Monday, June 6, 2011

Signs around Oaxaca.

Sometimes you could get to see three generation of signs in each corner, Though I do like the newest one, goes well with the city's architecture and color.
Pointing to very popular touristic sites.

And crosswalks.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Busy busy busy

Have had a very busy week, but anyway. These are the main components of a Mexican diet: Coke, beer, and salt(food). I could add tortillas and beans, but those are implied in the salt. And that beer should be changed depending on the region, to either Tecate for the north, and Pacifico for the coast.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Temple of San Felipe Neri

I was told that there is a religious tradition I believe for the Thursday on Palm week to walk to 7 churches. A tradition born in Rome, in which people walk and meditate-pray. This is a tradition hard to keep in newer cities, in which seven churches might be miles away, or small towns where there might not be enough. I unfortunately arrived on Friday that week, so I missed this tradition. It would have been a piece of cake, since there's at least around one church every 3 blocks. Easy to keep the old ways in places like these.

Also, a guide mentioned when we were visiting ruins, that the biggest and most beautiful buildings were those in which they honored their gods. He paused and said, "Well, it's no different from our days. The most beautiful and decorated buildings are still the churches." Talk about evolving as a society. Anyway, they are still in all honesty, truly majestic and beautiful.
And a little something extra. I kept seeing this decoration all around buildings and churches, and thought it was a curious thing for everyone to have a similar thing. I thought the provider sure knew how to do profit for religious weeks. It was until days later, that someone opened my eyes, and told me it was a beautifully cheap decoration: sauteed onions from a grill. Once they gained that yellow color, they peel off by layers and weave them together and just add the purple fabric. My mind was blown.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Plaza de la Danza, Church of la Soledad.

Both Plaza de la Danza, and Church of la Soledad are quite visible from the street. Hard to miss such a church and patio.

Just before going down to the church, there was the Escuela de Bellas Artes (School of Arts) Benito Juarez.
 And to promote tourism, the spots with historical importance have had this post nearby. Since 2010, people are able to call or send a text to get historical details as to the place they are currently visiting. I didn't really use the service, but I believe it was only for Mexican cellphones.
The church of la Soledad just before going down the stairs.
And here one can see the Centro Historico(Historical Center), and the School of Arts together.
Pictures of the church aren't that great, since one cannot use flash inside most of the buildings.

Since the visit was on Palm week, there were always people at churches; but since Mexico is a very religious country, it would still not be strange to see people in church during the week.

An incomplete picture of the arch from the entrance. I guess I could not help thinking back to Lord of the Rings.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ice cream in Oaxaca, Encanto y Beso Oaxaqueño

I have been quite busy moving, so I've had no time to make any posts. Now, it's all done and good. 

I'll begin by posting about ice cream in Oaxaca. I visited at a time when summer was barely beginning, and the sun's heat rays where sometimes unbearable at around midday. We were told that if we visited Plaza de la Danza, right before entering Church of la Soledad, we would be able to enjoy a variety of ice cream. With a weather reaching 40º Celsius(104 Fahrenheit), it was hard not to take a small walk. 

Walking down the plaza, you easily notice how popular it is; there are stands everywhere, each propped with tables, chairs and umbrellas. 

Sweet bread, coconut filled empanadas, sugar sprinkled cookies and cream filled scones were just the beginning of the variety that could be tasted at this small place. A little warning, there are bees everywhere, and most especially around stands similar to this one. I'm not one to complain, but I've seen others react really bad to the sight of just one nearby. They are just a common nuisance.
Before sitting down, we visited the church (I will make a post of that later), and at the exit, enjoyed a bit of fresh cut mango with lime and sprinkled chili.
This is how the stands look when you go down Plaza de la Danza, there are just so many to choose from. Not to worry though, most of them have a similar selection of ice cream.
A quick look at the menu from what one had to offer. They also allow you to have a taste if you are curious as to a certain flavor, just ask for a sample. They have either ice cream made from milk, or water; and I have to say, both are delicious.
I decided to taste Beso Oaxaqueño (Oaxacan Kiss), cream based mixed with carrots, pecans, and  apples. Encanto Oaxaqueño (Oaxacan charm) the orange one, is a mix of various fruits, I kind of forgot which; nonetheless it was exquisite. Along with Sweet, delicious and just satisfying in such a weather.
 The plates where fun, and useful to discard tasting spoons.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A gift, worthy of the gods

What is this humble man pulling out of the machine?
Why, the meal of the Gods of course!
Smashed cocoa beans, mixed with sugar, spices and lots of everything nice! This is an example of a made to order mix.

 This is the store selling Mayordomo Chocolate, comes in various flavors, and if you want, just plain chocolate (warning, much bitter than the rest) they have that too. This are crusty and breakable chocolate bricks or pastes, prepared to dissolve in water, milk, whatever you fancy. And they sell like crazy, all day busy, everyone grabbing boxes, or asking for a custom made kilo or two of chocolate just the way they like it.

 The employees giving out samples were like priests from ancient deities, showing you the power of the gods with simple spoon filled chocolate mixes.
Wondering for what flavors you could ask in your mix? Photo here shows the free samples for nut, vanilla and  cinnamon. Samples alone were finger licking good(literally, stuff melts too easily). Brought back like two boxes, and they are the best for a good morning wake-up, cold or tired evenings.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Delicious beginning

Now, what can I say.
Mourn how much I miss these delicious daily meals? Maybe, but I'll be a little more productive and describe what this beauty is.

Beside the freshly squeezed orange juice, we have the magnificent Tlayuda.

This is a large toasted tortilla with a spread of black beans, marinated juicy flank steak, avocado, cilantro, epazote(fragrant, citrus-minty leaf), the sweetest, juiciest tomatoes and the very best: Oaxacan cheese. A salty, flavorful string cheese; it's just the perfect mix of ingredients.

Now you could try and eat this like tostadas or break it off in parts(just like the newcomer I was), or as they typically take it, fold it in half and eat it.
With choices of habanero or burnt chiles sauce, I fell in love with the place from the very first day.

Hope you have a good breakfast!