Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Monday, January 14, 2019

Around the Square

I haven't written on the blog since last Friday, and usually when I am traveling I manage to write one or two posts every day.  Hopefully you haven't thought that I have fallen off the face of the planet.  I have been very busy showing my former student Meredith and her husband Chuck the sights of Mérida and its surroundings.  We would return to the hotel between 10 P.M. and midnight, and I really didn't not feel like sorting through photos and writing a post.  The four days in Mérida flew by.  Meredith and Chuck had a great time, and I thoroughly enjoyed being their "tour guide".   Alejandro came in from Mexico City. and his company added much to our time in Yucatán.  

Meredith and Chuck were wonderful travel companions.  They showed a keen interest in everything they saw.  I was extremely proud of how much my former student was speaking Spanish and understanding the language.  And her husband was speaking and understanding quite well too. I hope that someday they come down with me to Mexico again.

As I write this Meredith and Chuck are on their way home to Wisconsin, and I am now in Mexico City.  I´m spending a couple nights at Alejandro's house before going to the condo that I rent.  I now have some time to devote to the blog, and I have a lot of catching up to do.

So let's go back to Thursday, our first full day in Mérida...

If you have been reading this blog for a couple years (the last time that I was in Mérida was in January of 2017) or if you have traveled with me to Mérida (Hi, Gail and Wes and Nancy and Fred!) you know that the first day is devoted to a tour of the city's main plaza.

But, of course, the first order of business was to have a hearty, Mexican breakfast.  Prior to the trip I had been looking for new restaurants to try, and I discovered a place called "Huevos Motuleños y Más".  "Huevos motuleños" are a typical breakfast dish of Yucatán and a favorite of mine, so of course we had to try it out.  The restaurant is on the second floor of a building facing the Plaza of Santa Ana, a short walk from out hotel.   The place was full of locals, and we ate al fresco on a small terrace at the rear.  Our breakfasts were very good, and it is now on my list of breakfast places in Mérida.

My dish (at the bottom) is "huevos motuleños"... a tortilla topped with refried beans, a fried egg, peas, cubes of ham and a tomato sauce.  Slices of fried bananas are served to the side.

After breakfast we headed to the town square.

A picture of Meredith and Chuck posing in one of the unique benches was a required photo opp.

As in so many Mexican cities, Mérida now has one of these name signs on the plaza.  There is usually a line of visitors waiting to take a photo here, and it took a while to get this picture.

Our first stop was to go up to the balcony of the city hall for a nice view of the plaza.

Moving counterclockwise around the plaza, we next came to the Montejo House, one of the oldest structures in Mérida.  Built in 1549, it was the home of Francisco Montejo, the conquistador of the Yucatán Peninsula.  Today it is a museum with several rooms furnished with 19th century antiques.

The Cathedral, the oldest on the mainland of the Americas, was closed until later in the afternoon, so we decided that we could go inside another day.

Our last stop as we circled around the square, was the Government Palace, the headquarters of the government of the state of Yucatán.  It was closed for an hour, so we decided to take a break nearby at "Sorbetería Colón", where we enjoyed tropical fruit flavored ice cream.  The shop is a landmark that has been operating on the main plaza since 1907.

By the time we finished our ice cream, the Government Palace was open.

We went inside to see the mural paintings that were done in the 1970s by local artist Fernando Castro Pacheco.  The murals are unusual in that they are not painted on the walls, but on enormous canvasses.  They depict the history of the state of Yucatán, particularly the struggles of the Mayan people. They provided Meredith and Chuck with background on the history of this corner of Mexico.

More on Mérida to come...


  1. Looking at these photos, I'm already missing Merida. Thank you again for a wonderful trip!

    1. Everyone who has gone with me to Mérida has fallen in love with the city. It was my pleasure to share with you both one of my favorite places.