Aunt Margarita and Uncle Pedro used to take one month off from their busy bakery every year, to travel in Mexico. They did not have children; hence they used to bring their nieces and nephews to their trips. The few times I was lucky to travel with them taught me how to make the best of getting to know a new place.The time we went to Oaxaca is the perfect example.
Circa 1975. We arrived in the morning to the city of Oaxaca (the estate is also called Oaxaca), and took a taxi. My tia Margarita asked the taxi driver to take us to a nice but inexpensive, local hotel near the zocalo -the center of the town. And so we checked in.
Next, we walked a few blocks around the hotel discovering the main plaza, the little surrounding streets, a market, and a few restaurants, seemingly authentic, locally owned so that we knew where to go for a nice morning or afternoon walk, anytime during our stay.
We tried one of the small restaurants for lunch and once seated, tia Margarita would start planning. Her list looked like this: a church, a historic landmark, a museum, a neighborhood, and something very particular from that city, like a market or tianguis where we could buy souvenirs and see artisanal work. Most places to visit where within the city, and a few of them were outside, not too far, and worth the trip.
At the end of eating a delicious pollo with mole and a few sopes Oaxaca style, we had a plan, and it looked like this:
- Basilic of our Lady of Solitude (Iglesia de la Soledad)
- A local Museum
- The Ruins in Monte Alban
- The Tule Tree
- Alebrijes and other artisan stores
- Benito Juarez Market
These places would be our highlights. The places one must see when visiting the city of Oaxaca, but we equally made the time for long walks around town, and ate all kinds of local food. I never felt bored; to the contrary, I felt excited because I trusted that Aunt Margarita knew what she was doing. We were there just for a few days, and we made the best of everything. Gracias, Tia!
Content by Lupita Peimbert. @Lupitanews #LupitaPeimbert