This will be my last post on Merida for now. I want to eventually do a post or two on black and white in Merida, but for now I will conclude with a short post on the hotel where I stayed.
The Luz en Yucatan is the one with the gold facade. I wish I would have gotten a front-on shot but this will have to do. Looks pretty plain and unassuming, right?
This is the main hallway with rooms on both sides. This leads to the courtyard and pool on the backside of the hotel. See that little beverage table to the left? It is equipped with tequila and various liquors which are complimentary for guests. Very cool.
And here’s the courtyard and pool. A VERY relaxing area after a day of tromping around Merida. I’ve mentioned before that Merida is a concrete jungle. But it makes up for that with these little oases that are hidden in the recesses of the concrete facades.
The Luz en Yucatan is a wonderful, comfortable hotel. The pool and courtyard offer a beautiful respite from the Merida heat and the owners are very friendly. At only $50 a night, I would highly recommend it. Be aware that this is becoming a very popular hotel and they are already booked throughout much of the year, so if you’re interested, you might want to make your reservation well in advance. Another good thing is that they don’t require any kind of advance payment before you check in. You just have to pay in cash when you get there…they don’t accept credit cards. Here’s their website: Luz en Yucatan
When I was looking through my 1,000 photos, I was pretty disappointed that I hadn’t taken more pictures of food. The the ones I DID take were primarily of breakfast. I think it’s because I just snacked around on food the rest of the day after eating a big breakfast. I discovered this place which is just around the corner from the hotel where I was staying on Calle 60…about 2-1/2 blocks from the main square. “Cafeinosense”…cute name. They just opened a few months ago, so they’re in the process of gaining a clientele. I would highly recommend them and only regret that I didn’t try lunch or dinner there. Here’s what the front looks like…
I would highly recommend a visit to this fine little restaurant if you get to Merida. Everyone is extremely friendly and helpful, and they truly want to please their guests. Here’s their website: Cafeinosense
On another note, these are the Huevos Motulenos I had at the little restaurant that sits right across the street from the hotel where I stayed (Luz en Yucatan). It was good, but I have to say I liked Cafeinosense better.
For something different, I tried some pizza one day. After I’m in Mexico for a few days, I get a craving for non-Mexican food and this placed filled the bill. Put simply, this place is just a tiny little hole-in-the-wall with no frills. It’s open to the street with no air conditioning, but it was worth it.
And I had to get a shot of this from a table next to me on the square. Wow…does that look decadent or what?? Unfortunately, I never have much of a sweet tooth when I’m in Mexico, but I bet this was delicious.
I know, I know…I said my next post would be on food in Merida. But after looking through my photos again, I thought it deserved one more post on just miscellaneous stuff. I promise that my NEXT post will be on food.
There was a huge fabric store downtown…lots of pretty colors and LOTS of customers. I’m sure these contribute to the clothing and crafts sold on Sundays. Made me think of when I was young and sewed most of my clothes myself…suits, coats, jackets, everything…not to mention window treatments. I haven’t sewn anything in many, many years…other than simple hemming or repairs. I know that doesn’t have anything to do with Merida, but I thought I’d throw it out there.
This was definitely something different for me. I was in a jewelry shop and noticed this little glass container. I thought it just contained jewelry, but when I looked inside, I could see that the “jewelry” was moving around. Upon closer look, I saw that they were beetles in which jewels and chains had been glued onto their backs. (You can see one of their splindly disgusting little black legs on the right hand side of the photo in the middle.) What an original thought, right?? I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so the guy behind the counter takes one out and sets it on his shirt and the thing just hangs there not moving. You can imagine what I said when he asked me if I wanted to try it out. (I’m sure that if someone did this in the U.S., the ASPCA would be on them in a heartbeat.) Anyway, when I showed this picture to a friend, she said, “I wonder what event you would wear beetle jewelry to?” Silly girl! I responded, “To a party given by Beetlejuice, of course!” Okay…a lame attempt at humor…my apologies.
This is the church next to the hotel (Luz en Yucatan) where I stayed…I THINK it’s the Santa Lucia. Cute little church, but I wish the trees hadn’t been in the way of the bells. The bells are often the best on the churches in Mexico.
I was in a gift shop on a second floor and got another shot of one of the horse-drawn carriages. On a side note, I will be doing a post in the future of black and white photos of Merida. I felt many of the shots I took made more of a statement in black and white than in color.
An interesting fellow…I bet he has a story. I will say that most of the people you see in Merida are definitely Mexican. Since it is a large city, most of them are citizens just living their everyday lives. I actually did not notice a whole lot of Americans. Frankly, I think there were more Europeans visiting there than Americans. You definitely feel like you’re in real Mexico when you’re in Merida.
While it was interesting, most of the items inside were artifacts from Chichen Itza. Since I’ve been to Chichen Itza, I feel like I was familiar with everything and frankly would rather see them out in their natural surroundings rather than in a museum.
One of the things that impressed me most about the museum was the incredible architecture. I don’t know when the structure was built, but the detail was just amazing to me. Talk about your crown molding!
This was an inside courtyard to an art gallery I visited. It was a private home for a couple who had their gallery on the street-side of the home. Their Weimeraners look very comfortable, don’t they? I would have to say that if I lived in Merida, I would HAVE to have one of these little courtyards, preferably with a pool. The streets and house fronts are all concrete and everything feels very close and congested…and HOT! Everyone you talk to mentions how incredibly hot it gets in the summer here. I think a little oasis would be a necessity.
But, while I was there, sitting outside in the evening was very pleasant. And it is a VERY popular past time for visitors as well as residents. Merida is all about loving the city and enjoying life. You very much feel that when you’re here.
The doors in Merida are absolutely amazing. Like I said before, they’re huge…which seems kind of strange since the Mayans are pretty small people. But who am I to argue that point? I was totally impressed with the doors. The intricacy, the detail and the massiveness were very impressive. Every single door was different. When I think of the cookie-cutter subdivisions in the states where every single house looks like the next definitely doesn’t apply in Merida. At the risk of repeating myself…EVERY single door was different.
I’ll close this post with a little sweetheart who was at an outdoor art exhibit. The parents were European and while they kept an eye on her, they pretty much let her run free. She saw I was taking her picture and stopped dead in her tracks. I think maybe she’s used to having her picture taken. She was worth a few shots.
I took just over 1,000 pictures on this trip and while I’m certainly not going to post all of them, it’s hard to choose which ones to use. So, I’ve decided to just do little reports with no real subject matter. I will do a separate post on doorways because doors are literally and figuratively a HUGE thing in Merida.
Talk about an incredible background for a wedding…
Merida is truly a concrete jungle. I guess that’s why there are so many little parks that appear every few blocks. The streets are narrow, the sidewalks are narrow and the traffic is intense during the day downtown. While this street scene looks pretty quiet, you really have to be attentive to traffic and stepping into the street. Drivers are not pedestrian friendly, so be careful.
Just another illustration of how huge the windows and doors are compared to the size of human beings…
I loved the shop windows and doorways…
And everyone is SOOOOO friendly. I sat down to take a breather from all my waking on a bench on the square. This fellow sat down next to me and we had a friendly “broken” conversation. When I wanted to take his picture, he made me wait until he could put his sunglasses on so that he would look cool. Haha!
The mom happened to be behind me and when she saw that I was taking her daughter’s picture, she called out to her husband who turned around and flashed me this absolutely incredible smile. Wow…is that totally cool, or what? They proceeded to tell me how much they loved their hometown of Merida. How sweet.
I was fortunate to be in Merida on a Sunday because that’s when they have their weekly market. This is the main square in downtown Merida. As I’ve already mentioned, the architecture is amazing and it seems like everyone hangs out here just to enjoy life.
On the Saturday night before the market, they block off the streets around the square and start setting up vendor booths for the next day. Little temporary restaurants surround the square while the Mayan women continue to sell their wares.
Then we get to the beer trays on the head. I witnessed this for the first time last year when I was at Chichen Itza. I couldn’t understand (and still don’t) the whole beers on the head deal, but who am I to question tradition?
But I think this was my best picture yet. A little boy and his mom sat next to me while I was watching the dancers and I couldn’t help but notice the little guy’s shoes so I snapped a shot. Wow. Pretty cool, huh? You’d never see a little American boy wearing these.
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.
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 many shop windows…Mexicanisimo…haha!