I think I have made it rather clear that I don't care much for 'tourist
stuff'. However, sometimes, there is no graceful way out of going to a
tourist site. When we visited Raul, he offered to take us to Cacaxtla and
Xochitecatl, ancient sites near Puebla, and Margarita wanted to go, so I
First, we drove to Cacaxtla. It is much more interesting than Xochitecatl.
There is a complex pyramid from the last millenium, on a hill. There were
originally many rooms in that pyramid. And, some of the walls still have
This site is considered so priceless that the Mexican government built a
large metal roof over the whole thing to protect it from further damage by
One pays at the gate, then walks maybe a quarter mile to the site. Of
course, it's all uphill under the roof. There is a fenced walkway around
the top of the pyramid, so one does not even touch the surface of the
pyramid when walking around.
Signs point out the uncovered remnants of the buildings that were
originally on the pyramid. There are a number of rooms still partly visible.
A large group of students were ahead of us, receiving a lecture on the
pyramid and its history. Raul waited until they went ahead, so he could
study the large, extremely complex mural on the north wall. He hoped to
find a portrayal of someone having their heart ripped out; he did after
quite a long time, and was pleased. He kept joking it must be Sherwin &
Williams paint to last that long. But, the signs said the paint was made
of natural substances.
For those interested in seeing ancient pyramids, I am confident it's worth
the trip to see this site. The view, including Popo in the distance, and
the surrounding terrain, would make it worthwhile without the archeological
and historical value.
We decided to drive around the mountain to see Xochitecatl which is in
plain view to the west of Cacaxtla. The fee we paid to get into Cacaxtla
also let us into the other site. That is simpler, though they have not dug
very much into the mound. The police carry shotguns, though I assume that
is more for potential criminals than to protect a mound of rocks, but I am
not sure. There is a small museum with an alarm system that plainly said
it was not working because telecommunications was down. Maybe the crooks
can't read English?
One of the mounds is a spiral, though we checked it carefully, and it is
not truly a spiral. Not all of the circles have a walkway to the next.
This is also probably worth the time and expense for those who relate to
that sort of thing. I won't go again, if I can avoid it, but since I felt
compelled to go, it was enjoyable.
I have had problems before because I couldn't explain what was worth seeing
in Puebla for tourists. Now, I have at least one answer beside the
historical center in the middle of town.