Sunday, March 04, 2007



Our 1983 Mexican trip was entirely planned at my desk (itinerary, flights, hotels, tours...) and then requested to the travel agency (the travel agency started commercially selling the same trip the following year, but paid no copyright royalties...). The idea was to start in Mexico City, see some Aztec, Zapotec, Olmec and Mayan ruins, have some rest in Cancun - then a not yet fully crowded resort - and return to Mexico City to get back to New York and head home, via Madrid. This was a non repeated more than a month-long holiday, which started in New York, went through New England, Quebec, Washington DC and Mexico.

Our second destination in Mexico was The Free and Sovereign State of Oaxaca, as it is named, and we flew the 45 minute Aeromexico flight to get its capital city: Oaxaca. Oaxaca is located in the Oaxaca Valley at an altitude of about 1550 m, and is a good example of Spanish colonial town planning, with a rectangular grid of streets surrounding a central square, the zócalo. Oaxaca was included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 1987.

That was long before the Oaxaca Protests...



"ROOM VIEW - We booked the Hotel Victoria, a very nice hotel in the middle of a huge garden on the top of the Fortin Hill. It was not very far away from city centre and was supposed to have a beautiful view over the city, being a bit out of reach for the possibly unpleasant annoyances of staying at night in the downtown area. We were given a room with a beautiful view towards the garden and the city centre"

"VIEW from the Hotel restaurant. The El Tule restaurant was a very nice one, and had a fabulous view. It was there that I tried the famous mole negro ozaqueno: chicken with a spicy chocolate sauce... I adore trying local food, but didn’t become a huge fan of the Oaxacan black mole"

"LOBBY BAR, a nice place to enjoy the views"

"SWIMMING POOL - The hotel pool was also one of the reasons why I choosed to stay at the Victoria. It was the best hotel pool in Oaxaca, by that time, if not the only..."




"CATHEDRAL - The Catedral Metropolitana de Oaxaca, originally started in 1535, extensively rebuilt in 1730 after a series of earthquakes and fires, and finally completed in 1752, is an impressive building. The cathedral's Baroque façade includes a fine relief of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary above the central door, and the two solid bell towers. The portal design is in eighteenth century baroque style. It is formed by triple portals with fifteen quadrants with access bays, sculpture niches, and generous relief"

"CALLES - The streets in the downtown area follow a rectangular grid pattern, with lots of interesting two-storey buildings"

"PARKS - Oaxaca has numerous gardens and parks. Some of them provide you with useful shade in the hot sunny days, as well as with some interesting scenes"

MURAL - Oaxaca is also known as Oaxaca de Juarez, since it is the birthplace of Benito Juarez, one of the most important heroes in the Mexican History. This mural by Arturo Garcia Bustos at the Government building depicts important figures in Mexican history. The faces in the top centre are Benito Juarez and his wife, Margarita Maza"

"SANTO DOMINGO DE GUZMÁN was built in the sixteenth century, is the most important of the numerous baroque ecclesiastical buildings in Oaxaca, and is considered the most important colonial building of the city. It is larger than the Cathedral of Oaxaca, also a Dominican construction"

"CLOISTER - The Cloister of Santo Domingo has Renaissance characteristics. The lower floor communicates with upper by a monumental staircase similar to the one at the Escorial in Madrid"



"MUSEUM - Rufino Tamayo was born in Oaxaca, and decided to leave his collections of pre-Columbian art to the City where he was born. The pieces of the Tamayo collection are from 1600 BC to 1521 AD"

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