A week in Merida

We are travelling around on the bus, it seems quite grown up to be able to pull together a route from the internet and then actually do it. I really enjoy planning the route, researching, aka Googling, to see how long we might stop somewhere and finding places to stay. At the moment I love Airbnb and ADO buses, they make everything possible.

We found a lovely looking old colonial house in Merida, just off the Paseo Montejo. The pictures looked amazing and so we decided to book a week there. At just over £30 per night, it seemed affordable, although as time goes on I think we will reduce what is affordable! For now though, it looked perfect.

After a very basic stay in Valladolid, a pleasant enough apartment, but with none of the windows looking onto the outside, I was looking forward to more pleasant surroundings. We bought bus tickets and a couple of hours later, Ygnacio was showing us around Casa Mango and we were settling in for the week.

The house looked tiny from the outside and after a bumpy taxi ride down many, many side streets we lugged our cases in. Only then were we able to appreciate the hidden depths of the house, the high ceilings and thick walls, together with the tiny garden and the mini swimming pool under the avocado tree.

After so much planning and preparation, so many emotions and such anticipation, this was the perfect time to relax and take stock. So we took it slow, relatively.

The palacio next door but one to Casa Mango
The palacio next door but one to Casa Mango

I unpacked my case here, it felt good, we’d only been in Mexico for a week, but having your clothes hanging in your wardrobe can increase your sense of belonging, I will pack them all back into the suitcase again tomorrow, but it’s all part of settling.

The heat exhausts you; a short walk means you need a half hour to recover, so everything we did in Merida was in baby steps. A short walk to the shops…. plan for an hour and a half. A walk out for lunch …..factor a nap in afterwards. But we are in no rush.

I love doing open top bus tours, I know they are touristy, but you can really get a sense of a place when you do one. You get history (which I instantly forget!) but also you see places from the top deck, that you might later want to walk around, or go visit for longer. And while they are telling you about the history of a palace, you can spy a cool restaurant you might want to go for dinner. We did the bus tour in Merida – twice in fact! it’s a lovely City, with both a European and North American feel to it, the Paseo Montejo is often compared to the Champs Elysees and I can see why. It’s a tree-lined boulevard, with monuments and splendid palaces. Ponies and traps, decorated with flowers, clop up and down all day (and night) long. The pavements are wide and smooth.

 

The side streets are scruffier, small houses casitas , squares, churches and shops, everyone going about their business, often digging and sweeping, not necessarily in that order!

The pavements, although swept, are ‘irregular’ and as someone who is prone to the odd fall, quite daunting.

The side streets are where you find the real hidden gems like the Lebanese and Thai restaurants where the prices reflect the surroundings and the hosts seem to care a little more.

It’s a bit like the Paseo is the shopfront for Merida and the side streets are the store room. I like both.

There is real Mexico in Merida if you look past the shopfront.

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