Ted’s Travels Mexico’s Colonial Cities Part V: Puebla
Going back to Mexico and its splendid colonial heritage, I’d like to take you on to Puebla this week. A scarce hour and a half from Mexico City, Puebla has a fantastic downtown area that is sure to delight you. The city has more than 1000 colonial-era buildings adorned with ‘talavera’ (painted ceramic tiles) for which the city is famous, exquisite food, and other jaw-dropping attractions.
You can start your day by having breakfast in the main plaza. Make sure to try a ‘cemita’; a sandwich filled with shredded pork, avocado, string cheese, onion, and herbs; or the mole poblano, both traditional dishes of the area. After brekkie, make your way to the Cathedral. Legend says that this stunning building was actually meant to be Mexico City’s Cathedral, but the layouts of both churches got mixed up and now, Puebla has an astonishing building to boast about. In fact, as a bastion of Catholicisim, Puebla is the city with most churches in Mexico. On top of the Cathedral, la ‘Capilla del Rosario’ (Rosary Chapel) is gorgeously ornate and garnished with gold leaf, talavera tile, and onyx stone on the inside; standing as an example of Mexican Baroque architecture and style. Another place you must go to is the Palafoxiana Library; one of the first libraries in the American continent.
Simply walking around Puebla is a delightful experience. Explore the Sapos Plaza to browse antiques and crafts, or venture into the tunnels the Mexican army used in the Battle of Puebla against the French on 05 May, 1862. For a quaint refreshment, head to ‘La Pasita’ bar, the oldest cantina in Puebla. Although it specializes in Mexican liquors, instead of tequila and mezcal you’ll find locally made drinks such as the house’s namesake ‘pasita’: a sweet raisin liqueur that’s served with a cube of salty aged cheese and a shriveled grape on a toothpick in the glass. What a way to end the day!
Ted Dziadkiewicz is Director and Founder of Contours Travel, Australia’s longest running tour operator to Latin America. He has been more than 100 times to Latin America over the past 40 years and visited over 20 countries. If you want to know more visit www.contourstravel.com.au