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Trip Report Our first trip to Mexico-It won't be our last!

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DH and i spent 11 fabulous days in Mexico from Feb. 7-Feb. 16. This was our first trip to Mexico. We had thought about going there for the last 5 years, but had always been discouraged by friends who although never visiting Mexico, warned against kidnapping and danger.

So for the last 5-10 years we have spent our winter vacations in Asia or southeast Asia. We visited India, both Thailand and Vietnam twice, Myanmar, and Japan. This year I decided to ask advice from Fodorites , and with your encouragement and support we booked an 11 day trip to Puebla and Mexico City. This followed our 11 day trip to Columbia.

Thank you to all those who responded to my many questions concerning this trip. Your advice made our Mexico vacation much less stressful and much better than it would have been without your advice.

As background, DH and I live in the northeast of the US and try to get out of the snowy winter for at least 3 weeks every year. (It snowed 5 times in the 3 weeks we were gone). We are retired and thankfully have the time and money to travel when we want to. We are 71 and 74, and consider ourselves fit and energetic. We love to travel, and on our trips we like to walk rather than ride, experience other cultures and visit both art and history museums. We like good food, but this is secondary in our travels. We do not enjoy shopping and do not spend a lot of time shopping, though we do like viewing colorful markets.

Our trip consisted of 3 nights in Puebla and 6 nights in Mexico City. In Puebla we stayed at the Hotel Colonia. The hotel is well located a few short blocks from the zocalo. Our room was very large, had ceiling to floor doors which opened onto a small balcony, was very clean, and was quiet at night. I would recommend this hotel, if you are looking for a charming, locally owned hotel, as long as you don't need a hotel concierge to help with your travel needs. The front desk was "all business", but this in no way affected our enjoyable stay at this hotel and in Puebla. The hotel serves a decent breakfast in a bright, pretty room. We ate there twice and ventured out once. Our breakfast experience outside the hotel was such a disaster that we regretted not eating all breakfasts at the hotel.

Despite good reviews, the worst meal of our trip was breakfast at La Casa de la China Poblana. We arrived at 9am to find the dining room empty except for one other table. The eggs we ordered came out tepid, the coffee from a carafe was cold twice, and the server was slow and nowhere to be found between courses. All in all it was a meal to forget as soon as possible.

The best meal we had in Puebla was at La Casa del Mendrago. We arrived about 8PM. The room was filled. There was an opera singer who sang for about an hour and was excellent. My portabello mushroom relleno and DH's camarones al gusto (shrimp with garlic butter) were outstanding. The margheritas were very good and the apple strudel and molten chocolate cake for dessert were very well prepared. Service was excellent, and although not cheap, there was value for what we paid.

We also ate ate Sacrastia de Campania and El Mural de los Poblanos. The mole at the former was ok, not great. The duck at the latter was also just ok, but DH's tacos Arabes were excellent. Last, but certainly not least we had 2 excellent lunches at Las Ranas which is a no frills taqueria with the best Tacos Arabes we had on our trip.

While in Puebla we visited Museo Amparo, a wonderful museum filled with high quality artifacts where we spent 3 hours. . We also visited several churches, and although they were all beautiful, we soon had our fill of church viewing. One day we took a day trip to Chulula which we booked at the tourist office on the zocalo. Although the tunnels at the pyramid in Chula were closed, we had a good walk up to the church at the top of the pyramid,.

We also visited 2 very unusual churches outside of Cholula. The faces portrayed in the artwork, and the decoration in the churches, were both Spanish and indiginous.. The glitter in both churches were as Baroque as I've ever seen. Both churches were very different from what we saw in Puebla

It was on this trip to Cholula that I spotted 2 Talavira pieces which I bought, and I am enjoying them at home as reminders of our wonderful trip.

After 3 nights in Puebla we took a taxi to the CAPU bus station and took a "luxury" bus to Mexico City. The luxury buses in Mexico are clean, convenient and a wonderful way to travel if you chose not to fly.

Next stop: Mexico City.

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