Morelia – Christmas Trees and Superheroes

Fun, vibrant, buzzing with activity and lots of people in fancy dress! I can’t recall exactly why we decided to spend a few days in Morelia, but I am so glad we did!

Morelia is one of those towns that we instantly took to. All of Mexico is friendly, fun and exciting, but Morelia seemed especially so. We were staying at Casa Jose Morelia, a typically Mexican place and like so many places we have stayed, originally a private house built around a courtyard. It was comfortable rather than luxurious with a friendly staff and great breakfasts.

Casa Jose Morelia courtyard

Most importantly, the location was great, a short and pleasant walk to the pre Christmas celebrations happening each night in the Plaza de Armas, but far enough away from the celebrations to be quiet.

By day, the plaza is a great place to sit with a coffee, or a taco, or both and watch the world go by. Morelia’s stunning cathedral with its two soaring towers, said to be the tallest in Mexico, is a sight to behold and is clearly the focal point for the entire city.

Morelia Catedral in the Plaza de Armas

Sunday is Ciclovia day when the streets are shut off for cyclists – the “bicycle buses” were hugely popular!

By night the Plaza really comes alive as the whole city descends on the square for a good time. It is just a few days before Christmas and the streets around the plaza are filled with performers in fancy dress – everything from The Grinch, to a “Scream” Santa Claus to Batman. The kids were loving it! All around the Plaza itself is an impressive array number Christmas Tableux – Londons Regent Street has some competition it seems!

The Catedral at night

The Danza de los Viejitos (Dance of the Little Old Men) is a traditional folk dance performed by children in masks and clogs. Very energetic and very noisy as the kids switch teeter around pretending to be old men and then switch instantly to complex, energetic and very loud tap dancing in heavy wooden clogs! Great fun!

A couple of streets form the Plaza de Armas is the smaller Plaza Melchor Ocampo. This is where we sat and watched them erect the mega Christmas tree.

One day, when wandering the streets aimlessly (often the best way to explore a new place) we happened across the beautiful old Convento del Carmen which houses the Casa de la Cultura. As we pass Carolyn notices that there is a show that night by an Argentine Tango Troupe who were coming to the end of a tour of Mexico. We ask around to find out where tickets are being sold and manage to bag two of the very few remaining tickets.

The theatre that night was packed out. Not surprising really as the show the guys put on was the equal of anything we have seen in Buenos Aires. Made a nice change from Mariachi too!

During our all too short stay in Morelia we had walked past Collegio de San Nicholas which we had heard contains a very special library, but each day it was closed. On our final day in Morelia the door was open so we took a look inside. wonderful building and a wonderful library. not sure we were supposed to be there but nothing ventured…

At the library door

During our wanderings around the city we stumbled across the beautiful Palacio Clavijero. Now converted to government offices but what offices!

Palacio Clavijero
What a ceiling!
Murals are everywhere..

The food in Morelia is excellent. The ubiquitous tacos were everywhere in many different varieties and are especially good here.

It is the sweets for which Morelia is really famous throughout the country. The market stalls are piled high with all manner of sweeties and Mexicans come from far and wide to stock up – sadly no photos!

Morelia is a wonderful city and a place that I would highly recommend. It is certainly a place to which we hope to return one day. For now though it is on to Patzcuarao.

6 comments

  1. Loved Morelia. Such a charming city, We were there on my first trip to Mexico i. The early 90’s. Im glad it a nice place to visit again. It was riddled with gang wars for a bit. We went on a food tour in Mex City and the couple had to leave Morelia when shootouts were taking place on their street.

    1. Dona, I am pretty sure that it was on your recommendation that we included Morelia,so thank you! No shootouts there though a very camp “The Grinch ” did try an rip me off for 20 pesos for taking his photo!!

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