Los Colores de Mérida

Mérida, if you hadn’t realised already, is a pretty colourful place. Mind you, anywhere in Mexico is a riot of colour. But there’s something about the light here that makes colour particularly vivid.
The yellows hum, the reds and pinks pop, the greens vibrate and the whites glare – but it’s also pastel tones on tones that work so well here too. 

The low-rise streets of Mérida are laid out on a grid, with the Zocalo and the Centro Historico at its heart. The inner barrios of Santiago, Santa Ana, Santa Lucia, San Cristobal, San Juan and La Ermita are full of one (at most two) storey buildings, most of them daubed in an array of colours, some conservatively pastel, but others outrageously garish – proudly shouting their individualism.

I love it. 

We’ve been here in Casa de Los Abuelos for a week and starting to really relax into this sprawling old characterful house with its thick faded yellow walls, pale green distressed wooden doors and, in every room, original pasta floor tiles that act as visual carpets. These handmade tiles are well over 100 years old and are extremely sought after in Mérida and really only available for new home renovations when these old colonial homes sadly have to disappear and give up their treasures. 

Nearer the centre of town, the sprawling and unruly Lucas de Galvez Mercado opens at 6am every day and is packed with more colour, stalls selling pretty much everything you could need. It’s also jammed with locals, hardly any tourists, so you just enter and go with the flow – narrow alleys of household goods, pets, clothes, jewellery, handmade shoes, freshly caught fish and whole cuts of meats being butchered before your eyes, mounds of spices and herbs, chillies, grasshoppers, mountains of fruit – some recognisable whilst others exotically obscure. I’ve posted about this mercado before but it’s still an exciting and vibrant place to lose yourself. On this visit I discovered a narrow alley lined with stalls exclusively selling fried flying fish, each of the vendors energetically vying for customers.

You turn a corner and find yourself surrounded by food stalls – all of them crowded with people tucking into local favourites such as the mouth-wateringly delicious Cochinta Pibil (my favourite of course) that’s packed into a hot bread roll then slathered in the orange and chilli-infused juices, served dripping at the stand. Then there are the glass enclosed carts of Chicharrón, deep fried pork rind and pork skin that positively glows in the mid-morning light.

I’ll be back to this intriguing and exciting Mercado many times in the coming months and look forward to discovering more of its inner secrets and wonders. 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Bevanlee says:

    Oooh, my mouth waters for a serving of Cochinta Pibil. It sounds like it paints the palate with taste colours as vibrant as the colours of the mural you show in your attached photos 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you Bevan!
    It looks like such a joyous place to enjoy delicious food ! 😋


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