|This painting depicts a Mayan temple being torn down|
and the stones being used to build a church - a common
occurence. There were many painting in the hacienda.
|The living room of the Hacienda Sanchez Hotel, one|
of the old estates in the Yucatan where we had lunch.
Merida was founded by the Spanish in 1542 on the site of the Mayan city of T'hou. Merida took it's orders directly from Spain and not from Mexico City (until the revolution) and therefore it has a distinct cultural identity. Our plans for this trip were to leave Isla Mujeres early, pick up our rental car in Cancun and then drive to Merida. This all took much longer than expected. We had to "import" our boat into Mexico (we're staying more than one month) in Cancun and dealing with officials is always slow, and then we hadn't looked very carefully at the distance. It was 305 kilometers and even on the toll highway took 3 hours, arriving at 5PM. The highway didn't have an exit or in fact anything but trees for 180 kilometers! Someone had warned us to check our gas tanks before we got on. We stopped in Valladolid at that first exit to take a break, have lunch and see a little of that town.
|The Cathedral of San Gervasio and square in Valladolid|
|In Merida at night the public buildings are lit up beautifully|
- here, the Cathedral of San Ildefonso
|A folk dance performance in front of the Palacio Municipale|
with a live orchestra. We just lucked out!
|The shops are open until 9 or 10PM and there's a really|
wide variety of merchandise. Here these death head figurines
sport appropriate cigarettes.
|These chess set figures look like characters from the|
|I'm really sorry I didn't buy any of these. I haven't seen|
any as nice since.
|The beautiful courtyard of the Palacio Gobierno|
|The Palacio was decorated by a series of|
painting by Fernando Castro Pacheco
depicting the symbolic history of the Mayan
people and their interaction with the
|We loved our Hotel Dolores Alba, $44 a night including|
a full breakfast. It was right in the city and very nice.
|And it even had a very nice pool!|
|The Palacio Municipal in daylight|
|The Casa Montejo was once a beautiful|
palacio but now a bank. Still beautiful
|Shoe Shine stands are in every park|
|Sidewalks are sometimes covered with|
|Wide tree lined streets and sidewalk cafes give this city|
a very European look
|Even some of the more modest buildings are well|
decorated and all in pastel colors
|Stone carving and wrought iron work decorate|
many of homes/shops