While visiting the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico in October 2010, I was in heaven! For 11 days, I savored the people, the food, the music, the architecture & the climate-it is all so beautiful.

Catedral de Merida, Mexico 10-2010

In Merida, as a blonde woman, I immediately felt welcomed, comfortable & safe. Even though I was there on business, I was able to take in some of the wonderful sights & smells. I love how the ancient traditions blend with the modern daily life & technology. As I walked through the Plaza Grande, Mayan vendors sell basically the same delicious foods & beautiful crafts that they have for centuries while others sit on benches working on their computers. Both the Internet & the electrical outlets are provided by the city for free in the Plaza Grande.

Palacio Municpal de Santa Elena, Merida 10-2010 8

Each night I walked to a nearby plaza to enjoy free entertainment of music & dance. Some nights I watched local traditional dances performed by dancers in gorgeous costumes accompanied by full bands. Other nights the bands played a variety of dancing music for anyone to join in. And dance, they did-from young to old. Many performances were also given in the afternoons with array of incredibly good food available from the many vendors. I especially loved the Sopa de Lima made with fresh vegetables & Iguana in a clear broth & served lots of fresh lemons. Yes, I did say Iguana! A tamer version made with chicken is available for the less adventurous types. The locals say it is good for breakfast to help cure hangovers, if you happen to have one. I did have it for breakfast my first morning in Merida as I sat outside in the plaza enjoying the view, listening to the birds & watching the people passing by. No, I did not have a hangover-I just could NOT wait until dinner to savory this dish that I had waited for years to eat again. Oh, it was so good!

As I wandered the streets, people smile & said, “Hola” to this stranger without giving it a second thought. There is a nice mix of locals with a sprinkling of tourists & ex-pats all enjoying this wonderful place. The prices of the food, hotels & homes to buy are so friendly to the wallet. I could actually afford to eat out every day without going over my budget. Merida is about 20 minutes to the Gulf of Mexico & very close to many ancient Mayan sites including Chicken Itza & Tulum. I hope to write about them, Progresso, Cancun, Playa del Carmen & Cozumel with accompanying photos in the next few months. I can’t wait to go back.

Plaza Grande, Merida 10-2010 5

For more photos, please see my Facebook album, Merida, Mexico.