Have I mentioned Mexico’s magico pueblos?
They’re towns around the country that the tourism board promises will give visitors a magical experience through their natural beauty, cultural riches or/and historical relevance.
Mexico boasts 83 so there are a lot of cobbled streets, old churches and taco stands to cover.
So you’ll forgive me if I’ve become a little fussy as to the town or city where I’m spending any of my precious 16 days in Mexico.
Historical and beautiful churches, quaint cobbling and architecture reminiscent of past centuries are obviously a given. Bustling markets with original local crafts sold by traditionally dressed old ladies is a basic. I quite like a bit of edge – usually in the form of some recent political movement not scared to throw around the word revolution – chucked in for good measure. And I’m not sure I could do without the entertaining guide book blurbs of old hero’s and tales to keep me entertained while wandering the easily-walkable streets.
A zocalo, or main town square, just isn’t a zocalo without an imposing cathedral, trees for shade and a statue or central kiosk of some kind. I prefer a high ratio of old people sitting and judging from the benches, surrounding coffee shops, shoe shining stations and newspaper stands. And there should always be some sort of live music floating through the air, maybe some soothing guitar strumming in the afternoon heat before becoming more up tempo for evening. If I could choose.
Seriously though, it’s impossible not to be swept away in one of Mexico’s traditional towns or city’s. I know Oaxaca is a bit of a cultural hub so this probably isn’t typical throughout the country, but it’s almost impossible to walk down the street without hearing someone play a musical instrument. Even something as simple as the candles left under the Oaxaca Cathedral Saints are touchingly, brightly decorated and fiercely Mexican.
So imagine my surprise to discover Oaxaca isn’t even on the list (I think it might be too big).
But it’s certainly has met the criteria and then some. And I guess there are 83 pretty good reasons to visit Mexico.