TripAdvisor published here my review on Paseo de Montejo, An architectural time travel.
Not that is hard to be published on TripAdvisor, not at all, I just tought that because of the format in which I wrote it, a short story, it might not pass but it did. I invite you to ready it.
─A small typo where it says ” …the shade form the trees,” ‘form’ should read ‘from the trees’. Once the review is published, it can’t be edited. Sorry.─
Don’t want to go to TripAdvisor? Read the short story here
Paseo de Montejo, An architectural time travel
I needed to go downtown to do some errands, and from where I live, there are two main routes to get there: the ugly and fast and the nice one and slow because of traffic. I always chose the nice and slow: Paseo de Montejo.
As a side note, traffic is relative. Coming to Merida 9 years ago, today with a bit less than a million people, from my former city with more than five million people in the metro area, well, Merida’s traffic is a walk in the park anyway you see it.
This time, on my way back from downtown, I decided to park the car and take a walk all along the Paseo. I’ve been there many times before but to specific places: a bank, or a restaurant, or at night to photograph the Monument to Homeland, and such. But it has been a while since I walked the avenue just for the pleasure of it.
I almost decided against it at the last minute. You see, Merida’s climate is always great, the only problem being that heat doesn’t let you notice it. And it was around noon.
I parked the car near the “Remate”, which is where the Paseo ends and downtown begins. There is a branch of an old ice cream shop over there called “Helados Colon”, founded 1907.
Got down, opened the trunk, and took out my Paseo de Montejo walking kit for sunny days: a sunscreen lotion with EU approved ingredients, don’t trust the FDA, a “Jipi” hat, made with the fibers of carludovica palmata, a palm-like monoct plant, a long-sleeved “Guayabera”, a jacket-like shirt, made from the fibers of linen, of which two thirds of the world harvesting comes from a strip of land that goes from France to Holland, and all sent for retting to Belgium in the River Lys, from where the world’s finest linen comes, and a pair of natural fiber shoes with recycled rubber from car tires, and a hand fan also made from palm fibers.
Hate to tell you I’m just kidding. I don’t have that walking kit in my car but I wish I had it just 15 minutes later into the walk.
Anyway, I’m standing there, the sun shining and trying to fry my last three working neurons, when the shade from the trees came into my rescue. Yes, those very same trees that M. Night Shyamalan tried to convince you they’re going to kill you in the movie “The Happening”. They wouldn’t at Paseo de Montejo. All the way from the “Remate” to the Monument to Homeland, where the Paseo ends, or starts, depending on how you see it, the ample sidewalks are shaded by large trees.
Many of those trees went down during the category 3 hurricane Isidore in 2002, that walked the Yucatan Peninsula as a hurricane, with winds of 205Km/h (127.4 mph) for 14 hours and as a tropical storm for 21 hours. I wasn’t living here at that time. Yet, one wouldn’t notice today something terrible happened just 13 years ago.
The Paseo is 5.5 kilometers or 3.4 miles. Thus, if you’re visiting from one of the three countries in the world that still do not use the metric system, the USA, Burna, and Liberia, the walk will be shorter for you, at least perceptually.
Nowadays, on Sundays, the Paseo is closed to car traffic and only bike and walking traffic is allowed, from 9am to 12pm. There are many other activities held there and in downtown streets.
I continued walking and then saw a couple kissing and suddenly realized I haven’t kissed a woman since the last time I did. Must be the heat. The weather I mean, not my lack of it.
I was so immersed in the beautiful French architecture of the nineteen century buildings, that I felt my body vibrate. At first I thought my cells where starting to disintegrate and I was surrounded by a sphere-like strong magnetic field, inside which a portal opened for me to be transported into another epoch and to the avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, 2.9 times shorter than Paseo de Montejo. But then noticed it was my cell phone vibrating in my back pocket.
I reached the end of the walk, crossed the street, and walked my way back now admiring the buildings on the other side. I got back to where I started, bought a coconut ice cream cone, got into the car, turned the air conditioning to maximum and drove back home.