Saturday, May 11, 2024

Day Trip To Cholula With A Stop In Atlixco

We returned to Monterrey on Sunday.  It was an early flight but not at 6 a.m. like when we went to Puebla.  8:30 is a good time, I called for an Uber and it arrived at 6:30 and we were at the airport at 7:15.  Perfect timing although we had a short 40-minute flight delay.  No big deal and we arrived before 10 a.m., the shuttle to the parking was waiting for us and we were home by 11:30.  It's over 60 km from the airport to the quinta.  Sunday was a down day.

After we found out that Harvest Host was leaving Mexico, I posted on a Facebook rv group that we would still receive guests requesting via Messenger or email.  We had a couple come on Tuesday and they stayed two nights.  Worst night ever because of the extreme heat.  We hit 42C, then 44C, and today (Friday) 45C.  We are waiting for a short rain in the next hours.  

A nice couple from Canada who are retired and own a home in Melaque.  They winter there and now have a small travel trailer.  They asked for posada and we are always glad to have guests.  They have a wonderful dog named Chile, and we would take her any time.  She is so sweet and gentle and loves to play.

Now to our trip to Cholula.  An interesting tour and I'm glad we didn't attempt to take buses.  It was very reasonable, 350 pesos per person.  It was a nice air-conditioned van and a group of 12 people.  I mentioned in the last post we had a person from Bulgaria and I translated for the guide. 

Our first stop was Atlixco.  It was kind of a back-and-forth versus a round trip.  Puebla is a huge city; most people see the colonial side of town and the centro historico.  The modern side of the city is skyscrapers and new home developments.  Many people from Mexico City have moved to Puebla because of the earthquake.  6 million people live there so it's another Monterrey.

Atlixco sits at the foot of the Popocotipetl volcano and is a town that produces flowers of all kinds.  I would call it the flower industry of the south with Ensenada and the Valle de Guadalupe being the northern center of production.  

San Francisco de Acatepec is a church covered in talavera and clay tiles.  You can see some of the columns are inverted triangles.  Those represent human beings and distinguish the difference between the statues of the saints that adorn the facade of the church.  This church is not part of a diocese which is very uncommon in the world.  It makes its own rules and does not receive funding from the diocese or the Vatican.  BTW, talavera gets its name from the town of Talavera in the province of Toledo in Spain.

La Merced Church was built in the 1700s.  The town was founded in 1579.  I have been reading about the world population in the last few weeks.  Imagine, the world didn't hit 1 billion people until around 1800.  The other 7 billion has taken place in the last 225 years.  So when the conquest of Mexico took place the world had less than 450 million people.  How did all of the exploration and movement take place, especially without technology? Things are pretty much the same except for electricity, clean water, and technology.  Houses are still built the same, the Romans had running water and sewage.  Just saying.

Flowers are everywhere representing the town's main economic source.  

We had each gone our own way with an hour to sightsee, grab a bite, or have a coffee.  I opted for coffee and Juan an ice cream bar.  After regrouping, we loaded up and off we went for Cholula.

Cholula has a church built on the top of a pyramid.  Because it has been designated as a national historic site and so it cannot be excavated.  The pyramid is the largest at its base of 450 meters, bigger than Giza en Egypt.  However, it was made of dirt and very fragile.  Over the centuries bases were placed on top of each other one by one.  A wall would be built and then filled in with dirt.  A partial mock-up of what they believe the pyramid would look like sits at the base of the "pyramid".  The church itself is not spectacular in any way.  It is a climb of 500 meters from the base to the steps of the church and it is not an easy climb although it is concrete steps and walkways.  

View looking down on the town of Cholula.  

We made it back to the Centro Historico around 5 p.m. pretty much tuckered out.  We headed back to the apartment and fixed dinner, watched a movie and then off to bed.

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