When I lived in New York, one of my friends was a Mexican woman married to an American. Her name is Martha, and in January, she messaged me that she was in Puebla visiting her mother, and invited me to come over and stay with her for a few days.
Thinking about the cheapest way to go, I considered the bus – until I found out that it was about a 13 hour ride. One friend suggested that I fly into Mexico City and then take the bus to Puebla, which I did. Returning home, it was only a 40 minute ride to the bus station, a 2-hour bus ride to the airport and a 90 minute-or-so flight to Colima Airport. Getting there, however, was quite an adventure. My 4:25pm flight from Colima left at 6pm (good thing I didn’t have to catch a connecting flight, and the reason I usually plan for several hours of overlay between flights when I do) and the 8:15 bus, I was told, would be delayed until 8:50p because of traffic. A baggage handler took my suitcase, and I took the opportunity to go to the bathroom and get a bite to eat. Returning in plenty of time, I waited for my bus, only to be told that it had already left with my suitcase. However, there was room on the actual 8:50 bus, and when I got to the station, my suitcase was waiting for me. Whew !!!
I felt really bad for Martha, as we didn’t finally arrive at her home until midnight, but she assured me she was ok because her brother had accompanied her. After a good night’s rest, I was ready to explore Puebla.
We did so much exploring during the three full days that I was there that my time will be detailed over several blog posts. Firstly, the rural area where my friend lives is called Atlixco. It is pronounced Aht-lees-ko and when said, sounds very much like Jalisco (ha-lees-ko) – one of the states that borders Colima state, where I live. So it was very confusing when I heard people say the name, and I would wonder why they were talking about Jalisco.
Atlixco is a designated Pueblo Mágico, or magic town, which means it is deemed to have cultural, historical, gastronomical or natural treasures that are exceptionally special and meaningful to Mexico’s heritage. These are always wonderful towns to visit, and I will get into all the details in upcoming posts.
One feature of this area which is evident wherever you are is the volcano Popocatépetl. This volcano is continuously active and stands at 5426 meters (17,802 feet). This is higher than the two volcanoes in my area – the Volcán de Fuego (Colima Volcano) at 3839 meters (12,595 feet) and Volcán de Nieve (Nevado de Colima or Volcano of Snow) at 4260 meters (13,976 feet). It was really quite impressive, and when I say it is continuously active, that means there was a non-stop plume of smoke arising from the caldera.
And while Colima is an agricultural state known for coffee, bananas and sugar cane, the economic backbone of Puebla is the floral industry, growing flowers for export.
One of the first places we visited was a bonsai museum. In Japan, a man by the name of John Naka taught many people the art of bonsai, and many of his students then settled in other places continuing to teach others this art. A man named Emigdio Trujillo Sanchez learned this art from maestro Chen in San Francisco and maestro Yamaguchi in Los Angeles.
As a result of his interest and studies, he created the Museum of Bonsai and the Mexican School of the Art of Bonsai. The outdoor museum holds about 200 samples of trees between 20 and 100 years old. Periodically, the school also invites international teachers of bonsai who give demonstrations and classes.
Here are photos of some of the bonsai trees:
And so ends today’s blog post. More next time as my adventures continued in Puebla.