Saturday, September 24, 2016

Puebla Redux Part 2

The Tunnels of Puebla


The Puebla Tunnels are a system of tunnels under of Puebla. Long considered to be an urban legend, they were rediscovered in 2015 during construction in the city. They are believed to be up to 500 years old and to extend for more than 10 kilometers. Although we could only explore about 500 metres which was open to the public they were impressive none the less both in their structure and historical significance.

What I found the most interesting is that the tunnels are though to go up to Fuerte Loreto which was the site of the Battle of Puebla (Cinco de Mayo). The Mexicans defeated the French who were far superior in battle field experience and were putting a siege to the fort. The French could not figure how the Mexican's kept coming at them. "Where were all the new men coming from?". History now suggests that the tunnels provided a sanctuary and safe passage for soldier to advance to the Fort and battle undetected. History is amazing and I love being a history nerd.

Pyramid at Cholula
Next up, the bus to the interesting little town of Cholula. I had been here before and was happy to return. I think that if I was to ever come back to Mexico to work I would possibly live here. That being said and this being Independence Day weekend it was a chaotic scene when we arrived. In typical Mexican fashion it was party time in the Zocalo. There were food stalls and people everywhere and as we were all stumbling around a bit from last night the ability to grab a variety of quick, tasty and inexpensive food as we walked around eased our pain significantly.

The pyramid complete was insane to visit so we walked around it from the outside. Again I had been there in the past and found it interesting because I am odd that way but my partners in crime for the weekend we content, and in this case very smart, not to deal with the crowds. Cholula is not going anywhere. We could take photos through the fence as we walked up to Santuario Nuestra Señora de los Remedios church at the top of the hill, which is the buried remains of the Mayan Pyramid.

An awaking Popocatépetl

Back in Puebla after spending time in Cholula it was time to relax. We had found "Candy Street" which is exactly what the name implies. The artisan area where you could find interesting and quite nice pottery and other works plus Alley of the Frogs (Callejon de los Sapos) which is a local market where you can find anything from old currency and trinkets to touristy junk. We found beer.

I like Puebla and have been here twice but there are other towns and places to explore in Mexico. This country is really starting to get into my soul much like Nicaragua did. The shitty main stream media and news cycles do not do Mexico any justice. The people are some of the warmest and most hospitable I have ever encountered. There is a kindness and gentle nature about them but as with most Latin Americans they have been through a tremendous amount as history has shown. They are aware of the struggles and challenges they face which are very real plus the imaginary perceptions that have been created. They are also some of the smartest people I have ever met and are NOTHING like what you might think or perceive. I was a victim of this obtuse thinking and I am so happy that I have spent "real time" here, not just "resort time".

Happy Independence Day, Viva Mexico!

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