Ausflug - Mexico, Part 1: Oaxaca

Oaxaca Zocalo

You may have seen a few posts back that I was on a looong vacation in Mexico. You may have even followed along with the few photos I posted on the e.m.papers Instagram feed. I didn't post a lot, mostly because I am bad about taking photos, and also I was happily unplugged most of the time and just enjoying the moment.


I'm breaking this post up into two parts: Oaxaca and Tulum. Those are the two places we went. Oaxaca is a southern state of Mexico located on the Pacific side. It is known for it's rich history in the arts and especially it's celebration of Dia de Los Muertos. There's a major university there and it's full of young Mexican hipsters (!) along with regular everyday folk. 

Papel Picado

We were there not too long after the awful kidnapping and massacre of 43 protesting students in the state of Guerrero. Like much of Mexico, Oaxaca has a long tradition of protest and activism and this was on vivid display in the form of street art. This was what struck me when we first arrived. 

Oaxaca street protest art

Oaxaca street art - 43 protest

Oaxaca Street Protest art

A lot of non-protest related urban art and murals also caught my eye:

Oaxaca street mural

Oaxaca street art

I noticed and admired a lot of the hand lettering and signage that we came across.  This was a quote painted on the wal of a Mezscal distellery that we visted.

mescal sign

Oh how I wished I had had about four giant suitcases to pack all the crafts, foods and textiles I found meandering through the aisles at all the Mercados in town. Or course I brought back stuff, but just a fraction of what I could have!

Oaxaca mercado

We mostly wandered around town. Our bed and breakfast was right in the historical district, which was easy to walk around by foot (all the streets are one way!) 

warm wall in oaxaca

Oaxaca red building

I'm sorry to say I was too much of a coward to try the delicious looking street food we saw in many of the stalls, but we did find this great Grandma-style restaurant (El Escapulario), where we had my favortie meal. Tortilla soup and a chile relleno on an orange sauce, filled with the mild local cheese, chilis and herbs.

La Esculperia

The next day we went back for breakfast and my husband went all in and sampled a local delicacy Chapolines (grasshoppers) in an omlette. I looked on in fascinated horror.

Chapolina omlette

We also did some touristy things like a take a tour to a weaving town and see some of the ruins like Mitla and the spectacular Monte Alban above the city. I always resist these kinds of excursions, but afterwards I was glad we went.

weaving in tenotitlan


Monte Alban

I loved Oaxaca. I loved the culture that infused the city, the people, the vibe, and I hope this was the first of many trips back to Mexico. Stay tuned for part 2: Tulum.

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