Archive for the ‘Allison in Mexico’ Category


Allison: Monte Alban

February 22, 2009

The day did not begin just like any other. On our way to the bus station about 20 minutes (walking time) from our hotel we found this abandoned single-speed bicycle cart on the street. Yes, it is a whale eating a popsicle. We have also spotted carts of the same type: Penguin carts, food carts, carts carrying people…

The day continued with a bus ride to archeological site Monte Alban. One thing I learned in Oaxaca: there are no rules for the road. If this picture to the right taken from the bus doesn’t explain it all, I don’t know what could.

On our bus ride to Monte Alban we drove through the mountainside passing small villages of dwellings built by the locals. The houses were made of

The site was literally carved out from solid mountain and there is no shade to be found. Usually it gets very hot when visiting, but we were lucky to have clouds to break up the periods of scorching heat. We were able to walk up two large carved stone structures and look down onto the site. This picture below was taken from one of the taller structures and the scale of people may help in realizing how huge this place is. corrugated metal, tarps, adobe and were quite run down. But they were colorfully painted so it created quite a beautiful sight within the landscape. I wish I had a picture to show, but our bus driver drove like crazy, making it impossible to capture a good photo. Monte Alban is an archeological site discovered 3 km from Oaxaca City. Construction began around the year 500 AD and had significant presence in the Oaxaca Valley for 1500 years. There are tall, stepped structures that served as buildings for housing, temples, tombs and recreation.


Allison: Weekend in Puerto Escondido

February 13, 2009

Friday morning at 6:30 after a 9 hour bus ride we arrived at the beach. We explored the coastline walking from one beach to the next in search of the best place to relax, swim and find food. We spent our days on three main beaches in Puerto Escondido. The first one we reached was small and quiet where we slept on the beach, snorkeled, and caught our first sun rays of the weekend.

The second beach was quite large, stretching around 4 miles along the coast. The prime location for playing in big waves. After conquering snorkeling on the first day, I was ready to take on the waves without any hesitation. Our last day was spent on an isolated beach that was set in a gorgeous valley. Like the first beach, it was quiet and the waves were more tame. It was much warmer on the beach compared to Oaxaca City. By 8:00 in the morning we were out on the sand catching tans. As a result, some of us got fried… others were more fortunate and left bronzed and beautiful. The sunsets were always the highlight of the evenings. The large beach was the best because of its panoramic view of the horizon.


Allison: Courtyards

January 31, 2009

We were assigned our first studio project this past week. For the first couple weeks we will be studying courtyards within the city. We will be measuring, hand drafting, analyzing and discussing several sites around Oaxaca to find what constitutes a courtyard by determining charactersics that make these spaces so wonderful (or not).

So far we’ve been measuring, photographing, sketching, and now drafting. The courtyard I’m studying is inside the hotel Camino Real which was a convent long ago. It has three large courtyards, and almost all of its original components and detailing. The best part about studying a courtyard for studio- you’re always outside!
Things are still going well outside of school. Our group found a couple promising bars with awesome music (jazz last night when we went out together) and great atmosphere. Still spending free time checking out the markets, looking for new restaurants, and hanging out in the Zocalo. Am I missing Minneapolis yet? Maybe a little…

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