Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dia Tres: La Ciudad

Today I decided to do some more sightseeing of the adventurous variety. Fortified by a random collection of breakfast foods, I set off for Ruinas del Rey a small Mayan site about 2 kilometers from my hotel. I didn't stick around too long since the site was full of iguanas who chased me and the extreme heat didn't help either.
I pressed on, this time by bus, to a big shopping center complete with a drugstore stocking cortisone for my mosquito bites, an Internet cafe and the nicest bathroom I've seen in Mexico. If you are ever in Cancun, I highly recommend Plaza Kukulkan.
My next stop was the Embarcadero and the Museo del Arte Popular. For $5 US, you get an audio guide (in the form of an old-school Walkman) and admission to this fascinating and charming museum of folk art from all over Mexico. The museum is sorted by object type: musical instruments, masks, nativity scenes, gourds, etc. The also have life-size scenes of pastoral Mexican life in the mercado, the home kitchen and the church. It's not a big space, but the collection is staggering. Here are some pics.
Another public bus ride takes me into downtown Cancun, which I am pretty much the only white person randomly walking around. As I mentioned earlier, my Spanish skills have proven invaluable and today they got put to the test since I had to ask no fewer than four people for directions to a restaurant I had read about in my guidebook. Specializing in Yucatanean cuisine, Labna lived up to its expectations, even though I was the only person in the restaurant at first. My waiter, Tomas, proved that Mexican hospitality is supreme and he even walked me through the kitchen in order to give me better directions to my next stop.
Market 28 is similarly hyped in the guide books as THE place for souvenirs and it sadly does not live up to the hype. It's one tacky shop after another and if you don't have the stomach to say no a lot and to haggle, then don't come. (Plus, I found out later that the bargains are sometimes better in the Hotel Zone.) Luckily, I can count in Spanish and have some balls so I found a few good gifts.
Desperately needing some lighter, healthier food, I retraced my steps to 100% Natural, a local chain of sandwich/smoothie/granola-type shops that has tons of vegetarian options. I got a snack and waited out the day's second rain shower. A short walk takes me to the appropriate bus and I make it back to the hotel in time to catch a few rays.
Now I'm relaxing with a little Mythbusters (in English!) before dinner and a possible dancing excursion. Tomorrow I'll finally channel my sister and have a lowkey day by the pool and beach... of course, I may still try to sneak in a trip to the gym.

1 comment:

SaraK said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! The pics are amazing!