Merida - a beautiful colonial city

Written by Nadine Zangerle on . Posted in Mexico

The first two days Michael was still fighting with his stomach and stayed in bed. As soon as he was up to it we walked around the town. Merida is known for its beautiful and well preserved colonial houses and it was really stunning. It reminded us on Cuba just with different cars and people.

The Merida Tourist Center offers daily a free city tour around the Plaza Grande with its Palaccio Municipal and the City Hall. Here we learned more about the Mexican history and the town development.

In Merida area there had been 5 big Mayan temples. When the Spaniards took over the country by force the used the rocks to build the big Cathedral, churches and houses. You still can find some symbols of those pyramids on some buildings in Merida.

The impressive Casa de Montejo was the first building in Merida and houses a bank now. They have a Museum with an exhibition of the old furniture of the family and we got a good idea how wealthy those Spaniards had been. We went in the Olimpo Cultural Centre and the Contemporary Art Museum (MACAY) with its scurrile exhibition. Some art is just not made for me.

Along the cobblestone street No. 60 we passed the University of Yucatán and the Peon Contreras Theater. At the Santa Lucia’s Park and Santa Ana’s Park & Popular we watched the people and took some pictures.

The next day we strolled down the Paseo de Montejo with its beautiful old mansions all the way to the Flag Monument. On Saturdays they have a Mexican Party in Montejo where we watched some dances in beautiful costumes.

Since 1970 every Tuesday Merida has live music at the Parque de Santiago. The big band played Salsa and Merengue and all the older people danced till late in the evening. It was just fun to watch. There was one man - at least 85 years old - he went wild.

On the weekend they showed the Juego de Pelota – the Mayan ball game and it was great to watch. Luckily it was the day before the massive rain when all the streets got flooded.

At the hostel they offered free Salsa and cooking lessons. For sure we joined some of them. We learned some more uno, dos, tres, cinco, seis, siete (remember, in Cuba they counted differently) and now we know how to cook Fajitas, Nopales y Empanadas and Poc-Chuc. Fantastico!

The Nomadas hostel was a perfect place to relax at the pool and chill out in the hammocks. In the quiet and nicely arranged garden we did some planning for Central America and our Spanish Course. We took our time and it was a great place to organize things. But there is always a time to move on and our next stop is Tulum. So let’s hop on the bus.

Accommodation: Nómadas Youth Hoste, Calle 62 No 433 at Calle 51,

Price: M$ 330 privat, own toilet, shared shower, incl. breakfast, swimming

Comment: awesome hostel with swimming pool, plenty of hammocks and chill
                out area, free yoga, cooking and salsa lessons