Does travel make you more creative? More compassionate?Yes, if you travel with those intentions.
This was a city that Nuria had not been to before, and it had been recommended to her by some friends. There are a few universities there, and had a college town feel. Though it seemed on the surface to have little more than that, we had such an incredible time there, after all. The hotel (Meson de Alferez) was a cute, colonial style house. One that used to be a rich person's house (there's history to it), and now a hotel. My bed was in a loft and the stairs were kind of tricky, but it was so quaint and comfortable, I forgave the stairs. There is a great restaurant there and continental breakfast is included in the hotel rate, but if you want a fancier breakfast, they apply the cost of the continental, so you get a discount. Really good breakfast here.
We walked around the town in the morning, and then headed for the Museo Anthropololgia in time to get out of a heavy downpour. It was an incredible museum of the Olmec people. I was amazed and captivated by the many aspects of this culture. Here are a few photos.
We made it to a concert held at a community center. Wonderful music and dancing. I was asked to dance, and I wish I knew how, but I tried my best to salsa and had fun. (No photos yet).
Nuria tells me this is the typical dress of the men in this area (Vera Cruz). They were so lovely.
There was a restaurant that Nuria wanted to go to for dinner, Parroquia. It is known in Vera Cruz and has several locations, one was in the heart of Xalapa. We were on our way there from our hotel when we starting hearing some chanting and singing, music, and then we saw lots of bare brown bodies, I would say hundreds, on the steps and grounds in front of the church in the Zocalo. It was such a joyous sight, but we had stumbled on a huge political protest. Mostly men were in their underwear, dancing! The church is located across from the main government building, so their protests were directed at them. They said they represented 400 towns. I was just amazed at the unity there, how committed they were to each other to all stand up to be recognized. I'm going to assume that the man they are wearing in their shorts is some kind of politician they are directing their ire at.
Dinner at Parroquia was great. We shared an appetizer, had soups, and shared an appetizer. The entree was huge, so it was a good thing we shared. I only know my soup was Sopa Azteca (tortilla soup) and the entree was some kind of seafood casserole. We were stuffed. Note to self: take pictures of the menu so that you will be able to say what you ate.
So that was our two days in Xalapa. Eventful!
I have traveled quite a bit, and am using this page to record some memories. Travel is a wonderful education, expanding your view of the world, of other cultures, of the beauty of diversity.