Day 192: Oaxaca – Mexico – Dec 26th

For various reasons, we always manage to sleep in, and usually that doesn’t matter but this morning we totally missed breakfast that’s included in the room charge!!!! Haha, we live on a budget so have to save up anytime we can!

Wandering the streets of Oaxaca, it definitely has its charm. Along the street, this random guy struck a conversation with us. Originally from New York, who went to school at McGill and ‘loves Canada, because it is so civilized’. Hehe, okay sure, but he seemed like a cool guy and he said it was his 4th time in Oaxaca in two years, and this time he’s staying for over a month! Judging from our brief encounter with this guy, it seems like Oaxaca is a pretty cool place. Unlike Guanajuato, this place has a more relaxed vibe and seemingly a lot more foreign tourists. The streets were pretty cool, with neat little cafes and restaurants tucked into little corners, and lots of art galleries no matter where you look. Adding to the streets is the intoxicating aroma of chocolate, and you get a sense of what Oaxaca feels like.

Oaxaca is famous for two things, hot chocolate and Metzal, an agave distilled liquor. Well, we haven’t tried Metzal yet but we tried a cup of hot chocolate for lunch inside a grungy market, and it was pretty darn delicious! Food in Mexican markets are always fun, as every region has different styles of food and we really never know what we’re ordering so it’s always a pleasant surprise. One thing though, Mexican soups are VERY good!

It was a good idea to stop at the market for some food before taking our day trip up to Mount Alban, another set of ruins left behind by the Zapotecs (??) people, which started building this massive site around 2000 years ago! The whole place has a very different vibe than the ruins at Teotihuacan, and somehow it feels more, for the lack of a better word, quaint. The ruins are a group of buildings that dot the whole mountain, it was said that the people actually leveled the top of this mountain before constructing the buildings. And this time, the ruins are more scattered and without one or two particular focal points where your eyes get attracted. And at the top, you get this panoramic view of the city of Oaxaca which isn’t as interesting as the ruins itself. Interestingly, a lot of the artifacts at the Museum of Anthropology back in Mexico City was taken from this site, so it feels a bit like dejavu with the stuff that’s being shown.

The most interesting piece at the ruins was probably a 3 meter tall obelisk, which was used to determine the time of the day. And through this, the understanding of time can be measured and the people probably used this to develop their own version of calendars.

Back in town, we had a great Mexican meal to cap off the day. 

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