View from our hike near Beauregard-Baret, France.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Saint-Côme-et-Maruéjols, France.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Towards Andorra.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Exploring the City of Puebla

Seems to us that Puebla isn't on the radar of many people who visit Mexico, or many expats who make Mexico their home. After this short visit, we can't figure out why not. It has near perfect weather, it's a very clean and modern city, and from what we saw it doesn't even have any traffic problems. I even drove downtown!

For a city of 1.6 million people, it doesn't even have nearly as bad of a grafitti problem like we've seen in Guadalajara, Zacatecas, or Morelia. Sure, there is some, but it's not overpowering.

Some of the walls have beautiful murals that would otherwise be covered with grafitti. Even those lowlifes seem to have enough sense not to deface it.

I drove downtown with our couchsurfing host Maurina sitting in the passenger seat to give directions. I don't normally like driving into the central areas, we would normally take the bus. But Maurina said that it was an easy drive and she knew a good parking garage, so off we went. Sure enough, it was an easy drive, and we got parked up right in the central core.

Ruth and Maurina. The parking garage was attached to a modern shopping center and when we left there it opened up to a beautiful park space. Notice the church tower in the background? There are 70 churches in the downtown core alone!!

Lots of green space. This park was pretty quiet when we arrived at around noon, but when we came back it was busy with quite a few wedding photos and such being taken.

This church has an interesting facade.

Templo Conventual de Las Cinco Llagas de San Fransisco.
Five Wounds of Our Seraphic Father San Fransisco.

One of the things that Puebla is known for is the use of tiles on the exterior of the buildings. And in fact there used to be a huge tile factory on the grounds that are now part of the park shown in the photos above the ones of the church.

Many of the buildings have interesting tile patterns decorating the exterior.

And it's known for it's pottery too!

The Government Building.

The facade of the Cathedral. Construction began in 1575, and although it's use began in 1649 it wasn't completely finished until the middle 1800's.

It's a huge church!

With a lot of beautiful paintings inside.

The Zocalo (central plaza) is beautiful.

And a hive of activity.

The Palafoxiana Library. Said to be the first library in North America, and certainly the only one still operating. But, to enter this single room they want 25 pesos ($2.08) per person and there's no photography allowed. Sorry, not paying that kind of money for a 10 minute look at some old books!

Time for lunch! Ruth and I split a plate of chirizo tacos and cheese and Maurina had a torta (shredded meat on a bun).

Ruth had decided she wanted a flan. This is a common Mexican dessert and so we went searching the central plaza for a restaurant that served flan. We ended up at the most expensive place in town and sat down for a treat. I passed, but I had a bite of Ruth's!

Ruth and Maurina and their fancy flan dessert. Maurina has a good sense of humor and obviously she was displaying it as I took the photo! The bill for the two desserts was 130 pesos ($10.79)!!

Us, having a great day!

The inside of the government building has a skylight that's worth seeing!

A street near the plaza.

A little more gold please! How much more ornate can you get? The Templo de Santo Domingo is certainly worth a visit just to stare at the opulence. 

Bullet holes? Yep. This damage from November 1910 has been left as a reminder from the Mexican Revolution.

We had such a great afternoon and are so lucky to have met another great couchsurfing host and now friend. We'll be back to visit Maurina another time because there is simply too much to see and do in the Puebla area. 

We stopped in at the grocery store on the way home and as we exited the store the sun was going down. Ruth pointed and we all saw the strangest sunset ever! I wish I could have got a better photo, but this was the best I could do with the roof of the Autozone store at the base of the photo!

The sun setting behind the active Popocatepetl volcano!

Ruth made a jambalaya dinner for us, and Maurina invited her friend Alma over for the evening. We had lots of laughs and a couple of bottle of wine. What a great day we had!

Kevin, Ruth, Maurina, and Alma.

Today will be another great day! We're heading back to Hacienda Contreras and we'll be sleeping in Sherman again. Our own beds for the first time in two and a half months! It's going to be a long drive though...650 kms (403 miles) but it's almost all on the autopistas. We have to do the relatively new Arco Norte highway that bypasses Mexico City. It's expensive, but it's worth it!


  1. Those buildings were just amazing and definitely over the top in a few cases. It'll feel so good to sleep in Sherman. I always love coming home again.

    1. We are really looking forward to our bed again,. It's nice to be away and travel but it is even better when you take your home with you, everthing is right there with you.

  2. Puebla plus Maurina equals a great combo - beautiful photos - looks like a wonderful time for sure! It is fun to travel but fun to return "home" again, too.
    Connie in PA

    1. Yes, we definitely had a great time with Maurina. We are looking forward to seeing her in Puebla on a return visit.


  3. What a busy sightseeing day... and to top it off with a fantastic sunset and great meal. ahhhh you guys life the High Life for sure!

    Karen and Steve
    The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  4. Puebla looks an interesting place. That's a lot of churches! I bet the food was good after all the sight seeing. Was good to see you both together in a photo. Happy travels! Thanks for following my blog as I know you are busy and have many followers.

    1. We really enjoyed Puebla and really only saw a small portion of it. We look forward to returning there another year and see more of it and all of the surrounding area.

      We love following your blog and seeing what life is like in New Zealand, hopefully one day in the near future we will be able to visit your wonderful country.

  5. wow amazing shots...great architecture....

  6. Excellent pictures and a great time you had today, Travel safe and enjoy your own beds once again.

  7. What a spectacular city. The churches are gorgeous.

    I love flan. When we are in Mission, our friend, Angie, makes the most delicious flan.

    1. It is a beautiful city. The architecture there is fantastic.

      I may have to make a flan, in Sherman within the next week or two, I love them too!

  8. How many churches are there in Puebla, 465? Something like that where you can make a pilgrimage to one everyday. Amazing city. They also have a fantastic convention center.

    1. There are 70 churches in Puebla's downtown but I believe it is Chocula a nearby town to Puebla that has at least 365 churches, one for everyday of the year. Next time we visit we will make a trip over to Chocula.

  9. butterbean carpenterMarch 10, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Howdy R&K,
    Just had time to check the blog and y'all have really been moving this past week.. Thanx, for all of the great pics(of Kevin) and the glaciers!! WHO KNEW!!! Those 'waterfalls' were stupendous & beautiful.. The 'WIDE' tree is really wide, what kind of tree is it?? I'd hate to have to chop it down with a hatchet!!!
    I'll bet Sherman will be glad to see y'all back and probably crank himself up in joy!!!
    Hope the rest of the trip is a safe & fun one!!

    1. The Tule Tree ( Árbol del Tule) is a Montezuma cypress tree and it is HUGE!

      I think Sherman was very happy to see us and we and we were happy to see him.

  10. What are the bug looking things on the table where Ruth and Maurna is eating?


    1. They are chilies. When they first brought them to the table Kevin thought that they were some kind of bug/worm too!

  11. Especially like your header photo... that plaza was my favorite place to be. Great shot of Popocatepetl volcano.... really unusual. Did you try the mole? I think that must be an acquired taste ;-)

    1. We love the plazas in just about every city/town we have been in. They are always very lively spots.

      Yes we did have the mole. Our first night at Maurina's she made a chiken mole poblano for us and it was very good.

  12. Sounds like we have to add Puebla to the list. You are a great tour guide. Gracias.

    1. You definitely need to visit there Contessa, I know you and Colin would love it.


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