Dear Family and Friends,
We hadn't even been in Mexico City for a week before we went on a little trip to Veracruz. Six missionary couples drove there to attend the temple since the one here is closed for remodeling. The weather was beautiful and clear so that on the way we had a great view of the volcano Pico de Orizaba. We also passed mile after mile of corn fields that had been harvested and tied into shocks.
Veracruz is a pretty city on the Gulf of Mexico. It has a mall and many modern hotels and restaurants as well as old colonial structures. Note all the white buildings.
Here we are eating at Chili's. We also ate at a great local seafood restaurant the next day.
The temple is small but beautiful. We attended sessions Thursday night and again Friday morning.
There are usually only one or two sessions a day, but it was busy enough Friday that they had more.
We had to wait 1 1/2 hours to get into a session that morning. It brought back fond memories of our busy days in the Guatemala Temple. See 2 buses in the parking lot of the chapel next to the temple which brought members from out-of-town. We sometimes had 20 buses come to the temple on one day in Guatemala.
While driving through the city, we saw this cute burro-drawn cart right on the highway. We also saw a convertible Porche in the same area -- an interesting combination of old and new.
Friday afternoon we went to the old fortress, San Juan de Ulua. It dates back to the days of Cortez and has served various purposes -- a port of entry, a prison -- a place rich in history.
Over the walls of the old compound we could see and hear modern cranes working in the port.
It is very picturesque with towers, arches, thick walls and dungeon-like rooms below the surface.
That evening we walked along the beach and I waded in the ocean, but the water was too cold for swimming. However, we enjoyed a wonderful swim the next morning in the hotel pool.
On our way back to Mexico City on Saturday, we played the tourists and stopped by some archeological ruins near Puebla that were only opened to the public in 2012.
They are called Cantona which means a large house. Some have called it Caltonac which means house of sun. It is situated on a high arid plain.
This was just the first climb with many more before we reached the top of the last pyramid.
Lots of cacti and volcanic rocks. Note the distant point of a former volcano in the background.
View from the top. Looking down on a pyramid, the expansive plain surrounded by tall mountains.
This is my second cousin, Lynette Romney Olson. Her mother, Eula Lunt, was my mother's cousin a daughter of Heaton Lunt. Lynette and her husband Craig are serving in the area offices. We are being trained to take their place when they go home January 20th. They leave big shoes to fill.
On our drive back to the city, we had a great view of Popo against a beautiful sunset. I am thrilled that we have seen both volcanoes Popocatepetl and Ixtazihuatl within the first week of our being here. This morning we saw them from the windows on the 11th floor of the office building where we work. Popo was sending out smoke. Mexico City is less smoggy than it was a few years ago.
Michelle / Sister Sandberg