Oaxaca de Juárez
It took me 7 hours by bus from Mexico City to Oaxaca de Juárez. The bus ride was scenic with views on the Mexican landscape, including the Popocatepetl volcano. The city of Oaxaca is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of the same name. It is located on the foothills of the Sierra Madre.
In Oaxaca I met my friend Simone, who I know since we were on the same journey in Southern Africa in 2008. Since she was teaching English in Oaxaca she showed me the city that she was living in for over a month now. Most of the days we just strolled the colonial downtown to soak up the atmosphere. Around the beautiful church Ex-Convento de Santo Domingo we saw some traditional parades and we enjoyed the local bars and restaurants.
We also visited Monte Alban, a pre-Hispanic city that was an ancient capital of the Zapotecs. The Zapotec people built this site atop some of the highest mountains in the area. It gave a beautiful view on the current city of Oaxaca.
The city of Oaxaca has long been considered Mexico's culinary capital. The most notable aspect of Oaxacan cuisine is its variety of moles, a type of complex sauce. Also chocolate and Mezcal (spirit made from agave) are typical Oaxacan. On my last day in Oaxaca, I took Simone for dinner to one of the best restaurants in the city.
It was great to spend four days in Oaxaca. Thou after being a week in Mexico it was about time to hit the beaches. So I got on a small plane to Puerto Escondido to enjoy the rest of my holiday on the Oaxacan Pacific coast.