With Veracruz, VC, Mexico, being one of my favorite places in the world what better place to take my bride for our honeymoon?
We were married on November 22, 2002 and after a small reception with family and close friends we were off to the airport for the 2 hour flight to Mexico City, a flight that is usually uneventful, as this one was, so uneventful that you are served a bag of peanuts, and of course a soft drink if requested. Our connecting flight to Veracruz departs Mexico City 35 minutes after scheduled arrival in Mexico City. In that short time span, 35 minutes, one has to go through immigration, then one has to claim luggage, then one has to go through customs, then one has to make it from ONE end of the airport to the OTHER ...
We arrived and went through the formalities with immigration. The airport system announced that our luggage, based on our flight number would be at carousel # 13. We hurried to # 13 and waited and waited and waited and ..... No luggage. We inquired at a desk and was told that no, it would not be on # 13, instead it was rerouted to carousel # 23, some distance away, someone just forgot to post that on the electronic notice boards. Off we went, huffing and puffing, beginning to stress a bit because we have a flight to make. We got the luggage, went through customs and headed for Aero Mexico's flight to Veracruz.
When we arrived at the gate a smug attendant told us that "the flight is closed!" "What do you mean the flight is closed, it doesn't depart for another 5 minutes, we have tickets and confirmed seat assignments!". "Yes sir, but you are supposed to check in not later than 20 minutes before departure".
At this point I am, to put it mildly, getting a bit upset; this is simply an attempt to grease my hands and I can make things happen. "Your company sold us this ticket together with the ticket from Houston to Mexico City, knowing that there is only a 35 minute window between arrival, immigration, luggage claim, customs and departure. I strongly suggest you call your supervisor and clear this up and, while you are on the phone, make hotel accommodations for us here in Mexico City, at a hotel of our choice, as well as arrange for meals at restaurants of our choice, at your expense, and then book us on the early morning flight" ...."But Senor, I can't do that".
"Then I strongly recommend that you get us on that plane now or I am going to make scene right here and now!".
Magically, the flight was no longer closed and our luggage was loaded and we were escorted to our assigned seats. Since I have encountered this scenario on other occasions on the same flights on can only assume this is an attempt to extract a little cash for services rendered, in other words, mordida.
The flight from Mexico City to Veracruz is a short flight, uphill one half of the way, and downhill the other half, clearing the peak of Orizaba. In the good old days when airplanes still served full meals, a full dinner would be served on this flight, all of about 45 minutes long, while on the Houston to Mexico City flight only peanuts were served.
After arriving in Veracruz, at General Heriberto Jara International Airport, the luggage claim and process was a piece of cake. Then to a taxi to get to our hotel, "Hotel Emporio". Now in many parts of the world people pay good money for exciting rides, such as roller coasters and the like. May I recommend taking a ride in a taxi in any large city in Mexico, and in Veracruz in particular.
The airport is located SW of the city, and the hotel is on the Malecon. The easiest route is on Mexico 150D. It does have a number of traffic lights on it (which are only suggestions to slow down and look both ways before running a red light); it has a number of stops signs (which are suggestions to look both right and left, but slowing down is not required); it has lane stripes which are only considered to be a method of measuring the width of the road, since the lane stripes are equi-distant from each other (it has nothing to do with maintaining the lane one is driving in). On my many trips along that road I do not recall seeing speed limit signs, and if there are any, they are not being obeyed.
Arriving at the hotel, hearts in our throats, blood rushing in the ears from the drive, we check into Hotel Emporio and I was greeted as a regular; "Welcome, Capt Frederiksen, glad to see you are back with us". Introducing Norma she received a warm welcome.
We had a nice dinner in the hotel restaurant, which is first class. Then we went out to see the sights on the Malecon for a bit before calling it the day. Here are a few photos from Vera Cruz, the Malecon, from Los Portales and other areas.
|One of the hotels at Los Portales with the sidewalk cafes.|
|El Palacio Municipal - City Hall at Los Portales|
|Another view of City Hall|
|A general view of Los Portales, hotels and sidewalk cafe's on the left,|
City Hall tower in the center.
|Norma smiling while we enjoy the strolling musicians.|
|Yours truly smiling for the same reason.|
|One of the many vendors selling trinkets.|
|One of the markets. This one on the Malecon.|
|An early morning view from the Malecon toward Los Portales.|
The tower on the left is on the Cathedral.
|Pigeons enjoying the fountain.|