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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Day 45 Sunday June 9, 2013

It is Sunday morning and I am in an open cafe in the plaza in Centro Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala. I arrived yesterday afternoon at 4:30 PM and was in the Hostal Casa Flavio within a hour. The hostal is run by a couple from Mexico City, Angel and Lady, who come here on the weekends and open their hostal from Friday afternoon through Monday morning. They also have their own business in Mexico City. As always when entering a new city, I come to the centro plaza, park the bike, and start looking for lodging. First around the plaza, then going out one block and circling, then out another block, etc. Upon arriving here, I parked the bike just off the plaza and was stretching and looking around when a man asked me if I remembered him. And yes I did, it was Africano Halle, a fellow traveler, I had met in Doloris Hidalgo. We spoke for a minute and he, knowing that I spoke very limited Spanish, took it on himself to help me find lodging. Mexico and its people never cease to amaze me.

Last evening a band played 60's tunes in the plaza and the "twist" was on!

These two boys were really into the twist.

I have been walking around Tlaxcala for about seven hours and other than it's beautiful plaza it really has nothing special that jumps out at me. I have been using "Lonely Planet Mexico" as my travel guide for the trip and Lonely Planet recommended Tlaxcala. For my taste it doesn't have a special attraction. I will put it in the same category as San Miguel Allende, lovely with restaurants and hotels a bit overpriced. My personal belief is that it's popularity can be attributed to the fact that it is just a couple of hours from Mexico City's 30 million people and offers a great place to come for a few day away from the city.

On my way here yesterday I could see one of the giant volcanos that are east of Mexico City, but it was so obscured in smog that I did not stop for a photo of it. I can only speak for the last week while I have been in this area but it is just a fact that when I am close to the city (say within 20 miles) I always know where it is by the smog on the horizon.

 The San José parish church was originally called the parish of San Juan y San José (Saints John and Joseph), constructed during the 18th century in Baroque style. This site was once the cathedral of the Diocese of Tlaxcala, but this has since been merged with Puebla, with its seat in the city of Puebla.

The Jorge Aguilar “El Ranchero” Bullring is on a site next to the former monastery. It was one of the first established in Tlaxcala in 1788. In 1817, the current structure was built of adobe and stone. The popularity of the sport spurred a number of ranches dedicated to raising bulls including the Tepeyahualco, Piedras Negras and Mimiahuapan.

This is the government palace that borders the entire north side of the plaza. The State Government Palace is the most important civic construction from the 16th century. It has three sections. The east wing was known as the Casas Reales, the center Casas Consistoriales, and the west wing as the Alhóndiga. The building is used for state government offices.

The Stairway of the Heroes was initially called the “Stairway of Independence” both of which refer to the busts of figures such as Miguel HidalgoIgnacio AllendeJosé María Morelos and Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez.

The former Franciscan monastery was built between 1537 and 1542, located on a hill on the edge of the historic center, away from the main square. It was one of the first four to be built by the Franciscans in the Americas, accredited to Martín de Valencia. The layout of the complex is unusual with the cloister on the left or north side of the church. The church still has its original roof made from large beams of wood. The main nave of the church has one of the few examples of Moorish art in the Americas.

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