. Cheers.

  2. Keep up the great work guys – really enjoyed reading about Mexico and all the super colourful pictures !

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