Merida, population 1 million located in the Yucatan, Mexico is a delightful and vibrant city and well worth the visit. We are so glad we took the time to travel here for a few days at the end of our month in Isla.
We took the ferry over from Isla to Cancun and then hopped the Ado bus for the 4 hours journey west to Merida. Any of you who have travelled by bus in Mexico will know it is first class, very efficient and economical. Upon arriving we hailed a cab and headed to our bed and breakfast near the centro called "Cascadas de Merida". Wow what a fantastic place! Friends from Indiana recommended it and we were totally impressed. It was probably one of the nicest places we have stayed at. The original home of their ancestors in the heart of the colonial downtown Merida has been transormed into private casitas and surrounded by tranquil waterfalls. Our casita consisted of a king bed decorated in a Mexican Mayan flair with everything you could ask for including a good size pool and a waterfall outside the glass shower in the bathroom. Along with these luxuries came unlimited complementary cervaisas,
Catedral de San Ildefonso
Built in around 1942 the oldest church in the Americas
vino, liquour, snacks and a breakfast like none other that included fresh fruit, eggs dishes, mango yoghurt, granola, refried beans, fresh orange juice, croissants, muffins and delicious coffee. Our kind hosts Ellen (originally from New York) and her Mexican husband Wilberth were so welcoming and helpful in planning our days in Merida. It just so happened that we were the only guests at the time so had the courtyard and pool to oursleves. It was amazing!
The architecture in Merida is truly impressive. Many of the buildings and churces were built between the mid 1500's and early 1900's. Some of the building and furnishings reminded us of Louis XIV's Versaille. At any rate each structure and monument has a very interesting and unique history. Most of the sites are within wallking distance so most of our time was spent on self guided walking tours.
One day we took a city busy tour on an old remodelled school bus that had the sides cut down in order to see everything better as we passed by. The best thing was that the tour guide spoke in both Spanish and English. Another day we took a romantic horse and carriage through
the city. I really enjoyed that!
The meals and restaurants were great varying from food stands to lovely restaurants with a variety of dishes. Our most unique experience was at the Chai Maya that served authentic Mayan food which is a little different from the regular Mexican food. The hostess was dressed in a beautiful traditional Mayan costume. And in the corner was a Mayan lady rolling fresh tortillas and cooking them on a hot plate for the customers.
We really lucked out with our schedule as we arrived on a Sunday when live music and dancing take place in the Plaza Grande. It was very cool to sit at a table, sipping a margarita while watching the dancing and listening to the lively Mexican music. Everyday of the week different plazas have entertainment so there is always something happening. One of the most memorable experiencess was the Tuesday night dancing to the 1940's Mexican live music in the Plaza de Santiago. Needles to say the crowd was not the youngest but boy the local people were having fun! We joined in and had a few dances as well. Local Mexican culture at its best! We walked through
some of the markets which was an experience in itself. Everything and anything was available. We couldn't get over how cheap the leather shoes were.
Apparently there are quite a few Americans and Canadians living full time or part time in the Merida area and along the coast. The homes are very inexpensive so is a drawing card. We also met an American from Memphis who lives there full time as the climate is beneficial to his wife's heart and respiratory condition.
Anyway, our trip to Merida was fantastic. Hope you enjoy the pictures. Our winter vacation for this year has come to a close. Thanks for reading our blog.
Mallory and Warren
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