As most museums are closed on Mondays, I had a few more spots to check out in town before heading to Cholula, where the Spanish built a church (in 1594) on top of the biggest pyramid in the Americas (which was buried and looked like a hill at the time). The plan was to see some cathedrals, visit a neighborhood of murals, check out the fort to the north with supposedly good views of the volcanoes, see the smallest volcano in the world (located in a neighborhood of Puebla to the north), then ride to Cholula, 15 Kms to the west to see the ruins and finally ride up to the saddle between the 2nd and 3rd largest mountains (volcanoes, one active) in Mexico via a dirt road. Needless to say, I bit off more than I could chew, but with no adverse affects, as there is lots of time to get to everything.
The following was accomplished:
Saw the Cathedral and library. Tried to interpret some art. Beautiful and interesting.
Visited the neighborhood of murals. Nice example of modern urban art revitalizing a poverty stricken area.
Checked out the fort to the north. The views were not so great as it was hazy.
Saw the smallest volcano in the world. It was closed for renovation so we could only see it from behind the fence. We did go into the market next door and ate some incredible mushroom quesadillas. We must have been a novelty there as people stared at us, tried to help us and would not leave until they saw us eat. People are so nice here!
Rode the Cholula to see the largest pyramid in the Americas and the church sitting on top. There are 8 Kms of tunnels running through the pyramid. Some parts of it are exposed, but most of the structure is underground. Search as I might, I could not discover the reason for why it was under so much dirt (maybe as much as 4 meters in places)! Volcanic eruption? Build up of soil over time? Intentional burial? All I can do is speculate.
Entering via the tunnels.
Views from the top.
Some other site we didn't visit.
The pyramid ruins.
Randy chillin after the climb up.
After Cholula is was getting late so we headed back to Puebla and the hostel. It was getting dark by the time we got back so the decision was a wise one. The hostel was filling up with travelers and we met a cool guy from Florida who quit his job to travel the Americas indefinitely. It was the first time I went to a bar in Mexico. Fun. Tomorrow we ride across the saddle and towards Teotihuacan (established around 100 BC!), a large pyramidal complex just northeast of Mexico City. The navigating aspect of that adventure should be a fascinating experience.