On my second day in Oaxaca, I spent my morning on a half day sightseeing tour of Oaxaca City with a guide, who was very knowledgable and a professional archeologist. We started at the Temple of Santo Domingo de Guzman, a beautiful monument of Baroque architecture. I saw the Chapel of the Rosary, the main altarpiece, and the tiled roof, as he told me about this place’s engaging history. We saw a wedding reception party being set up outside the museum. He said that only people with a lot of money can afford to have their wedding at the Santo Domingo church.
Then we headed over to the former convent of Santo Domingo that houses the Oaxaca Regional museum. We browsed through exhibits of Mixtec and Zapotec artifacts, including the gold treasures from one of the tombs at the archaeological site of the UNESCO listed Monte Alban.
Next, we took at pedestrian pathway to the city center and zocalo. We walked around the town square, called Garden of the Constitution, and enjoyed the fountains, laurel trees and a bandstand, where a marimba band was playing. I took note of the galleries, museums, craft shops, and restaurants that I wanted to check out later on my own.
Then we headed over to the 20 de noviembre market, also referred to as Margarita Maza. He suggested that I try this drink called tejate. Tejate is a non-alcoholic maize and cacao beverage traditionally made in Oaxaca, Mexico, originating from pre-Hispanic times. It was very good and gave me a boost of energy.
There were many different items and foods for sale including different types of chocolates, breads, chorizo, mole, and meats.
After my tour I went to lunch at Casa Mayordomo Restaurant and tried Mole for the first time. The waiter brought me both black mole and red mole to try with bread alone, so I could see which I liked. I ended up ordering chicken with red mole sauce.
I spent some more time just wandering the streets; going in the stores that interested me, people watching, and checking out the street art and colorful decorations around.
I stepped out of a store, and the next thing I know I am in the middle of a wedding celebration! The bride and groom paraded through the streets with a band and dancers for a couple of hours. Mezcal was being passed out to the spectators on the street, it did not matter if you were a guest of the wedding or not!
Here is a video clip of the wedding festivities: https://youtu.be/NFUwR2YKI6s