Mazatlan, the Old City

Yesterday, we went on a city tour.   We boarded an old-fashioned-looking bus, most likely a former trolley, the type that Frieda Kahlo rode when it got into the accident that left her crippled for life.  After an obligatory stop at a jewelry shop and a drive through Zona Dorada (which in the day looked no better then it did at night), we drove out onto the promenade stretching along the ocean.  If you looked on your left, your eye met a colorful array of ugly hotels and shops.  On the right, if you let your eye glide over attempts-on-art on the boardwalk, it was rewarded with a sight of the ocean, several rocky islands in the distance, and the sun slowly sinking  into the horizon.

The along-the-water promenade called “The Malecon” brought us to old Mazatlan dating to the 19th century.  This part of town presented some charm, not one of a kind, however, but typical to many Caribbean towns.  No traces of Aztec culture were to be found anywhere.   Either the only city the Aztecs built was Tenochtitlan (now Mexico-city), or the Spaniards razed them all to the ground (Tenochtitlan included).

The main square, where we had dinner on a restaurant patio, was pleasantly Mexican, but the highlight of the day was a taxi ride back to the hotel.  We climbed in a local taxi – a cross between a go-cart and a golf cart.  Ken – next to the driver, Jason and I in the backseat elevated over the front seat.  No doors, windows, seatbelts, needless to say.  The taxi coughed and hacked like an age-old smoker, but started, and took off like the wind.   We didn’t go too far, the wretched thing died in the middle of a deserted intersection where the only sign of life was a stray black dog crossing the street.  But no worries.  Our valiant driver jumped out and finagled something in the back, after which the taxi went into a hacking spell again, but started nonetheless.  The driver jumped back in and took us on a wild and crazy ride back on the Malecon, through Zona Dorada to the opulent world of our resort.

On the other note, Jason beats me in scrabble mercilessly day after day!

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4 thoughts on “Mazatlan, the Old City

  1. Kerry Donovan says:

    You must travel beyond the Zona Dorado to Nuevo Mazatlan which is a new master planned community stretching for miles along Playa Cerritos.

    There are sparkling new hotels and high rise condominiums as well as gated communities with ocean, lagoon, golf course and mountain views. The marina, when complete, will be the largest marina in Latin America. And, the new convention center opened recently and boasts the newest and largest mural in Latin America.

    Stop for a coffee at Cafe Ricco or dinner at many of the new restaurants that have recently opened up in the vicinity.

    Downtown be sure to visit the Cental Market a real delight.

    Be sure to see the Angela Peralta theater.

    Mazatlan is no match for a cosmopolitan city like Rio de Janeiro but it does offers sparkling beaches, great climate, and warm and endearing people. Yes, there were no Aztecs in Mazatlan but the city has an amazing and interesting history – with the Spaniard and French invasions. There is even a German population and influence in their culture and music!

    I bought a vacation beach house in Nuevo Mazatlan.

    I love it!

    Enjoy your stay. wish I were there.

    • Thank you for your comment.
      I think Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay might be in Nuevo Mazatlan. We saw the theater from the outside. I was very impressed with the fact that there was an opera house built in the city almost at its conception. Can you recommend a restaurant for tomorrow?

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