If I were to throw a bag over your head, kidnap you and then release you into central Puebla, you’d almost certainly think you were in Europe. You’d also wonder why I just kidnapped you and deposited you somewhere random. I am not sure which thought would come first.
Puebla’s city center looks like a European capital. It features the largest cathedral in Mexico and is home to over 1000 Spanish colonial buildings – the most in Mexico. Aside from the buildings, the ubiquitous sidewalk cafes are full of people enjoying the pleasant climate, the parks are full of families and street performers, and due to the large university, the city has a youthful vibe.
However, Puebla is distinctly Mexican. Many of those colonial buildings are painted assorted bright colors, the Zocalo has towering palm trees, the locals are super friendly and laid back, and taco stands are found along every street. This is also where the Mexicans defeated the French on the 5th of May, 1862, or Cinco de Mayo, and is now a major fiesta in the United States with 2 for 1 margaritas specials at every Tex-Mex restaurant. What could be more Mexican than that?
I have met many people who have visited Puebla and they all love it, but it doesn’t seem to be anybody’s favorite place in Mexico. It finishes second to cities like Oaxaca or Mexico City or Guanajuato. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
I think Puebla is okay with that. I think she is content to be loved by all those who visit and happy to not be overrun by tourists. I bet she would also appreciate it if you didn’t kidnap anyone and drop them off in the zocalo.
Where is Puebla, you might ask? It is about a 2 hour bus ride from Mexico City.
Do you ever kidnap people and drop them off in strange towns just to see their reactions?