Puebla and Cholula

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January 20th 2018
Published: January 20th 2018
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I arrived early to the Cathedral in the morning and waited to meet Martha and Ivan again for breakfast. There was a friendly Spanish and English teacher and tour guide who came to speak with me while I waited. He asked if I was German, as most foreigners in Puebla were German as there was a large Volkswagen factory in Puebla. We spoke for a while and he introduced his student to me so she could practice English. Martha and Ivan arrived soon after. They took me to one of their favourite spots, a local Puebla restaurant that specialises in roasted meat. They first brought out a hot broth, with a tray of toppings to add to the soup including chili, onion and chickpeas, and served a fresh fruit juice on the side.
For the main we ordered the meat and they brought fresh handmade tortilla wraps, still steaming as they had only just been made. The meat was soft, tender and juicy. It was a delicious breakfast meal and I could see why Ivan and Martha rated the restaurant so highly. Following breakfast Martha had a full list and itinerary planned for things to do and see in Puebla. Martha

House being held up by support after earthquake damage from September
only recently moved to Puebla so still hadn’t been to many of the local attractions. We started by getting some ice cream with chili for desert in the centre and visiting the local street markets. There were many antiques, most of which were from US, or other countries.
We visited a small museum and tunnel which was a passageway under the city, with bridges underground that used to be the main route to cross the river between the Spanish colonial side and the indigenous native side of the river. It was nice to learn about the history, and the passageway also showed details about Mexico’s independence and wars with the French. There was another longer tunnel around a 20 minute walk away, so we visited that also, and spent more time walking through the city.
Ivan and Martha knew about a great place to get views over Puebla, so we drove towards the viewpoint. It was beside a Government building. The roads were all closed off and there were many military vehicles traveling through the streets. A local told us that there was a big event on at the building and so all of the surrounding streets were closed. Ivan and Martha wanted to take me to a place where they lived, just on the outskirts of Puebla, a place called Cholula. They had a large pyramid, which the Spanish built a grand church on top of. Inside the church everything was golden and gold plated. It was impressive to see such a great display of wealth, even for a Catholic Church. From the top of the buried pyramid there were views over the south of the city and new buildings in Puebla and the active volcano which was spitting smoke. On the way back down to Cholula’s main square we watched a local cultural show. Five people climbed a tall pole, one remained at the top playing a flute while the four others tied ropes and were swinging down slowly in unison in a circle like the flying chairs ride. They eventually unwound to the bottom and touched down on the ground. Martha and Ivan explained that it was a local culturally activity from another region of Mexico. Great to witness it. We descended further down to the Main Street and square. It was beautiful and there were a lot of people, most of which looked like visitors. We ate in the square. I got some delicious tacos, and then we left back towards Puebla. Ivan dropped me off at a local book shop to purchase tickets to the spectacular folkloric Mexican ballet in Mexico City to make sure I’d be able to go. It was next to another of Puebla’s attractions and the final thing we would see in Puebla - a large Ferris wheel. Martha joked that we were going on the Puebla eye, in reference to the London that she went on during her stay in London. We got there just after sunset, so got a great display of colours and once again a great view of the volcano and city. Ivan asked me what I wanted to eat while in Mexico and I said that I really enjoyed tacos. They drove me to a taco place they liked, a chain but they made really tasty tacos. It was a great last meal in Puebla, as we sat in a canteen decorated as a bus - even with the bell to stop the bus.
We returned to Ivan’s house for a final chat with Ivan’s parents, and I thanked them for their hospitality, kindness and recommendations

Me, Ivan and Martha on the Ferris wheel in Puebla
for what I should do and see in Mexico City. Martha and Ivan drove me back to my hostel and we said our goodbyes. It was a fantastic time in Puebla, and great to see Martha again and to spend time with her and her husband Ivan.

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22nd January 2018

Beautiful architecture.

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