Friday, April 10, 2009

Getting to know Puebla..... Lots to see!

When arriving at a new location we always make a point to search out the places where the locals frequent so we can know the area from the ground up. Puebla is definitely not a tourist destination and even though it's one of the 5 largest cities in Mexico with a population of over 3,000,000, it surprised us that Merida has more tourist or expat "things" than Puebla. English is not found often either, not even in the many Universities that make their home here from other countries. Puebla follows Mexico City in quality private educational centers of all types and many foreigners come to study here. We found some German neighbors yesterday (sunbathing on the roof), yet haven't seen any English speakers yet and whenever we are talking amongst ourselves in English we elicit lots of stares from everyone else around. This is not to say that popular US brands aren't here, not at all, Applebee's, McD's, Burger King, Starbucks, Home Depot, Sam's, Walmart, Costco, Apple, Radio Shack, KFC for the most part are all over town as are clothing and other brands. Prices aren't too bad either.

Since Puebla is one of the oldest cities in Mexico, having been witness to most of the history making events we all studied in our Mexico History class, the buildings, streets, monuments and way of life tend to reflect this and so you will find plenty of places to search for antiques, religious art, architectural jems and historical places of interest to capture your imagination like "La Plaza de los Sapos" (The place of the toads) and if you walk by any weekend you will be rewarded with all sorts of treasures to be had. Sundays is truly amazing! You can walk around, have an Expresso and shop for anything and everything- and once the sun sets, music and beverages become plentiful with plenty of "ambiance" to boot. It makes for a great way to spend the weekend. This is an antiquers paradise!

We happened upon the "Mercado de la Comida Tipica" while searching for the "Plaza del Computo" in the old historic center, so while looking for the "Computing Plaza" we came upon the "Market of Regional Foods"..... what a find too! This is just the sort of place that figures prominently in our city adventures and we enjoyed a great meal of "Zancarron" (lamb shank in red chile sauce), Mole Poblano, Cemita de Milanesa (hard roll sandwich with breaded pork steak), "Choriqueso" (melted cheese with chorizo) and a pineapple soda called "O-Key" which made me laugh....

The ladies of the market treated us to "Chalupas" (tortillas with cheese, onion and red chile sauce) as an appetizer "on the house" and the four of us had great food and service (we could hardly get up with the big servings) and all for $265 pesos! Such a deal....

I'm still waiting for the plumber to come around and install our stationary tank and washer and dryer (it's High Holy Days of Lent so no-go...) but he promised to come tomorrow and we're hopeful we'll finally have hot water and be able to cook regular meals again, this will mean I will go on the hunt for Municipal Markets full of herbs, dried chilies, fresh fruits and vegetables and all kinds of meats and fish and we can really get down and live like locals.... I've found a couple of markets I am sure to visit and am looking forward to reliving visits to other beloved markets of old.

Since today was Good Friday, most regular businesses were closed and the hundreds of Churches around town had a booming business, as I drove by I saw at least a dozen swap meets or local fairs in all parts of town that got the faithful after going to church. No meat day today and all food places prominently featured traditional fish and seafood dishes we all love during the Lenten season like "Tortitas de Camaron con Caldillo" (Shrimp patties with broth), "Romeritos con Mole" (Romeritos are a type of suculent cactus served with Mole Sauce), "Chiles Rellenos de Camaron y Pescado" (Shrimp and Fish stuffed chiles), "Empanadas de Atun y verdura" (Tuna & veggie turnovers), "Ceviche" (Fish marinated in lime juice) and many many more....

I've got some more "cruising photos" of places around town that I will post too- I've found so much here it's giving me plenty of material to comment on, and now that we've left the heavy duty heat behind we find ourselves more motivated to go out and explore.... the towns all around us are full of interesting places and information and if you consider we're only 2 hours away from Mexico City and Veracruz, 30 min from Tlaxcala, 15 min from Cholula and Tehuacan, well.... plenty of trips of discovery in my future.

Hoping your Easter Season is lovely, peaceful and full of the spirit of the season..... No Easter Egg hunts here and we miss Peeps and Cadbury Eggs..... No Easter bunny anywhere, it's all heavy-duty Roman Catholic traditions here.... Lovely Easter Lilies in all colors too!

Talk soon and check back often.....

1 comment:

  1. great post. i really enjoy international cities that are outside the usual tourist areas..