Kootje Dijkstra | Maravillosa Mérida
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22 Nov Maravillosa Mérida

Wow, time is flying in Mexico! Another weekend just passed and we spent it in Mérida, Yucatán’s capital and largest city! This truly was one of the most beautiful cities I have visited in Mexico so far. It is so folkloristic and traditional Mexico. But also, I noticed so many European influences in the architecture and the people! Especially the main plazas and little squares were much like France and England.

I spent the weekend with Floor, another Dutch girl we accidentally met in the supermarket. She is a nanny too, of a very cute little 3-year old boy named Matteo. She lives in Cancún as well, and she will be here until the 15th of January. The other girls had nanny-duty so they could not join us unfortunately.

At first, I was thinking about leaving Saturday morning, because I had a day off this Monday due to the Día de la Revolución. But then I was thinking, why not leave on Friday already? So Floor and I met around 6.30pm at the ADO bus station, to take the bus of 6:45. Unfortunately, after a long waiting line, all the tickets were sold out, so we had to wait for the bus of 20.30pm 🙁 We killed the time at a mexican restaurant with a few beers before getting back to the bus station.

Around 1.30am, we arrived in Mérida and walked to the famous Nomadas Hostel, which was recommended by both friends and my Lonely Planet guide. Luckily, it was still open and the receptionist led us to the girls dorm. We fell asleep kind of right away because we were really tired. Mérida is located in a different time zone, so it was actually 2.30am in Cancún already.

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Saturday, I woke up to this view 😉  Floor and I slept on the top beds of the bunkbeds in the girls dorm, which was very big with around 20 beds in total. The hostel was in my opinion very clean and spacious, with many colors and hammocks everywhere.

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The breakfast was common, but nice. We got scrambled eggs, watermelon, toast with butter, cereals and coffee/tea, like most of the hostels I have been to in Mexico. After breakfast, we took a shower and got ready for our first day in Mérida! What really stroke me, was again all the colors, painting, lettering on all the buildings. Also, many beautiful frameworks and balconies!

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The hostel receptionist gave us a map of Mérida, and recommended the local market Lucas de Galvéz, a traditional and artisan market with lots of little shops with local food, leather shoes, bags, paintings, handcrafted rugs, hammocks, hats, vestments, and even animals. Puppies, ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs, parakeets, parrots and kittens. It was a bit hard to see 🙁

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Especially the artisan sandals at the market were really pretty. There were also many shops with the more folkloristic shoes with many colors, which were beautiful as well but not in my size since the Mexican people are so small 🙂

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In another part of the market there was a lot of China-stuff as well.

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I find it very fascinating to see the local people perform their craft. And.. I bought myself a pair of leather sandals! They were only 250 pesos.

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Afterwards, went to the main plaza to the Catedral de San Ildefonso, dated from 1561. This cathedral is a special one and the oldest in Yucatan. It is build at the request of king Filips II. There was a mass going on in the cathedral, so we could not stay for a long time. We walked further into the city centre and came across another indoor market called Tikis, where we got a small tour by someone who helped us lead the way since we were a bit lost. He showed us this loom, which was used to make hammocks, bags and hats. In the back, someone was stripping the palmtree leaves which were woven together with cotton and jute.

Around 11.30 am, we got hungry and searched for a nice place. I don’t know exactly which plaza this is, but we had nachos with chicken and a coffee here, which were very tasty! The waitress was kind and recommended some other places to go.

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At first we wanted to visit the museum MACAY, but we could not find it and someone told us it was not that good, so we decided we should look for some other museum, and stood upon this one; the Museo de Arte Popular. It was really nice with beautiful artisan clothing, paintings, rugs, relics and work of glass, cardboard and wood. Also at the second floor, beautiful pieces made by the great artisans of different states, like Michoacán, Jalisco and Chiapas, and also, pieces that inspired Frida Kahlo.

After the museum, we went to the beautiful Palacio de Gobierno (1892), the government building in the centre of the main plaza. It is a strinking building, because of the clear green color. The building has two floors with portals, a big courtyard and arcades. There is a beautiful staircase in the middle.8

Currently, the building is in use to house the offices of the state government. On the top floor and downstairs, there are large oil paintings by artist Fernando Castro Pacheco, which present Yucatan history. Also, on the top floor there is a beautiful auditorium.

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And, a beautiful view from the window of the Palacio de Gobierno! This is again the Catedral de San Ildefonso at the main plaza.

And then… time for a siesta! It was round 3pm and suddenly we got really tired of the stroll around the city with not that much sleep..

We went to OXXO, bought a few Corona’s, and went to the lovely garden in the Nomadas hostel, with a lot of hammocks and chill hangout spots. Around 7pm, we went to a restaurant and ate a burrito.

At 8.30pm, a friend of Floor, Isaías, picked us up with an Uber to go to a bar, 20DOCE. It was really fun and afterwards we went to another party a bit out of Mérida. There was realllly good music and we had a great time 🙂 🙂

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The next morning, we had a crazy hang over but we had to get back to the ADO bus station to take the bus of 10am back to Cancún. Floor is a nanny too and her kid Matteo was coming back from his weekend at his aunt. Since I was so hang over, Lis invited me to come to her place after the bus ride, which I did and we hung out at the beach for a few hours.

Yesterday I went to Café Antoinette with Lisse, Julia and Hilde to have breakfast and afterwards I went shopping in Plaza las Américas. I got the day off but was not really up to doing something special. Now it is Tuesday and I am at work again.. This weekend will be really nice though, because we are going to Holbox!! FINALLY! I can’t wait 🙂

Besos XX Ko

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