Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our Sunday tour out of the city

We took a tour with 7 others from the school at 150 peso each and we saw 4 places. Monte Alban was the centre of the Zapotec society its situated on top of the mountain overlooking Oaxaca city. Cuilapam Monastery where the Spaniards indoctrinated the local natives. Arrazola where they make wood creatures the Alebrijes. Last San Bartolo Coyotepec if famous for making the black glossy pottery.

amazing what they built over 1500 years ago

taking in the sun on the huge main yard plaza at almost 6 sq kilometers

on top of the south tower with others enjoying the view

on the north tower with some school mates

Tiny village of Arrazola is where they hand carve and paint these wonderful wood creatures called Alebrijes
the detail that goes into these things wow!

she told me takes her approximately 5 to 6 days to paint the lizard

Cuilapam monastery was built in the mid 1500's with the main purpose of indoctrinating the native people of the area.

the holy water that Baptiste the mixtec and the zapotecs

$10 usd all you eat buffet

traditional Oaxaca food Yummy!

famous black pottery of San Bartolo Coyotepec

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2 months studying Spanish in Oaxaca

Just finished our first week of Spanish classes its been really tough. Seven hours a day of school is harder than I thought. Good thing we are meeting lots of new people with common interests.

City of Oaxaca, is really cool place with great culture, food, indigenous people and ancient ruins near by. We haven't had a chance to explore the city centre yet too busy with classes. We start at 9 am and have 4 hours in class and 1 hour conversation with an Oaxacan. 2 hour break and back to class for 2 more hours learning Mexican cooking class Yum!

Centre court yard in our studio rental

tinny bath room but clean

kitchen, living room and dinning all in one

our bed place is new and very clean

We got this place for 4700 pesos a month includes internet, utilities and parking. Its a little far from our school but we bike in the morning takes 15mins so its good exercise for us god knows I need it. it anyone is interested the owner is super nice and people living here are mostly foreigners.

Rafeal is my Oaxacan exchange hes cool guy and teaches Mexican history

biking home after class its dark already

my small class, Jacques, Bill, and Gabi our teacher

cooking mole verde con pollo, thats green mole with chicken. was amazing!

Our spanish school is International Cultural Oaxaca, its pretty pricey 5 weeks for $600 usd per person. Tell you later if its worth it or not! but so far so good.

market day with our cooking class

ji biking in the park after class

jieuns advance spanish class

shopping at local grocery store it surprised us how large it was

Monday, November 15, 2010

Relaxing on the west coast in Zihuatanjo and checking out the Mexico pipe line in Puerto Escondido

docking ourselves in Zihuatanjo

While we in Mexico and we have to enjoy the beach and Zihuatanjo, is one of the best places to do it. There is not too much to say that the pictures can't tell you. We stayed 5 days at the Intrawest resort we didn't do too much in activities only laid on the beach and soaked in the pools.

view from our front door suite

ours is the top studio suite no elevator

lots of steps to the pool

opening up the doors for the sunset

from our balcony

Pureto Escondido, is Mexico's premier surf destination tones of surfers and big waves. Beach strip is long and full of bars and restaurants. Great place for beach bums and wannabe surfers.

our surf shack 250 pesos a night american owed

baby sea turtle release

they're so tinny can you see

deep thoughts

surfing during the sunset cool

girl surfers too nice!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our first hostel experience in Morelia

Morelia centro

Four hour drive north west of Mexico city is Morelia, the town centre is so well preserved they made it a UNISCO world heritage site. Morelia located in Michoacan, is notorious as a drug lord territory and violence. As for the city Morelia we found it very clean, welcoming and at night fall we noticed it had street lights. In Morelia we found the most interesting church to date the Santuario de Guadalupe, with colorfully walls of pink, red, flowers painted in gold the church itself was completed in 1716.

most colorful and interesting church so far

Now you have all seen the movie Hostel? we finally got to stay at our first one the Tequila sunset Hostel, and it was nothing like the movie other than all the young people we meet which was a great experience and one that we will surely try again. The Hostel was small but clean and the works were very friendly and all spoke English. Meeting all these young travelers has made it clear we need to learn more Spanish seems like all of them had a good grasp of the language except us. Our next stop will be five days at the costal resort town of Zihuatanejo.

behind us is the old water supply for the city

people from the hostel and we ate at a local church where all the money raised for charity

tour of Morelia didn't understand a world

In Mexico city during the Day of the Dead celebrations

Mexico city land of monuments

Aztecs wiping away the evil spirits

the three amigos

Its been over 3 weeks in Mexico and we have found it nothing like what we have read or heard from family and friends, until we arrived in Mexico city. Everyone we’ve talked to on the road has told us not to drive in the city because of traffic and the occasional car jacking. As for the roads and traffic that definitely was true, but lucky we didn’t have to drive too much to test the later and as soon as we arrived in the city 2 hours late from the traffic we found Jieun’s friends home and parked our sienna for the week. Thankfully Jieun had a friend in the city that let us stay with them. They fed us, showed us around and most important keep us safe. Thank you so much guys.

As for Mexico city we never felt unsafe despite all the bad news we have read and what our friends living in the city has told us. We rode the buses, subway, and took a taxi and the most dangerous we felt was when we drove ourselves. Afraid to getting lost and being cut off by everything on the road from motorbikes and loco bus drivers.

the blue house of Frida Kahlo outside

inside with Frida and Diego

Now the brighter side of the cities attractions from the down town were we saw Aztec people cleansing evil spirits with smoke, leafs and some liquids was pretty cool. Seeing the blue house of Frida Kahlo wife of Diego Rivera was interesting and sad story of her life after visiting the museum Jieun wanted me to download the movie Frida starring Salma Hayek if you have time check it out, good movie. Castillo De Chapultepec a castle with a panoramic view of the city was the late home of Emperor Maximilian and Empress Carlota now is a museum nice place to take pictures and see how the rich lived. Museum of Anthropology is Latin americas most extensive archives of Maya, Teotihuacan and Mexico cultural displays. Another key feature of the museum is the stone umbrella fountain structure.

gracias por todo Leo and Min Jung

We only stayed a week in Mexico city and most of our time was spent home resting but to truly know the city one would need more time and speaking spanish would help alot also. It is was time to move on getting too comfortable at Min jung and husband Leos home and plus Jieun was getting better thanks again guys for everything and god bless you both. Next destination Morelia.