Search for  Merida  found 18 posts
Order: Newest / Oldest / A to Z / Z to A
 
 
Oct 26, 2018, Friday
Going for Pizza    Merida Mexico  
Oct 26, 2018, Friday
Oct 27, 2018, Saturday
Merida dia uno    Merida Mexico  
Oct 27, 2018, Saturday
Oct 28, 2018, Sunday
Acclimatizing    Merida Mexico  
Oct 28, 2018, Sunday
Oct 29, 2018, Monday
Our house in Merida    Merida Mexico  
Oct 29, 2018, Monday
Oct 30, 2018, Tuesday
Making tortillas    Merida Mexico  
Oct 30, 2018, Tuesday
Oct 31, 2018, Wednesday
Oct 31, 2018, Wednesday
Nov 1, 2018, Thursday
Grasshoppers    Merida Mexico  
Nov 1, 2018, Thursday
Nov 2, 2018, Friday
Nov 2, 2018, Friday
Nov 3, 2018, Saturday
A rainy day    Merida Mexico  
Nov 3, 2018, Saturday
Nov 4, 2018, Sunday
Around Merida    Merida Mexico  
Nov 4, 2018, Sunday
Nov 19, 2018, Monday
Eighteen beetles    Cars, SMA, Mexico, Merida  
Nov 19, 2018, Monday
Nov 25, 2018, Sunday
Nov 25, 2018, Sunday
Nov 27, 2018, Tuesday
Direccion de Cultura    Merida Mexico  
Nov 27, 2018, Tuesday
Nov 28, 2018, Wednesday
Catedral de Merida    Merida Mexico  
Nov 28, 2018, Wednesday
Nov 29, 2018, Thursday
Nov 29, 2018, Thursday
Nov 30, 2018, Friday
Music on the Paseo    Merida Mexico  
Nov 30, 2018, Friday
Dec 3, 2018, Monday
Fixer upper    Mexico, Merida  
Dec 3, 2018, Monday
Dec 8, 2018, Saturday
Cops in a leaf    Merida Mexico  
Dec 8, 2018, Saturday
 
 
 

Going for Pizza

 
October 26, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 

Drop Lucy at the dog resort. Pick up rental car at airport. Drive home. Drive back to airport. Wait at YYJ for flight to Vancouver. 15-minute flight is 1 hour late. Wait hours at YVR for flight to Mexico City. Five hour flight. Aeromexico serves light meal an hour in, at midnight, but nothing, not even coffee, before landing. Encounter a thousand people ahead of us in line for passport control. Take anti-stress pill. (Hey, I made it through two flights without one.) Wait hours at MEX for flight to Merida. 90-minute flight to Merida. Taxi to house in central town. Struggle with complicated door locks. Survey the colourful house. Take nap. Walk to store to buy drinking water (not needed, later we find the casa has potable water). Walk to restaurant to order pizza. Wait for pizza. Take picture of passing horse-drawn carriage. Carry dinner to house on Calle 54.

¡Finalmente, nosotros comemos pizza en Mexico!

 
 
 
Horse-drawn carriage      

I shot this while waiting for our pizza. Wish I'd crouched and panned and maybe shortened the shutter, but I wasn't thinking much about technique, I was tired, sweaty (it's the Yucatan), and hungry, I'd not eaten all day.

As to the photo, there are lots of horse-drawn carriages on Merida's streets and while I like the clop clop clop soundtrack of the horse hooves on stone I don't know quite what to think about this, the horse-drawn carriage thing. Is it bad for the horse? Does it enjoy pulling a carriage in car traffic, or would it rather be out eating grass? I'd guess the latter so I won't encourage the practice but I will take the occasional picture.

 
Horse drawn carriage      
jamesgaston.ca/1159
 
 

Merida dia uno

 
October 27, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 

After a good sleep we woke refreshed and spent the day exploring the town and picking up some groceries. We passed through the city's main square, Plaza Grande, where we caught a glimpse of the cathedral. We also saw a lot of colourful buildings along our way.

We looked at a couple of artisan markets featuring colourful items, many with a Dia de Muertos theme. We especially liked the wood and ceramic masks. Then, waiting at a traffic light, a fellow talked us into checking out another market, which seemed fine at first, except he quickly handed us off to another fellow who clearly wanted to see us take home some art by the end of the day. The whole experience soon began to remind me of a Ephesus carpet salesman who used everything from Van cats and flirts to get us into his store in hope of sending us home with a Turkish carpet. In both cases the salesmen were disappointed as we didn't buy anything.

For dinner we went to a neighborhood Mexican restaurant/bar that features botanero, which is like a Mexican version of tapas. In addition to our entrees Paul ordered a beer, and the beer order came with a tableful of small plates of food. When the waitress brought our order we thought she had the wrong table, it was so much food.

 
 
 
Cathedral de Merida      
 
Colourful      
 
Mural      
jamesgaston.ca/1166
 
 

Acclimatizing

 
October 28, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 

This morning we had breakfast at a cafe on the Paseo de Montejo, a wide boulevard which was closed to traffic for bicycles, what they call Bici-Ruta and held every Sunday. There were bicycles (and bicyclists) of all shapes and sizes, tandems, tricycles, chrome cruisers, covered 4-wheelers, even a bathtub-like bike. Lots of families and lots of dogs being walked, too. Accompanying this was very good live jazz music.

Later in the day we were on the main square which was turned into a market. On one side of the square there was more live music with lots of dancing going on. I'm really liking the music.

 
 
 
Casa de la Juridical Culture      
 
Dancing on the square      
Any reason for a party in Plaza Grande.
 
Paul at the new Palacio de la Musica      
The recently-completed Palacio de la Música in the Centro Histórico features a concert hall, museum, recording studios, and an academic program for popular and traditional Mexican music.
 
Salmon colored building      
 
Merida sign, Plaza Grande      
jamesgaston.ca/1168
 
 

Our house in Merida

 
October 29, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 
Our house

Like most homes in Merida, our place, which is called Casa Iguana1, is flush to a narrow sidewalk with little street presence, just a door and a window. At least ours has some colour.

But inside is a different story. It's largely stone and polished cement, with tall ceilings, colourful art, attractive though not-very-comfortable furniture, and a swimming pool. In the unlikely event one wants to cook a complex meal, the kitchen is well equipped. There's potable water, laundry, built-in barbeque, three giant flatscreens, and what appears to be every television service on the planet.

The location is convenient though it is noisy late into the morning, especially on weekends and the days before weekends. A morning cappuccino is from a cafe within a minute's walk, and there are four delicious and trendy restaurants (grasshopper guacamole, anyone?) just as close. Merida's central square is about seven blocks walk.

1TripAdvisor listing for Casa Iguana .

 
 
 
Living room and kitchen      
The 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house is well equipped, well located, and has a nice layout. The courtyard separates the kitchen and living room from the bedroom wing, so one person can stay up and watch tv while another sleeps. Each bedroom, nicely separated on different floors, has a large bathroom.
 
Casa Iguana      
 
Pool and bedroom wing      
jamesgaston.ca/1170
 
 

Making tortillas

 
October 30, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 
 
Making tortillas, La Chaya Maya      
I enjoyed my Yucatan food, especially the pibil, a spicy pork cooked in a hole.
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1174
 
 

First impressions of Merida

 
October 31, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 

Merida didn't make a great first impression on me. It was like when our bus entered Atacama after crossing the Andes, I looked around and asked myself why am I here? I certainly didn't entertain my usual traveling thought, would I want to live here? But I have learned to give it time, to acknowledge first impressions but not hold them too tight.

It started as the plane appoached. Merida is tabletop flat, its roads ruler straight. Then there's the heat and humidity, it's not Bali but I was soon sweaty, even in my poly pros. And close up it's no better: most blocks look the same, a row of low, disheveled cement buildings punctuated by the occasional gentrified home, the narrow crumbling sidewalks, and the rusty collectivos spewing brown exhaust.

But my attitude is evolving. The Meridians are super friendly, even to gringos like me. The sidewalks may be uneven but there's little trash laying about. The drivers, while lacking Canadians' fervent respect for pedestrian crosswalks, stay in their lanes and stop at red lights. And the colours of the buildings and the details in their facades are helping to win me over.

 
 
 
One of many bugs in Merida      
 
Colourful block      
jamesgaston.ca/1175
 
 

Grasshoppers

 
November 1, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 
 
Love the blue      
 
It's pibil time      
Pibil is the name of a dish of meat marinated then wrapped in banana leaves, placed in a pit over hot coals, and then covered and let to cook.
 
Mural at Catrin      
The large mural is behind the bar on the patio at Catrin, a restaurant that backs up to our house. Their grasshopper guacamole --- yep, real grasshoppers --- is very good.
 
Festival goers      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1177
 
 

Three yellows and a pink

 
November 2, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 

We were drawn to Merida by a TV show, believe it or not; it introduced us to the local architecture. And it has certainly lived up to expectations. Lots of often-colourful old buildings fronting beautiful interiors with lush inner courtyards. This design language combines street-level privacy with a gradual reveal and then surprise as one enters a building. I like it.

We found our house, which follows this design, via Trip Advisor and we're happy with it. The one hiccup, no propane, was quickly addressed by the property manager. The gas company arrived the next morning and a plumber came soon after to re-light the pilots. You really appreciate hot water when you don't have it.

We are steps from several elegant restaurants, Oliva Enoteca for Italian, 130 Degrees for steak, Micaela Mar for seafood (ate there last night, excellent), Catrin for Mexican, Latte Quatro Setta for lattes and fresh pastry, and La Morena, a high end food court/bar. Wouldn't be surprised if there are more, hiding behind the stone and cement facades.

But there's one unfixable issue with the house and that's noise. It turns out at least two, Catrin and La Morena, have live music until the wee hours. And it's outdoors, in their courtyards. It's great music, but it is loud and some nights, like last night, we decided to close the windows and turn on the a/c just to get some sleep. Yeah, I know, first world problem. Now I understand why a few properties around here have hung signs saying "Basta de ruido. Queremos dormir. Necesitamos solucion hoy." So, it's a great neighborhod for our short visit, maybe not so much for a long term stay.

 
 
 
Anthropology museum      
Would have liked to see the inside of this museum, but unfortunately it's closed due to a change in exhibits.
 
Parroquia Catholic church      
 
Yellow building on Paseo de Montejo      
 
Pink building      
jamesgaston.ca/1178
 
 

A rainy day

 
November 3, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 

 
 
 
Paul & Noema & purple building      
 
Universidad de Yucatan      
 
Paul & Noema      
 
Noema      
jamesgaston.ca/1179
 
 

Around Merida

 
November 4, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 
 
Anthropology museum      
We ubered out to the new anthropology museum, which is well done though the exhibit space was pretty small.
 
Stopping for a treat      
 
Noema and Paul waiting for their marquesitas      
 
Dancers      
 

Walking down the street, just a couple blocks from our house, we bumped into a dance exhibit. The music and face paint was inspired by dia de muertos.

 
jamesgaston.ca/1180
 
 

Eighteen beetles

 
November 19, 2018   Cars, SMA, Mexico, Merida
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1212
 
 

Casa de la Cultura Juridica

 
November 25, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 

I couldn't step back far enough to get this whole building, Merida's Casa de la Cultura Juridica, into one shot. The street, calle 59, is just too narrow (and I'd left my 12mm at home). So I took three shots to stitch later. Here they are, one stitched using Microsoft's ICE, another with Lightroom.

 
 
 
Casa de la Cultura Juridica w/ICE      
The ICE-stitched panorama is better to my eyes, it shows less distortion, though the distortion is certainly there when you look for it.
 
Casa de la Cultura Juridica w/LR      
Lightroom makes no attempt to straighten the building, not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just a different approach.
jamesgaston.ca/1232
 
 
 
Direccion de Cultura      
 
Google streetview   Direccion de Cultura (Streetview)      
 
 

Direccion de Cultura

 
November 27, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 

The pink Direccion de Cultura is wonderful to look at. Just compare it to the drab, grey building in the second photo, the screen grab from Google Streetview. Yes, it's the same building. And it gets better. While standing in front of the Direccion all you have to do is turn around and you find yourself facing the beautiful blue Casa de la Cultura Juridica.

 
jamesgaston.ca/1236
 
 
 
Catedral de Merida      
 
 

Catedral de Merida

 
November 28, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 

The Catedral de Merida was completed in 1598. It's the first cathedral on mainland north America.

 
jamesgaston.ca/1237
 
 

Cappuccino and the Champs-Elysees, Merida style

 
November 29, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 
 
Latte Quatro Sette on calle 47      

My first stop most mornings in Merida. Just steps away, my only complaint was they opened late, 8am. (I should have appreciated it, in San Miguel it was 9.) The same two ladies greeted me every morning, I usually got a latte for $55 or a cappuccino for $45. Sometimes a biscotti or cookie. Supposedly under same ownership as the excellent Oliva restaurant a few doors down. There's a lot of good eats on calle 47.

 
Paseo de Montejo      
Walk a couple of short blocks on calle 47 and you meet the Paseo de Montejo. Envisioned as Merida's Champs-Elysees, the Paseo is a tree-lined boulevard with wide sidewalks and some lovely buildings. There are also several restaurants, a chocolate museum and store (I enjoyed the chocolate), and several places to eat. It's a little sleepy most times, I don't think Paris has any need to worry, but it is lively on Sunday mornings.
 
 
jamesgaston.ca/1239
 
 
 
Music with our brunch      
 
 

Music on the Paseo

 
November 30, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 

Paul, Noema and I had Sunday brunch at a cafe on the Paseo de Montejo and while we ate we were entertained by a jazz ensemble playing classics from the likes of Brubeck and Coltrane.

 
jamesgaston.ca/1238
 
 
 
Merida fixer upper      
 
 

Fixer upper

 
December 3, 2018   Mexico, Merida
 
 

It didn't surprise me when walking around Merida I felt the desire to buy a fixer upper because the town first caught our eye on one of those house-renovation shows. Sure enough, Merida has many tempting properties, from fixer uppers like this to finished places like our rental, Casa Iguana. And the properties only got more tempting in San Miguel.

 
jamesgaston.ca/1246
 
 

Cops in a leaf

 
December 8, 2018   Merida, Mexico
 
 
 
Merida cop      
Merida cops use a variety of transportation, SUVs, pickups, horses, even a Leaf.
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1259