Vera Cruz and Jalapa
Checked out of hotel in Mexico City and took taxi to (pictured) TAPO BUS STATION (80 pesos), arrived at 9:15, bought a ticket for the next bus at 10:00 (231 pesos; $24US). 10 came and went, gate man says just a few minutes, 10:30 came and went, gate man says just a few minutes. An English speaking gentleman says that the bus was held up by a wash out on the toll road and would be later.
It arrived at 11 and he said that it may take 7 hours to reach Vera Cruz since part of the road was still closed.
It did, but the scenery on the way was magnificent, we saw Mount Popo from both sides and Mount Orizaba but the pictures did not turn out good.
We also say beautiful gorges, and valleys coming down from the Sierras. The highway had many tunnels, bridges
and switchbacks which were spectacular. Lots of farming on the coastal plain and the first plateau, sugar cane, papayas, mangoes, greens of all types.
We arrived in Vera Cruz about 6:30 and took a taxi (20 pesos) from the bus station to the Colonial Hotel in Vera Cruz, on the Plaza de Armas
Arose about 7:30, on the plaza in Vera Cruz the weekly flag raising ceremony was starting. It was very moving.
Moved to the Hotel Baluarte in Vera Cruz. This is where we intended to stay to begin with, but the hotel was completely booked up for the Carnaval. It is located away for the noise of the Plaza but near enough to be handy. It is located diagonally across the street from the Baluarte Santiago,
breakfast at the Gran Café el Portale in Vera Cruz , good show for cafe leche.
We decided to visit the bus station in Vera Cruz to check on buses to Jalapa (also Xalapa). The station didn’t look very far on the map, so we walked, and found it was over a mile. The street is Miron St.
Arose about 7, taxied to bus station, caught the 8:15 to Jalapa, We arrived at 10:15, after passing through some very pretty countryside. There were some awesome limestone cliffs, which were vertical for several hundred feet.
When we arrived downtown Jalapa(Centro) we found a nice restaurant (Enrico’s)where we had breakfast. It was very good.
We looked about downtown and saw the Jalapa cathedral, where a demonstration was being held against the Bancomer which was on the corner beside it.
The traffic downtown Jalapa is extremely heavy, as in almost all towns in Mexico.
Also downtown was the Jalapa Government Palace which contained many murals of Mexican history,
We then caught a taxi out to the Jalapa Jalapa Government Palace
This place is super, it must cover 10 acres inside and 10 more outside.
The inside contains the huge heads found nearby and other artifacts from the various eras.
We visited the Vera Cruz city museums. One had shows of Carnavals, both past and present, another had a watercolor exhibition of an artist who apparently had been around the world, if his paintings were done at the scenes
The Naval Museum in Vera Cruz, which featured the heros from the Naval School who fought off the US interventions of 1874 and 1914. These invasions were not known by myself prior to this.
These heroes are also commemorated by a obsidian monument in the traffic circle just off the waterfront.
The lighthouse (Faro) in Vera Cruz
The Pemex building in Vera Cruz which houses the Pemex petroleum exhibition, which shows its refineries and tanker fleet.
We took afternoon siesta then walked about in Vera Cruz and had dinner at Sanbournes,
We then took a local bus to Boca del Rio (3.5 pesos), to the end of the line, where we found a nice restaurant (Pardino's). The specialty of the house was seafood and we had a plate of boiled super jumbo shrimp as an appetizer and I had plantains stuffed with cheese to top them off. All very good.
Took a taxi to the Villa Rica Restaurant, which is in Boca del Rio, behind the Mocambo Hotel. The food there was very good and very expensive. We had a table immediately in front of the band. We ate as fast as possible and moved due to the volume.