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Annie_CA

Jun 11, 2004, 3:34 PM

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Noise in Merida & Progreso

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Hi Everyone,

I have been researching web sites and chatboards to determine
where in Mexico I might want to spend the winter. The Chapala/Ajijic chatboards say that all of Mexico is extremely noisy and that many people who first move there have trouble sleeping because of barking dogs, bottle rockets, firecrackers, loud parties, crowing roosters and general street and neighborhood noise that goes on EVERY night...not to mention festivals.

For those of you who know Merida and Progresso, is the same
thing true there? Is it possible to find a quiet neighborhood to live in? I'm a light sleeper, even with ear
plugs, so this is of interest to me.

Annie



sfmacaws


Jun 11, 2004, 5:11 PM

Post #2 of 14 (3864 views)

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Re: [Annie_CA] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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You realize that Merida is a big city with all the noise that comes with that? I don't know about Progresso but I'd imagine that the rooster and dog sounds will be anywhere. While I've spent many restful nights in Merida, the sounds don't bother me so I can't give you a comparison - I just don't hear it anymore. Merida has many suburbs of varying expense and while some may be quieter than others, don't count on losing the rooster and dog sounds. In the centro add car horns, buses and bands playing in the square every weekend. Also incredible thunder and lightening shows in the summer - the thunder can be so loud the walls rattle. It's a gorgeous city though, my favorite in Mexico.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Annie_CA

Jun 11, 2004, 9:21 PM

Post #3 of 14 (3849 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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Thanks for answering. I would probably want to stay on the outer edge of the city, away from downtown.

Your last line intrigues me -"a gorgeous city" - your "favorite" in Mexico. I would like to hear more about that.
What is it about Merida that makes it so beautiful? I would love to read some details on that. I've found several web sites but few photos. I think I did read one site that called it "the Paris of the West." I wondered how it compares.

Annie


sfmacaws


Jun 12, 2004, 1:13 AM

Post #4 of 14 (3841 views)

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Re: [Annie_CA] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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Merida could be any tropical colonial city in some ways, it has that sultry, luxuriant, decaying feel. The smell of flowers and cooking food hangs in the air, the buildings are stone with extravagent wrought iron, there are grand boulevards where the sidewalks are wide with outside cafes on every block and small parks and plazas, and narrow streets with barely room to walk on the sidewalk. There are many blocks with porticos over the sidewalks and the street a long drop below. It's many different pictures and places but they all fit together. It's called the white city although many of the old buildings are painted in delicate pastel shades. There are huge trees hanging over the plazas and streets, with flowers cascading over old walls. Music is everywhere, the markets are full of incredible tropical fruits and every kind of fresh sea food. The coffee in the cafes is not always nescafe, the pastries are wonderful and the cigars are cuban.

This year we went there for mardi gras, it was spectacular! Every block of the main boulevard had
a stage and bands all night with food and beer booths and carnivals for the kids. Here are
some pictures I took of the parade.





As to noise in the suburbs, during mardi gras we stayed out near the ring road and I remember it as pretty quiet. There were occasional fireworks but out there I don't remember hearing many. Like I said though, I'm not a good judge as I don't really notice a lot of the normal sounds. I have been awakened many times when staying in the centro by thunder, I guess that doesn't register with me as a normal city sound.

I had one of the most spectacular meals of my life there one hot summer evening in the courtyard of a ruined convent with huge forks of lightening flashing overhead and thunder shaking the ground. The food was delicate and innovative, the service perfect and our table was under the portico of the old convent with the roofless second floor across from us. It's a magical place full of music and friendly people who are rightfully proud of their city.

However, if you don't like heat or humidity - don't go there in the rainy season.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Annie_CA

Jun 12, 2004, 1:42 AM

Post #5 of 14 (3840 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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Wow!! Thank you for the beautiful description and the
spectacular photos. You write like a professional.

I was able to spend more time searching tonight and now
have a better understanding of the beauty of Merida.
I saw photos of Paseo Montejo, 60th St., Montejo House,
The Catherdral, Canton Place, the Government Palace,
Plaza Grande and more.

I learned Merida has a pop of almost 1 million people.
I couldn't find the square miles of the city; am still
curious about that.

I think that I would definitely enjoy living there for the winter. I've heard about the English Language Library. I tho't that I read that it had a chat board, but I couldn't find that link, if there is one.

Thanks again for the reply. Anything else that you care to
share, I will be delighted to read. I have read almost all
of the posts on this site written over the last year or more.

Yes, I believe that Merida is the place for me for winter.
I'm excited. Any realtors that you happen to know who would
show me some rental properties when I come to explore? It would be good to have a recommendation.
Annie


sfmacaws


Jun 12, 2004, 2:48 AM

Post #6 of 14 (3837 views)

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Re: [Annie_CA] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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Looks like we are both up late tonight <g>

I'm sorry but I don't know any realtors names to recommend. I would suggest a visit in the winter and look around once you are there. We stay at the Gran Hotel when we don't have the RV. The number I have in my pda is 99 247730 but I think that is the old number before the new area codes. I believe they have a web page as well. It's on Calle 60 and is only a block from the cathedral and main plaza. It's on the plaza Hidalgo, I believe that's the right name for the plaza but I don't have my notes and my memory for names is not great. Ask for a room on the 2nd or 3rd floor facing the plaza not the street. It's a gorgeous old mansion with 15' wide verandas around the inner courtyard. Beautiful antique furniture and high ceilings, also reasonable prices. Ask for a weekly rate and that will give you time to look for a rental. We met some people who own an old mansion on Paseo Montejo and rent out apartments but I'm afraid that I can't find their number now. I'll look for it but I'm in the middle of selling a house and getting rid of 20 years of stuff and probably can't find anything right now.

Don't know the size in square miles but I can tell you that to drive from the periferico (ring road) to the centro is probably 10 miles. The Paseo Montejo is the main boulevard I mentioned that was wide and grand and was filled with stages and dances at carnival. The rest of the year it is a very upscale area with large banks and embassies and mansions along it. Montejo House is, I believe, the mansion on that boulevard that has been converted into a museum and has wonderful displays of Mayan art. I took the mardi gras pictures on Calle 60 while standing in front of the cathedral, the pistachio colored building in them is the government house. It has some wonderful murals inside.

Aside from the colonial centro, Merida also has an area to the south and east of very modern shopping centers and neighborhoods. It is a bustling city that seems to be in good economic health these days. I am guessing that tourism overflowing from the Cancun area has helped but it is also the main commercial hub in the Yucatan peninsula and the capitol of the state of Yucatan. The main market is many square blocks and full of crafts and artisan work from the entire Mayan region including many vendors from the highland Maya in Chiapas and Guatemala. Many of the old hennequen plantations in the surrounding countryside have been converted into very deluxe B&B's and spas. One year when we were there we were riding in a taxi on Paseo Montejo and remarked about the many people out sweeping the streets. The taxi driver told us that "Presidente Cleenton" was coming to town and we later read that he was staying at one of these old hennequen haciendas. Even when there are no dignitaries in town, it is a very clean city - perhaps similar to New Orleans if you scrubbed it really well.

I think it would be a great place to spend a winter, perhaps many winters. There are so many wonderful places to visit that are nearby as well. Celestun and the flamingoes, Uxmal and the whole Puuc area, Progresso and the gulf beaches, Campeche, Valladolid ... it's a great spot and after many trips I have a long list of places I still haven't seen.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




sfmacaws


Jun 12, 2004, 3:03 AM

Post #7 of 14 (3836 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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You might enjoy our web page, there are some more pictures of carnival and also pictures of the flamingos in Celestun and the ruins at Uxmal. The carnival pictures are under Winter 2003/2004 and the Uxmal & Celestun pics are under Winter 2002 from the Pictures link at the bottom of the home page.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Annie_CA

Jun 12, 2004, 6:17 PM

Post #8 of 14 (3817 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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This is all excellent information. I found the Gran Hotel on
"tripadvisor.com" with rave reviews from people who had stayed there. Thanks for the tip about asking for a room on the Plaza side. The rates are very reasonable.

The beauty of the city itself plus all of the sites to see
and enjoy as day trips make this a very special place.

I'm also glad to know that it's a clean city. The more I read and learn about it, the better it sounds. I even read on one site that most of the people in the tourist industry speak English as do many locals. I'll start a Spanish class this summer (used to study it in H.S. and college). I want to learn some basics out of courtesy and for those moments when
it's needed. I'll continue classes after I'm there. I also
found out that the English Language Library has an "Amigos
Conversation" night where locals and ex-pats can come together and practice speaking the other's language through
chatting -- a good idea.

Your web site is outstanding! And what a great way to enjoy
life, traveling to new places on a regular basis. I love
doing that! I've been lucky to do it once or twice a year up
till now. I plan to be doing much more exploring in the future.

I don't envy you the task of sorting and packing as you prepare your house for sale. I've done that four times in the
last 20 years. It's feels like an endless task when you're in
the middle of it. I hope it goes as smoothly as possible.

Thanks again for all your help.


sfmacaws


Jun 12, 2004, 6:30 PM

Post #9 of 14 (3814 views)

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Re: [Annie_CA] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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Thank you for the compliment on the web page. Yes, this sorting and tossing and selling seems endless. I wish I'd done it 4 times in the last 20 years, but alas this is the first time in 17 years and the house is huge with many hiding places.

Enjoy Merida,


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Marie Boitano

Jun 14, 2004, 1:29 PM

Post #10 of 14 (3778 views)

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Re: [Annie_CA] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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Here are two web sites which may help with rental information. At www.jensyucatan.com there are some rentals listed and under accomodations Suites Del Sol. At www.miguelsmexico.com under accomodations is Luz en Yucatan. Since Merida has community concerts 6 nights a week and all day Sunday you may want to begin your residence in a central location to participate in the activities. Good luck, Marie


Annie_CA

Jun 15, 2004, 1:27 PM

Post #11 of 14 (3758 views)

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Re: [Marie Boitano] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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Hi Marie,

Thanks for sharing the web sites and suggesting that I look under accomodations. I had visted one of those site before
but looked only under rentals, assuming accomodations would
be hotels or, if B&B's, too expensive. But these are reasonable and a great idea!

Do you (or did you) live in Merida or nearby? Or have you vacationed there? I would love to read more about your knowledge and experience of Merida.

One thing I'm wondering is how easy it will be to meet other
Americans. Are there any organized social groups? I know the
English Language Library has some events to bring people together, but that's all I know about. I'm going to be there
by myself if I spend the winter, so I will be wanting to be
able to chat with people several times a week. And I will be
delighted to get to know Mexican people, too. I will be studying Spanish while there, and hopefully will improve enough to carry on a bit of a conversation(I know very little Spanish right now.) I read on one site that most of the people in the tourist industry speak English. That will make it easier for me.

I look forward to possibly receiving another email from you.
Thanks again,
Annie


Marie Boitano

Jun 15, 2004, 6:50 PM

Post #12 of 14 (3750 views)

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Re: [Annie_CA] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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Washington State is my home but the Yucatan has my heart. My travels have usually been solo and using bus transportation. As it is cool here, visits to the Merida area are quite a challenge. My experience with night time noise is that I am up and down all night long adjusting the fan or air conditioning to sleep in the 70 degree or so heat. The whirling sounds block whatever street noise there may be. Certainly take ear plugs because you may be comfortable in those temperatures without a fan. Palenque was my first experience with roosters who crowed all night and slept by day. The area is Mayan and people who expect the atmosphere of Guadalajara comment that Merida isn't Mexican. It is more quiet than Veracruz and quite welcoming in my experience. Get as much basic Spanish as you can before your arrival as you will be able to benefit more from local classes in Merida. I only used Spanish so don't know how much English is spoken. There is an English language women's group but you can get definite contact information from the English Language Library. Those web sites may also respond to a basic information query. Next year I'll probably return to visit Ek Balam near Valladolid and to buy a new hammock. Marie


Annie_CA

Jun 15, 2004, 7:49 PM

Post #13 of 14 (3748 views)

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Re: [Marie Boitano] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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Thanks, Marie. Yes, I can imagine that adjusting to the change
in climate between Washington state and the Yucatan would be
a little daunting.

I think the temperatures will be fine for me.

I'm looking forward to experiencing Mexico, as so many people,
like you, say they have fallen in love with the place, the
people and the culture.

Annie


johneparker

Jun 19, 2004, 7:05 AM

Post #14 of 14 (3720 views)

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Re: [Annie_CA] Noise in Merida & Progreso

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Look into www.meridainsider.com for more information about Merida. I live in Merida and it is a great place. I live in Centro and the noise is tolerable. Great City and very safe. The major drawback is the heat in late spring and early summer (May, June, July)
 
 
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