Because there is just not enough fun stuff to see where we live (that is sarcasm, by the way) we decided to explore the beautiful city of Merida.
As the state and regional capital, Mérida is a cultural center, featuring multiple museums, art galleries, restaurants, movie theatres and shops. Mérida retains an abundance of beautiful colonial buildings and is a vibrant cultural center with music and dancing playing an important part in day-to-day life. At the same time it is a modern city boasting a comprehensive range of shopping malls, auto dealerships, top quality hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities. The famous avenue, Paseo de Montejo, is lined with original sculpture.
Merida is truly a beautiful city.
I loved looking at the beauty of these 500 year old buildings. I liked seeing the past preserved in the colors and styles of the architecture. I could see the pride of the old portrayed in murals and the feel of culture in the music that filled the streets. Plus, it is a bustling city -and I always enjoy being in a city for a visit.
I can see why people who have lived along the Cancun or Playa del Carmen area decide to move here. This has much more of the “Mexican” feel of living in Mexico.
We heard there is a zoo here and had to check it out. Zoos here are a different experience. You are much closer to the animals -it’s almost scary how they are close enough for you to touch. I do not enjoy seeing animals in small enclosures but still, to be able to see them so close is amazing. I think I could live forever and never ever tire of watching different animals.
It’ll take a lot more to pull me away from the ocean though. So, no worries. We’ll be here in Playa del Carmen for a while.
As you look at the pictures you will see the beautifully restored buildings alongside the crumbly old buildings. It takes a lot more than a fresh coat of paint to spiff them up. Keep in mind that what you see is very very old.
Enjoy our little photo tour and when you are finished, please tell me what your favorite shot is. 🙂
The church that presides over the town plaza is hundreds of years old and quite imposing looking. There are always several beggars sitting in the doorway.
The age and architecture of this building makes it one of the most important historical structures in the peninsula. Built with the stones from the pyramids of Mayan city Called T’ho, now Mérida, it is the first cathedral built in North America. Its construction began in 1561 and was finished in 1598. The original name of the cathedral is San Idelfonso.
Here is the Casa de Montejo. It is now a bank and museum. Kelley and I went inside the humungous double doors to peek. I love the look of old wood and hardware.
This building construction began in 1543. This is the oldest structure in Mérida. The plateresque portico is perhaps the most beautiful in North America. The house was occupied by the Spanish governor and founder of Mérida, Don Francisco de Montejo El Mozo.
Nighttime is also exciting. There is live music everywhere, the clip-pity clop of the horses pulling carriages along the street, vendors with all kinds of hand made items, and little food stands that line the walkway of the plaza. There was even a guy with a telescope set up that you could look through -for 10 pesos, of course. The old buildings look different in the night.
Austin had several guys trying to sell him cigars -we thought that was funny.
We had a delicious treat that is a mix between a crepe and a waffle. While it is still on the griddle it is spread with nutella and caramel and then rolled and served. Austin is a huge fan of Marquesitas.
The streets get closed at night to car traffic and the restaurants set up tables and there is music and dancing in the streets.
We were admiring the outside of the Opera house and the police man outside took us on a little tour and we were able to see the inside of this beautiful building. It was built in 1909 and currently is the home to the Merida symphony.
The best part? Was walking across the plaza to see several hundred people -locals and visitors- dancing in front of the main city hall. This is not for a special occasion but happens each week.
OK, so which picture is your favorite?