Friday, July 23, 2010

Xico, Coatepec, Xalapa, Veracruz

We visited the capital city of Veracruz, Xalapa, and some neighboring communities! Xico had the Texolo waterfall, a nice view, and a quaint little town, Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz was preparing for the celebration of Santa Maria Magdalena with streamers of flowers and decorations on every street. We happened upon a parade of bulls and dancers and music! The bulls were made of paper mache and full of firecrackers on the top for later on that night! Each color group had a bull, carried on the shoulders of a selected one, and dancers--red t-shirts, blue, green, yellow, etc. They paraded down the street, dancers trying to avoid the spinning ¨bulls¨. We walked down the cobblestone streets to the bottom of a hill. We had a lovely seafood lunch there beside the babbling water.
Alas, we had to climb that hill to get back to the bus! We roamed the streets again and saw the crowd getting ready for a horse parade. Horses with men riders and beautiful little girls and women dressed in beautiful dresses for the procession!

We visited a family owned coffee farm and museum. It wasn´t a plantation exactly because these trees for arabica coffee are grown in the shade, usually near banana trees! The owner gave us a tour and of course a taste of coffee beans and fresh coffee. The beans are picked when they turn a red color; then the beans are skinned and dried and soaked in water. A mortar used to skin the beans came from Africa. Other easier processes are used today.
Wonderful coffee!

We have arrived in Puebla yesterday! Puebla is one of the oldest and largest cities in Mexico, mainly due to a Volkswagen plant here. We visited Cholula, the widest Mayan site. The food is different, but I do like those poblano peppers with cheese! The streets are busy with people walking and hanging out until late, but stores seem to close early here. I enjoyed a coffee
and listened to the sounds of a smooth, piano player in the lobby.

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