My little adventures south of the border.

Welcome to Merida…

I spent four days in Merida during Spring Break.  The biggest city I’ve ever been to so far in Mexico is Valladolid which seems pretty small compared to Merida.  According to Wikipedia, “Mérida has been nicknamed ‘The White City’, though the exact origin of this moniker is not clear. Some explanations include the common color of its old buildings painted and decorated with ‘cal’ (though anyone visiting modern Mérida can see that buildings are not all white nowadays) or the fact that the residents keep the city particularly clean. Mérida was named after the Spanish town of the same name, originally (in Latin) Augusta Emerita.”

It’s been awhile since I lived in a big city.  I’ve lived in St. Louis, Minneapolis, Dallas, New Orleans, and Washington DC.  But for the last 12 years, I’ve lived in the burbs or smaller towns.  I had forgotten how impressive old architecture can be.  Downtown Merida is extremely congested in that all the homes and businesses are connected in one continuous building along each block.  The sidewalks and streets are narrow so you can feel very enclosed when you’re walking around.  The traffic is VERY heavy in the downtown area and drivers are not pedestrian-friendly, so you have to be careful and attentive when stepping off a curb.

I took so many photos when I was in Merida, that I didn’t know where to start in posting them.  The first thing that made an impression was the architecture.  I live in a large town in Texas where the architecture is not that impressive, so when I started walking around in Merida, it was difficult not to be blown away by the details and massiveness.  This was the first church I came upon…the Iglesia Tercera Orden…

And while I was very impressed with it, it didn’t come close to the Catedral de Merida.  When you cross the street and see this, it’s just amazing.

This is the backside of the church from the block behind.

A view of one of the sides of the church…

Going on to more architecture, the details are amazing and can be seen from many vantage points…

There are so many different kinds of statues and carvings…

This is the de la Revolucion which is between the Catedral de Merida and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Arteneo de Yucatan.

And the Palacio Municipal de Santa Elena.  This and the Catedral de Merida are located on the main square downtown.

This is the walkway in front of the Palacio de Gobierno which is also on the square…

This is a side window to the Catedral de Merida…

They have little “squares” on side streets, as well.  This one was next to the Iglesia Tercera Orden…

Which is where I took this picture.  Families are very prominent here…there are many children…

There were MANY Mayan women and girls selling their wares.  I enjoyed seeing them having a moment to themselves and taking a break from their sales.

These were a couple of instrumentalists playing near the restaurant where I was eating.  One thing I didn’t like about Merida is that instrumentalists would play without asking if you wanted to hear something…then pass around a hat for tips whether you wanted them to play or not.

I liked the horse-drawn carriages although I didn’t ride in one.  This one even had a headless horse!

Haha…I kid.

I liked the contrast of the colors of the wall and the hammocks here…

And here…

You never would have guessed they’re above this…

I’ve never eaten at a Burger King even remotely like this before.  (And, no…I didn’t eat at this one, either.)

I liked the many shop windows…Mexicanisimo…haha!


I thought this was an interesting study in reflections.  This window had a display of amethysts…but the street scene is a reflection in the window.

Ice cream shop on the square…

I saw these frequently on the square.  I wonder if it’s because Isla Mujeres needs the business??

Muy bueno guacamole dip and pico de gallo…

And cochinita pibil, of course.  The flavor was great…

This woman was begging without selling anything.  She just sat on the street with a shawl over her.  This reminded me of the begging women I saw in Nuevo Progreso.

My last picture for this post…but many more to come.  Merida has many, many photo opportunities ranging from architecture to festivals to culture, etc.  Stay tuned…

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3 responses

  1. Ann

    Great report & photos, Deb! I hope someday we will travel around MX a little–hasn’t been in the cards yet! I love all the old architecture–only thing I’ve ever seen that compares at all is the Boston Public Library-I’ll have to dig out a few pictures.

    March 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm

  2. allthingsarial

    Yay! So glad you have new photos to share. Enjoyed this post!

    March 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm

  3. Lovely pictures. I really like that one bright green wall and the pic of the people and the pay phone next to the church. It really puts into perspective how massive that wall and window are! And of course, the headless horse gave me a chuckle.

    The window reflection pics were very cool! Enjoying your blog.

    March 24, 2011 at 3:33 pm

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