Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Yellow City of Izamal, Yucatan

We don't have a TV with any regular English channels...

So this is our daily entertainment. I think I've taken about all the kiteboarding photos that I can, with the exception of catching someone doing a trick in midair. There were huge numbers of kites out this day...

Airborne! Mission accomplished...

And another...managed to get a horse in this one as well.

They carried on until dark, one of them staying out so long that he was guided back by a car's headlights.

For our next day trip with Joanne, we decided to head to Izamal, which is one of the oldest cities in the Yucatan.

Izamal was conquered by the Spaniards who were eager to convert the Mayans to Catholicism. To this day, the people remain very religious.

Izamal is known as the Yellow City as nearly all of the buildings are painted an egg-yolk yellow. It was very pretty.

We see a lot of these carts in the Yucatan. They are extremely handy for transporting goods or people.

We stopped at the San Miguel hotel to check out the gift shop, which had been recommended.

Beautiful entryway...

Huge fish in this little pond...

I was hoping this planter was securely fastened. You can rent a room here for about $50 Canadian.

Joanne and I didn't have any trouble spending some money in the gift shop. They had some really beautiful things and they were very reasonably priced.

The Mexican flag in the middle of the plaza. Jim lucked out, as he quite often does, with an amazing parking spot. There was nothing close by the plaza, so he circled around the block and when we returned someone was just leaving. The policeman guided us into the spot and we marvelled at how often Jim snags what we call a "Jimmy spot."

This is the main draw in Izamal, the Franciscan Convent San Antonio du Padua that was built from,  and over, one of the Mayan pyramids. Work began in 1533 and was completed in 1561. The convent is also famous for the story of the monk Fray Diego de Landa, its founder, who burned all of the Maya scripts, and then feeling remorseful, tried to write all he could remember of the ways of the Mayan people.

It was blazing hot by this time. I left Jim and Joanne in the shade in the plaza and went up the ramp to see more of the convent.

Dang! They  must be doing restoration work, which is probably an ongoing thing with a structure this old.

Pope John Paul II visited Izamal in 1993 and held a special meeting and mass specifically for the indigenous people.

This view showed many carriages. I read after that you can take a two-hour tour for $25 US. They take you around the city and to the ruins and also to a store that sells local folk art. We definitely plan to return so that might be a good way to learn about the area and see the sights.

The area of the atrium...they do a sound and light show 6 nights a week.

We stopped at this restaurant for a snack and, more importantly, a drink. It was hot! We shared some panuchos, which are yummy tortillas topped with refried beans, pulled chicken, avocado, and onion.

A vendor came by with a tray of donuts. We were in the mood for a shot of sugar and bought two of these light, fluffy donuts and some kind of tart that looked like pumpkin, but didn't taste like pumpkin. It might have been sweet potato. Two donuts and a tart...20 pesos. That's about $1.30 Cdn. Crazy!

This dear soul was sitting with his wares. I didn't see one person stop to look at anything. He was packing everything up as it was siesta time. I wonder how many years he has been sitting in the corner. At least he had a shady spot.

Jim and Joanne on the steps of the convent...

We started to head for home. Look at the endless stone walls all painted white. Such a clean and pretty area.

We had also read about this gallery that is known for its folk art. Garmin didn't recognize the street we were trying to enter (we would soon realize why). We drove by the street a couple of times because it didn't seem like a place where you would have a gallery.

Somehow it didn't seem that this could be the road to the gallery, but it was. After all that, the gallery was closed. It was no easy task to turn around. Such a strange location...

We passed by many agave plantations which used to be booming with the production of sisal rope.

We drove by this shop on the way into town and decided to check it out.

So many lovely shirts and dresses...the men's shirts are called guayabera and are characterized by the rows of closely sewn pleats that run vertically on the front and back.

They were so helpful and laughed at my request to take a picture. I'm a tourist, right? We left with two men's shirts, a dress for me and a child's shirt for very reasonable prices.

You see a lot of this in Mexico. It must be legal as there are tons of police around and no one seems to stop them.

We beetled home as Joanne and I had appointments for pedicures and Joanne had a foot and leg massage. It was lovely that Laura comes to your home. She lugs in a ton of equipment.

Laura was wonderful, but she loves to talk. Every time I would ask her something about the area, she would stop working. In the end, she was at the house for almost 4 hours. Poor Joanne. She had a pedicure with a glass of wine, followed by a half a cheese sandwich and headed to bed. It had been a long day!

Joanne's time with us was flying by and there were still a few things she wanted to do. Take a photo of the huge pier in Progreso...tick!

Collect some seashells for her granddaughter, Zoe...tick!

Barb and Ed popped over to say hello to Joanne. We realized we had forgotten to give Ed the goofy tie we bought him for his birthday in January. No problemo...looking good.

I think I have all the pictures I need of the pelicans in the boats. Every one is different though!

We did a quick drive to Chelem and Chuburna to show Joanne the area to the west of us. The pier at Chuburna...

Lovely condos on the beach...

The beach is very sandy, without all the seaweed and garbage that we see on our beach...

And this huge house which appears to be abandoned. I wonder if it's another casualty of Hurricane Isidore in 2002?

Meanwhile, back to Joanne's list...a margarita at Eladio's...tick!

This is the amount of free tapas they give you with a drink...and most of it is different each time we go.

The coconut shrimp are delicious here...very coconutty with a yummy mango sauce...

And meringues! I think we accomplished everything on the list!

This was a last photo on the beach before we headed to the airport with was such a lovely visit and we were so proud of how well Joanne did. She is heading to Maui at the end of March. You go, girl!

This interesting flower was just starting to bloom when Joanne left so I took a photo each day so that she could see what it looked like.


It was a great visit with Jim's sister and fun to tour some different areas!

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