Nov. 18-23: Oaxaca City, Oaxaca

On November 18 (day 48), after enjoying our included breakfast at the City Express Hotel in Tula de Allende, Danielle and I left the city, and completed the final leg of our journey to Oaxaca City. The drive from Puebla city to Oaxaca city was especially notable, as the road begins to climb and descend mountains while twisting and turning hither and tither. Passing on blind corners was the norm, and it was madness for most of the drive. That said, it was quite beautiful and enjoyable.

We arrived at our Airbnb in the city in the late afternoon, and soon thereafter settled in. The room was above a furniture studio and was quite eclectic, with all the furniture made on premises. The beds were comfy, the wifi fast, and the small kitchen well enough equipped. Although the water pressure was, at times, pitiful, and the noise from the road was a tad loud, the good far outweighed the bad.

The next day (day 49) was spent getting acquainted with the city, wandering the streets, checking out the market and shops, as well as visiting a coffee shop for lunch. During our wanderings we were treated to a few free samples including some mole and mezcal -- which, albeit very interesting, I probably wouldn't drink again. While walking back to our Airbnb, we witnessed a wedding party, dancing through the streets, dressed in traditional Oaxacan Guelaguetza clothing.

On Nov. 20 (day 50), Danielle and I did much of the same things we did the day before; wandered the city, stopping at coffee shops and stores, without much of a real goal. However, we did plan our route through the Yucatan at the coffee shop. We also visited the Centro Fotográfico Manuel Álvarez Bravo which at the time was featuring work by photographers from either Chile or Argentina, I can't remember which. The building was beautiful, centered around a courtyard full of flowers with a pond in the middle.

That night we grabbed dinner at Pez, a seafood taco place where the highlight was a Chile relleno de queso con camaron – a jalapeno pepper stuffed with cheese and shrimp on a tortilla. It was one of the best tacos we've ever had. After dinner we grabbed some desert at a bakery Danielle looked up online, and shared a blackberry-chocolate tart and a chocolate doughnut. All-in-all, a great dinner-desert combo.

Walking back to our Airbnb, we stopped this time to witness what appeared to be a high school marching band performing in a blocked off street. It was almost like Spanish opera, and so we stayed for a few minutes enjoying the music with the crowd. Then, we returned to our room for a nice evening.

On the 21st (day 51), Danielle and I decided to go drive up to the ruins of Monte Albán, which overlook the city of Oaxaca, less than a half hour drive through the city away. While the drive was absolute insanity -- viciously battling taxi drivers and making our own lanes -- the views at the top of the mountain were worth it. Although the ruins that were yet to come were perhaps more impressive than those at Monte Albán, this was my first experience with Mayan ruins, and I was impressed. Plus, the views of Oaxaca city from the top were impressive as well. My only complaint was that we went midday, and thus the lighting was quite poor.

Our last day in Oaxaca City (Nov. 22/day 52) was spent hanging about, checking out more shops, getting more coffee, and getting some prints made and mailed. We then readied ourselves for our departure the next day. Overall, our time spent in Oaxaca was very nice, and I would visit the city again without a doubt.

On the 23rd, we left Oaxaca, and began the journey towards the Yucatan Peninsula. We drove for many hours, stopping just after then sun set at the Hotel del Viajero near Cardenas, Tabasco.

The Mayan ruins of Monte Albán

Oaxaca City as seen from the ruins above.

The museum at Monte Albán.

Danielle in the loft kitchen at our Airbnb.

Out the window of the kitchen.

In the kitchen.

Templo de Santo Domingo as seen from the roof of our Airbnb.

Long exposures from our room's balcony.