Thick Convent Walls at Camino Real Puebla

The ‘habitacion’ or bedroom is huge.  I have no idea who may have slept here hundreds of years ago when the Spaniards built this city in 1531 from the ground up.  We are ensconced in a chamber fit for a queen (or mother superior) in this ex-convent turned four-star hotel in the heart of Puebla’s historic district.  Did I tell you earlier that we got this room online from during the height of the swine flu scare for $68 USD per night prepaid?  The tariff is $2300 pesos per night rack rate which converts to $198 based on 13.2 pesos to the dollar current exchange rate.  The walls are so thick that they mask the sound of the party going on in the courtyard below for almost 300 people.  Thick adobe walls, stuccoed and painted a glazed golden ochre, and painted with original frescoes.  The ceilings have to be 20 feet high and they original wood ceiling has been restored to its original beauty.

Puebla is talavera ceramic heaven.  it is definitely worth a stop for two or three days to get the flavor of the Moorish architecture and hand-painted decorated tile work that adorns the beautiful colonial buildings.

After two hours of sleep last night (since we had to awaken at 2:30 a.m. to catch a 6 a.m. flight from RDU to Houston and then on to Mexico City), we have settled in.  The Estrella Roja bus station is just down at the end of the large hall in the international terminal at the Mexico City airport.  It was easy to take our luggage after clearing customs and immigration and walk to the bus depot, buy our tickets and get on the next bus to Puebla.  Total cost:  184 pesos (about $15 USD per person) and the wait was no more than 30 minutes.  The travel time was under 2 hours.  The taxi into the historic district from the Puebla bus terminal cost 50 pesos and we gave a 10 pesos tip.  Easy as pie!

Estrella Roja checks your bags and does a wand search before entering the bus.  They also give you a little snack bag with your choice of soda or juice, cookies and ear phones to watch the movie (Crash was showing w/Spanish subtitles).  Very comfy.  We wind out onto the highway and not far beyond the city we are under the volcano.  Fertile fields of rich volcanic soil are planted in corn and beans.  The spires of a village church all gold and glistening in the morning light (we have arrived in Mexico City at 11:15 a.m.) rise above a humble village.  A bicyclist pedals down a dirt road lined with eucalyptus, tall and elegant.  In the distance, the volcano leaves a trail of vapor across a pure blue sky.  It is a land of rolling hills, pines, live oak, moss colored.  Leaves of corn are spring green.  As we enter Puebla, we pass huge industrial parks and the massive, sprawling Volkswagen plant.  This is a prosperous, large and productive city.

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