The Carquinez Strait at low tide. View from Benicia in Northern California, the place I’m lucky enough to call home.
Since it’s Sunday, and since it’s serendipitously the start of a new year, and holiday of sorts, I felt it right to set off on the right foot here on my blog. On my recent trip to Merida, I was lucky enough to travel around on day trips, not too far from Merida proper. I very much fell in love with the little beach town of San Crisanto, it couldn’t have a population over 500. Wait, I just googled the population and in 2020 the population was 605.
The small and cozy feel of this town, with streets of sand , harkens back to simpler times.
What is worrisome is construction down the highway of condos and vacation homes. Progress can’t be stopped, but sometimes in cases such as this, I wish the old could remain as is.
It was absolutely lovely to wander around and see a simpler life.
These little beach towns in Mexico always keep a little piece of my heart.
Hasta luego. And Happy New Year.
Another year ending. I ripped December off the book this morning and wadded up the last page of 2022 even though there’s a couple of days left, but then I pulled it back out of the wastebasket under my desk, smoothing out that last page just a bit, and putting it down on top of 2023. I sit and set intentions for the coming year, noticing that there are a lot of pages to look ahead to filling.
Looking forward to all the tomorrows given to me to fill with travel, photography, art, and joy.
May we all find peace and love. Happy New Year.
Benicia, in Northern California, on the Carquinez Strait. Home. As I age, there is nothing more important to me than home and family at the holidays. Hoping everyone has had some semblance of peace, and a lot of love.
Making my holidays simple, but filled with the joy of family and friends. Not too much needed other than love.
The Sunday Traveler visited Merida in late September this year, a first for me in this part of Mexico, Yucatán. Merida is so much more than I had anticipated; the capital of the state of Yucatán, with a population of a little over one million people.
No sleepy little fishing village here, but a vibrant, bustling community of food, art, museums and shopping.
It was delightful to walk around the downtown’s main boulevard and stop in at a street cafe for nourishment. And to watch the street scene.
Merida has some beautifully old buildings, especially here on the Main Street
You’ll notice the palm trees. Merida is very tropical, was very hot and humid while I was here, and is said to improve slightly in the winter months when the temperature might plummet into the 70s during the day. Merida is twenty two miles inland from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Next up I’ll focus a bit more on downtown, the cathedral, and a bit on the food. In the meantime, I hope you all have a good holiday.
The Sunday Traveler visited Izamal in Yucatán this last late September/early October while visiting family in Merida. Izamal is forty five miles from Merida, and an easy drive for a day trip. The Yellow Town, with pretty much all the buildings painted yellow. It’s thought this is because the town was all spruced up for a visit by Pope John Paul in 1993, or it is also thought it was painted yellow to honor the Maya sun god.
Yup, sure enough, the hotel on the main plaza is yellow. And what a lovely little hotel this is; we went in to look around and escape the heat for a little while.
After a little snack and cold drink we headed out to check out a convent, Convento de San Antonio de Padua that is just across the plaza from the hotel.
Most of Yucatán is flat, but there are several little hills in Izamal. The hill the convento is built on is a Mayan pyramid that the Spanish leveled into a terrace. After trekking up the hill to the convent, I found that it was not open… or at least the main convent itself was closed. As I leaned on a gate to a courtyard leading to the main doors, trying to angle my camera through the bars to take photos of the little courtyard, the gate gave way and I fell in. Ta da! MacGyver, eat your heart out.
After this little escapade I wandered around the plaza for another absolutely wonderful day.
Hasta luego. Until next time.
In the mercado of downtown Merida.
In Yucatán there are words and names of places that do not roll easily off the tongue. Dzibilchaltun is one of them. A Maya archeological site of ruins about ten miles north of Merida, the state capital.
The main structure, that shown above, is the Temple of Seven Dolls, found on site when the temple was discovered under the ruins of a later pyramid being excavated by archeologists in the 1950’s.
During the vernal equinox the site is crowded with people to see the sunrise that comes directly on center through the doorway. It is not certain that the temple’s construction was done with this in mind.
Certain other things did catch my eye as far as the way things were laid out, such as this monolith that seems to be aligned with the temple’s doorway. Was this of significance? It wasn’t explained out on the grounds in the form of any plaques or signage of any kind. There is a museum at the entrance/exit of the site that might have provided more information, but it was closed at the time of my visit due to COVID restrictions.
There were a few more crumbling pieces of ruins on this site, but this piece of a 16th century Spanish church built after the conquest was by far the largest still standing here at Dzibilchaltun after the temple itself.
A small site of ruins in Yucatán off the beaten path, and I have to wonder how many more such as this remain undiscovered.
More from Yucatán coming up soon. Until then, travel on.