Tuesday, March 27, 2012

On The Road - 1

My older sister arrived from Michigan a few weeks ago for a month's visit. Although she had visited the island before, she has never seen any other part of Mexico. I was determined to change that and show her just a bit of what the real Mexico is like. I want her to be able to return to Michigan and tell people that Mexico is not what is depicted in the news. It is not full of gangsters waiting at every turn to behead you. Rather, it is full of tremendously polite people, colorful costumes, great and interesing food and natural wonders.

With that in mind, I planned a five day trip for us. Baby steps. I don't want to overload her system with too much that is foreign.

On Day One we set out for Izamal. One of my favorite colonial cities in the Yucatan. With its' huge convent, brillant yellow buildings, pyramid remains and personal friends of ours living there, it was the perfect first stop.

We rented a car in Cancun from the same company we always use. I have found them to be always truthful and reputable in their business dealings. Should anyone need to rent a car in Cancun, let me know and I will send you the details.

We took the freeway as far as the Izamal exit. Stopping along the way at the rest area/gas station/food court just before the Valledolid exit. There she experienced meat and cheese filled empanadas for the first time. Needless to say, she loved them.

Once in Izamal, we checked into our hotel adjacent to the town square and set out to explore a bit. I have to interject here that the police force in Izamal is the friendliest, most helpful that I have ever encountered anywhere in Mexico. They go out of their way to assist people (especially tourists) and are very helpful and informative.

Our first stop was the Convent.

Despite the evil connotations that it has for me as to how and where it was build, I love this building. The stained glass over the main entrance is a masterpiece of intricate simplicity.

The altar inside is a mini version of the one in the main cathedral in Merida.

High and elegant, it soars over the Priest and the congregation.

The statues contained in it are larger than life.

The courtyard is enclosed on all sides with these graceful arches. Walking under them is a bit of a challenge because the walkways are made of old pyramid stones. But it is shady!

I love the timber rafter ceilings and the play of light.

Some of the original frescoes have maintained a bit of color.

The buildings around the town square echo the architecture of the monastery and ring the park with arched building entrances.

Those ceiling timbers get me every time!

That first evening we visited our friends and Grandma had made a whopping helping of tamales for everybody. We sat around and chatted, laughed and helped ourselves over and over to the piles of food on the table. Once in awhile, we would even translate what was going on into English so that my sister could participate. I think she had a good time and had her eyes opened just a bit wider.


Ann said...

That's great! Glad she is enjoying her visit & you're able to show other parts of Mexico that you love!

Steve Cotton said...

I need to get the convent on the list for my next visit. I really appreciated your signature shadow photograph.

lisa said...

Sure hope you have a wonderful visit! The news sure does depict Mexico as not a nice place to visit. I think that is why I have no interest in seeing it. But I have to say in your defense you change my mind a little bit more every time I visit your blog!

KfromMichigan said...

She will come back home with wonderful stories to tell about her time in Mexico! You are a good brother!