After another switch between different terminals in Cuernevaca, we landed in Puebla. The bus station is pretty far outside of town so we grabbed a pre-paid taxi to our hostel. We had booked everything weeks ago from home, so we had no idea what we were getting when we arrived. I just knew it was pretty cheap!
It turned out it was a really new hostel in a really old colonial building in the historic centre of town. It also might have been our nicest room yet, big, with a small patio overlooking a gorgeous church, and a brand new bathroom.
After being on the bus all day, we set off in search of food and some exercise, walking through the zocalo and exploring the pedestrianized areas of the city.
The next day we signed up for a free walking tour offered by the hostel to get our bearings and a bit of historical context. It turns out we were the only ones interested and that our guide was actually the guesthouse owner looking to practice his (really good) English, chat and go for a walk. After about two and a half hours of continuous walking we had not learned all that much about Puebla itself, but had learned a lot about the culture of Mexico, including why we hadn’t seen anyone drinking margaritas (it’s because Mexican tequila is good enough you don’t need to add a bunch of sugar to it to mask the flavour), and had some great views of the city. Not exactly what we had expected, but it was a great way to spend the morning. We also got a couple of great tips for the rest of our time in Puebla.
With so much walking under our belts we didn’t feel guilty taking advantage of the city’s many coffee shops, making use of the wifi and chairs, void of no doubt the usual throngs of students when school is in session, as Puebla is definitely a university town.
The next day we headed to Cholula, a small town about an hour outside of Puebla, known for being even more of a university town. It also gave us the chance to check out a couple of kilometers of tunnels leading to a pyramid built upon a pyramid built upon another pyramid throughout the last thousand years or so, although there wasn’t much left of any of them anymore. We did climb the hill that was presumably once a pyramid and got more great views, although the church at the top was once again closed for renovation due to the recent earthquakes. To be honest, the lack of open churches hasn’t cramped our style all that much. It seems the effects of the recent earthquakes have been felt most deeply by those in the tourism industry, particularly in Puebla, where tourism was way down. However, Puebla is starting to get on the map with international tourists, so that may help dampen the domestic loss.
We walked around the lovely town of Cholula for another hour, checking out Container City, a happening place at night (apparently), composed of bars built into shipping containers. It was a bit weird during the day with empty bars and lights flashing, but with a bit of imagination, remembering a time when we were much younger and ready to go out on a Thursday night, it was cool. We then retreated back to the zocalo for a drink before grabbing a bus back to Puebla.