11 Hours Later

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North America » Mexico » Michoacán » Morelia
September 3rd 2007
Published: September 14th 2007
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The start of our last trip while in Mexico was to the state of Michoacan, which some consider it to be the most beautiful state. Our first stop was to the well-preserved capital, Morelia. The historic center of Morelia was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1991. Morelia is not overly touristy, which we can be a good thing because accomodations, tours, food, etc. is even less expensive. We didn't see or hear any other non-Spanish speaking tourists while in Morelia. It is a beautiful and very traquil city and well worth the time we spent.

We left Chilpancingo in the morning for a 7 hour trip to Morelia, but instead of 7 hours it took us more than 11 hours. Needless to say, it was a very long and unexpected bus ride. At one point, due to a fair/feria, the bus was stuck in the middle of a small town and we could not turn around. That took us out way off course.

We arrived late in the evening, which may be the best time to arrive because the entire city center and it's buildings are lit up. It was a nice welcome! The next few days

This cathedral took more than a century to build (1640-1744).
we took our time and enjoyed the city. One of the highlights was visiting the DULCES MORELIA DE LA CALLE REAL, which houses a museum, candy factory and store. Michoacan is famous for it's sweets and after visiting, we know why. We needed a basket as we walked around the store choosing candy from every shelf.

My favorite candies, encountered well before this trip to Morelia, are the ates (fruit leathers), which are produced from tamarind, guyaba, mango, manzana and other fuits that have sugar, salt and sometimes chili added. I first encountered ate on the bus from Mexico City to Cuernavaca back in December of 2006.

Every state and/or city has their tradition food and we always order it. This time around I ordered the avocado topped with corn and the fungus from the corn. In Michoacan this is a delicacy and extremely popular. I was surprised to actually enjoy it, at least the first half. I left the second half for Carlos to finish. Carlos really enjoyed the sopa tarasca, which is named for the local Tarascan Indians and is made by pouring a tomato broth into a bowl over cheese, mild and fuity ancho chilies and crisp tortilla strips, followed by a garnish of Mexican - style creme fraiche. This could be the original and best version of tortilla soup.

Morelia seemed relatively safe, but Carlos witnessed a robbery while I was preoccupied acting as the photographer. A local riding around on of the main plazas snatched a gold necklace from a women. Later we saw another local on a bike and it seemed we may have been the next target. Carlos caught eyes and some looks were exchanged. We reported the two incidences to the local police and they kept guard the rest of our time there. This should deter anyone from visiting though. This can and does happen everyone...just always be on guard.

We have found the month of September to be one of the most colorful and energetic months to travel in Mexico. Every city is filled with red, white and green and lights illuminate most buildings at night in preparation for Independence Day celebration September 15.

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