Oaxaca did not disappoint. The magic I felt on my first visit here for the Day of the Dead, still palpable in the air. We woke to an azure blue sky and temperatures in the middle 70’s. Breakfast at the hotel was excellent, my salty mushroom toast with an egg and fruit salad a good start to the day. Mary’s mushroom omelet 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. The salsa verde and fresh tortillas that accompanied the meals elevated them to wow status. And did I mention the coffee!!!!
Following breakfast with cameras in hand we drifted in the general direction of the red pottery shops that i remembered from my visit in 2017. A retail reconnaissance mission ensued and at least two options were discovered that will allow Anne to secure the missing pieces of her red pottery table and cookery wear. Good news – they ship!!!! Yahoo!!!! Bad news for the VISA 😂
At the Acala we turned left and headed up to Santa Domingo Cathedral. The Acala is free of cars and a wonderful spot for street photography of myriad vendors, holiday makers and explosive colour everywhere -something that is missing in the long Canadian winters.
We wandered through an artists area by the cathedral and as we turned down the Alcala towards the Zocalo (the large central square in Oaxaca City) one of Oaxacas numerous parades met us. The first parade in Mexico was a military parade in September 1821 to celebrate the recent Independence. Interestingly enough it was modelled on parades organized by Napoleon III who recognized the PR possibilities in a show of military strength. Lots of parallels to that idea throughout history. Parades here are for numerous reasons, to celebrate religous holidays, historical events, weddings, protest movements, civic holidays and sometimes it seems just for fun. This particular one was a protest parade. It was non-threatening and allowed for some excellent photo opportunities.
Following the passage of the parade we wandered down to the Zocalo, moving quickly through the area of tourist vendors, making our way to a remembered restaurant on the square in search of Soupa Axteca. Muy Bueno! After an hour of people watching and shooting photos we wandered back to the hotel for a rest before our late afternoon photo workshop with Oaxacan photographer Juan Pablo.
An amazing two hours spent with a very talented, passionate photographer, with a deep love for Oaxaca and photography. The late afternoon/early evening light and street activity provided us with an abundance of photographic opportunities (street photography, composition, and a wedding parade) which Juan Pablo showed us how to capture. Who would have thought we would ever be kneeling on a street corner shooting up from the street while taxi cabs and other assorted modes of transportation whizzed by – interestingly no one seemed to think us a bit strange. If you are ever in Oaxaca and wish to spend time with an accomplished photographer and genuinely nice guy, we highly recommend Juan Pablo. https://es-l.airbnb.com/experiences/1502568
Family at the end of a long day
After a very full day we have settled back to the hotel on our hacienda, enjoying Mexican pizza and a bottle of Mexican rojo – both are excellent! See you all tomorrow!