Friday, 29 March 2013

Merida Day 22 - Campeche, Part 2

Had a great nights sleep and ready to do the rest of this post.
Campeche's historical district is 6 blocks by 8 blocks, almost entirely enclosed by the old city walls.  The main square is bordered by the cathedral and long buildings with arches on the ground floor and balconies above, painted pretty pastel colours.

The area does not come across as particularly touristy. Aside from the entrance through the walls where there were some stalls, we saw no souvenir shops, there were no wandering hawkers, no sidewalk snack sellers.
The homes and businesses are smart and painted with plaster
decoration and lots of iron work

Two story buildings tend to have balconies
In fact we were hungry and had a difficult time finding a place to eat. We wandered the streets for at least half an hour before finding a comida economica and having a quick bite. We had only seen commercial buildings and retail up to that point but on looking at the map we had picked up, we saw the two gates marked that I wanted to see. We found a street that was pedestrian only between the two gates. I'm not sure how many gates the walled city had, but I had read that the Land Gate guarded the road coming from Merida.
The Land Gate from outside the walls of the historic city.
The Sea Gate lead to a pier as Campeche was a major port in the 16 to 18 hundreds. According to what I have read the walls and fortifications were built to withstand the acts of pirates, including Sir Francis Drake and John Hawkins, pirates that were essentially "licensed" by Britain.
Bell at the Sea Gate
Between the two gates the pedestrian road had a temporary exhibit of bronze sculptures, mostly of winged men.

In addition, there were sculptures scattered around, both inside the walls and out.
One gringo, one pirate.
We walked out of the Sea Gate and down to the Pacific. All along the sea front is a malcyon (walkway and bike path) and 4 lanes of roadway. By the city there are also large hotels. We had to walk along the sea front for quite a way before finding a bar to have 2 cervesas (oops 3, George raised his glass to cheers the waiter and it was translated into "I want another one", no big hardship there)

It was a nice little bar, "The Buccaneer", and we ordered guacamole, had a view of the ocean, felt the sea breeze and watched a "galleon" motor past.

Walked back, through a nice little neighbourhood and through a church and into the walled city again. There I did a quick sketch of the Cathedral bell tower and then we caught the buses again.
I will end this post with a couple of pictures of the sculptures.
This one was "in the moat" with one of the small fortifications
showing on the wall behind.

This is life size, as all of them are.
This is in bronze and shows the original layout of the city.

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