While on my way to Guatemala earlier this year, I had a seven hour layover in Mexico City. No stranger to the place, I knew exactly where I’d happily while away time – the leafy neighborhood of Colonial Condesa.Read More
Morelia is the crown jewel among colonial cities in Mexico and its charm and authenticity are unparalleled. It used to be called Valladolid until 1828, after which the name was changed to Morelia in honor of José María Morelos, revolutionary priest turned soldier and one of the heroes of the Mexican War of Independence. For what its worth, doesn't the name Valladolid have more of a timeless romantic ring to it? I spent four days in Morelia recently and having returned to the rigmarole of corporate life, greatly miss its grand architecture, open plazas, and countless cafes to while away time at. This city isn't for those looking to tread on the hackneyed tourist trails consisting of a rollicking nightlife, casinos, eclectic cuisine and mixed drinks with pretty umbrellas. But one will find plenty of delight in experiencing Morelia's languid pace of life, steeped in culture and history amidst a splendid tapestry of colonial structures.Read More
If you have the better part of a day to spare during your stay in Morelia, I highly recommend a jaunt to a few of the towns and villages that dot the Michoacán tourist trail with Pátzcuaro, Isla Janitzio and Quiroga being some of the more popular ones. While visiting all these three in a single day could be a stretch if like myself, you’re pinching pennies and using public transportation every step of the way. However, checking off two is very much doable.
I let Pedro, one of the student workers at my Morelia hostel break the tie between Quiroga, allegedly a Mecca for those looking for handicrafts, and Pátzcuaro, known to be a more wholesome town. Pedro preferred Pátzcuaro and thus that’s where I decided to go, in addition to Isla Janitzio. So on an appointed day of my choosing, which as of writing this was only a few day ago (..nostalgia..sigh..), the hostel proprietress named Laura, an incredibly kind lady poured over the map of Morelia marking crosses for places where I could take coletivos (i.e. mini buses) to commence my day trip.Read More
Taxco (tass-ko in phonetic English or तास-को in Hindi) is a sleepy colonial town in the state of Guerrero, a two and a half hour bus ride from Mexico City. Sandwiched among several hills, the terrain here is steep so you're bound to get a good workout while exploring the town. Seriously, don't forget your running shoes if you do plan to visit!
White houses with orange terracotta tiled roofs dot the hills which make the town look exceedingly picturesque. Taxco used to be an important center for silver mining in the country however today main economic activities that sustain the town are silverware and tourism. In talking with Uber drivers in Mexico City, I also learnt that Taxco is a popular weekend destination for city dwellers looking for a quick escape from the hustle bustle.
As I was wrapping up work one hot Thursday evening, a colleague passing by my desk raised an eyebrow seeing a travel backpack resting by the chair. Before any questions ensued, I volunteered,
"I'm taking Friday off and going to Mexico City for the extended weekend."
"Do you speak Spanish? Have you been there before?"
"You're crazy. Plus it is super unsafe. Don't go dude."
"Really? Have you been there, Ben?"
"Oh. Of course not."Read More