Sunday, December 6, 2009

Two Days in Merida

We caught a bus on Saturday morning to go down to the old central city. They had carriage tours available but we opted for the free 9:30 AM, 2 hour walking tour around the buildings surrounding the Zocalo.

The knowledgeable guide could speak fluent English and Spanish. He had to repeat in both languages for us, a Japanese couple, a women from Guadalajara and three young women from Europe.
We learned about how the Spaniards crushed the Mayans and tried to erase their cultural history.

Oldest House in Merida
We took a tour here 23 years ago on our first trip to Mexico. This is the first time we had a chance to return to the city. It has grown and the shopping seems to have deteriorated into hundreds of stores selling mostly trashy items probably imported from China. The last time all the men wore Guaybera shirts and the women wore Huipile dresses.

This time everyone just wore normal casual clothes. The last time the big three items everyone was selling was Shirts, Hammocks and Panama Hats. Now we barely saw a store selling them.

It was Christmas time and they blared carols everywhere and had all the decorations up. I’m not sure what these guys were up to but the looked cute so I took their picture.

On Sunday they close the main road through the old town and people can ride their bikes for about 4 mi past all the old mansions built by the rich Sisal producers in the early part of the 20th century. This is where all the rope came from before synthetic materials replaced the natural fibers.
We hope to break camp early Sunday, find a place to park our RV and ride our bikes around the town. I’ll try to post this from one of the many Internet cafes.

We then plan to drive South to the large Mayan ruin of Uxmal and camp in their parking lot and go to the evening sound and light show.

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