Regarding October’s editorial, “The Call of Wanderlust,” don’t tell everybody, but if you’re looking for a “new and unfamiliar city” you can ramble around, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, is such a city—safe, beautiful, and full of parks and friendly people.
I can wander for hours, setting off in an unexplored direction and returning on the adjacent parallel street. I see lots of colonial architecture as I wander, and the crime rate is lower than that of any American and most Canadian cities—no worries about mugging (though keep an eye out for crumbled curbs and potholes…the money isn’t there to keep the infrastructure up to our standards).
I’ve stumbled upon city-block-sized markets where I’m the only norteamericano visible, and when a local sees that I am Canadian (having spotted the little flag pin on my panama hat), the friendliness is almost embarrassing. If I’m thirsty, a bottle of cold water in a ramshackle shop for 60 cents refreshes quickly.
Parks abound, each with its statues commemorating some past hero or politician. At suppertime, these parks are full of local families and their children, plus sidewalk food vendors with an amazing array of local dishes—all very inexpensive. If I go too far to get back when planned, a taxi will take me a mile or so for two bucks. You can’t beat it. See you there!
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