Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oaxaca: arrival

For a place with a population almost ten times that of Antigua, Oaxaca is fairly sleepy. You get the impression that not much happens here before 10am...which makes a pleasant change from the hustle and bustle - the hustle in particular - of Tapachula yesterday.

Down there every other car was a taxi and almost without exception they slowed beside me and honked ecstatically, as if I had the best rack in town. I didn´t see another non-Hispanic on the pavements all afternoon so I guess I was fair game.

Anyway, something must be going on here in Oaxaca because two of the hotels I tried on arrival at 8am were full. Coming in on the bus I couldn´t help noticing the almost familiar Mediterranean-style landscape flecked with cypresses. The Mezcal factories help to localise one well enough though.

The cypresses are native too and I´ve read that in 2005 the local government eco-renovated the zócalo, ripping out the incumbent flora and installing these tall, flint-shaped trees instead, on the basis that they are more local. Didn´t go down well with the two-legged locals however. I´m off now to see for myself...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The tree renovation didn't happen in the Zocalo thanks to a prominent artist and Oaxaca resident as well as other strong opposition. While one of the (non-native)laureles bears damage from the try (look to your left as you exit the new museum), the rest were unharmed as such.
Except for some stonework and finishing of the walkways, the Zocalo looks much the same as during my first visit in 1988.