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Apr 4, 2010, 5:32 PM

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Recent trip to Xalapa

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My son and I were in Xalapa for 3 days last week and had a wonderful time. We met an American couple there who begged us not to reveal how great a city it is, so I'll go easy on the tributes, but having said that, I want to publicly give a big tip of the hat to Roy Dudley......our tour guide, translator, food advisor, expediter, entertainer, and now our good friend. Entertainer? Yes, a walk through the streets of Xalapa with Roy is like walking with a rock star. Everyone seems knows him and many people stop to say hello. His handling of traffic as a pedestrian is like watching an artist at work. His knowledge of the streets, alleys, restaurants,neighborhoods, local artists and musicians is vast. Our last day in Xalapa, Palm Sunday, happened to be the day of Roy's Biciton, which is a pretty big event. People donate old bicycles for refurbishing and bikes are raffled. There was a very good marching band, dancers and a salsa band entertaining the large crowd. A great finish to our stay in this beautiful city.

About Xalapa:
Traffic......heavy, but not a problem if you're walking and taking cabs.
Hills.....they make you wish you were a teenager again, but that's part of the charm.
Music......extraordinary......varied and plentiful. One night we had to choose between a symphony concert and a Cuban Salsa band (chose the salsa band.)
Food.......everything we had was great and not too expensive.
Coffee.......great coffee shops everywhere.
The people......very friendly......not much English spoken, a little Spanish skill is helpful, but not necessary.
Hotel....stayed at La Posada Mariquinta. Very nice.....convenient location......quiet. Even though our room faced a busy street, the windows were double paned and blocked the sound.
Weather......last week in, rained one day, sunny and warm the last two.
Safety......walked all over the downtown area at all times of night with no problems or feelings of danger. Lots of college kids.
Oops.......I've broken my promise not to brag on Xalapa.

We weren't there to find a place to retire.We just wanted to see the city, hear some good music, have some coffee, eat some good food, go to the Anthropology Museum, visit Coatepec and Xico, and see the falls (Texolo.)

We did all that plus a lot more, thanks to Roy Dudley.

I will return as soon as possible.


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