After lunching at The China Poblana in Puebla, we headed towards Veracruz. The topography of the land changed gradually. We saw large wind-farms with their long turbine blades turning slowly in the wind —a cheap, clean way to generate electricity—no charge for the wind and no emitted carbon.
After a busy day in Mexico City visiting Teotihuacán, Zócalo and the Archeological Museum, we headed east towards Puebla and Veracruz. En route, at a rest stop we saw a unique sight—a rock formation in the form of a sleeping woman and Popocatépetl, an active volcano.
Look at the picture. On the right is a rock formation known as The Sleeping Woman. From right to left you can see her head, her breasts and her feet. It was winter. She was covered with a light dusting of snow. To her left is Popocatépetl, an active volcano, with a plume of smoke from the crater rising into the still air, clearly visible from afar against the light blue sky. The name means “Smoking Mountain” in Aztec. It’s sometimes referred to or abbreviated as “El Popo” in Spanish. I thought I detected a faint, sulfurous redolence in the air. An inevitable comparison to Pompeii came to mind, but I pushed that thought aside. No point in thinking about that eventuality on such a pleasant, beautiful day.
After the visual splendor and history of Teotihuacán, we started on the drive back to Mexico City. En route, our guide told us the history of the places we were about to see; Plaza de la Constitución (Zócalo), the Metropolitan Cathedral and numerous sumptuous office buildings surrounding the vast rectangular plaza.
Bright warm sun in January, rare Mezcal and a chance to explore ancient ruins—does that make you want “to rise and go”? It certainly did to me.
It was December 2022. My son Jeet was visiting just before Christmas. One day as I picked up the mail, I saw a bright, colorful brochure from Caravan Tours advertising their very affordable tours to Mexico and other Central American countries. It had a large picture of a toucan on the cover. That brought back fond memories when, years ago, we had taken a Caravan led trip to Costa Rica and liked it. Wouldn’t it be nice to go to some place sunny and warm, a nice change of scenery and climate from the cold, grey winter of northeastern USA? And so, the plan gradually took shape.
I asked Jeet if any of the trips in the brochure interested him. He chose ‘The Ancient Civilizations of Mexico’. I am interested in history, especially the rise and fall of civilizations. In particular, what causes ancient, well established, powerful empires to suddenly and unexpectedly crumble at the onslaught of a few upstart adventurers and conquistadors. So, I jumped at the opportunity to visit the land of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans.
It is May and my Japanese Cherry tree is in full bloom. The sun rises higher in the sky, it is brighter and warmer, and the trees are putting on their spring greenery. I took some pictures of the cherry blossoms. It has become an annual ritual for me. It signals the advent of spring. Time when the heavy coats go to the back of the closet and I go out for regular walks in the neighborhood.I sometimes see wildlife on these walks. Will I be lucky today?