Veracruz, Mexico

The port of Veracruz is about 200 miles from Mexico City, on the Caribbean Sea. Veracruz is historic, one of the early ports of arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. During its history, it has experienced political strife that has drawn intervention of the French, English and United States (1800s).

The highlights of the city encompass the cultural originality and ancestral ties of the Spanish. Some of the major sights include the Plaza de la Republica (Republic Plaza), where the scenery is said to be the best in the area. Museo de la Ciudad (City Museum) was built in 1852 as the Instituto Veracruzano, and in 1970 became the primary cultural and historical museum of the city. Another museum is Baluarte de Santiago, Santiago's Bastion, which was a portion of the wall that originally surrounded and protected the city. There are many churches, museums and historic sights within Veracruz.

Food and drink can be found almost anywhere in Veracruz. To name a few of the better places to eat, try the local cuisine at Cafeteria Colonial, Chicote, La Merced, or Gran Cafe la Parroquia. Other choices could include El Pescador, Las Brisas del Mar, Tano, La Quinta or Villa Rica. Believe it or not, there are pizza places that offer a variety of toppings; most notably is Pizza Palace that has four restaurants in the city. For spirits, cadets can take their pick of the literally hundreds of options.

Beaches include Playa Marti, Mocambo and Playon de Hornos. Diving and water sports are available at Tridente and Curazao. Fishing club members should find Club de Yates Veracruz. Bicycle rentals are available at nearby Bicicentro Lezama. Plenty of activities are available, and are certainly not difficult to find.

Shopping centers of Veracruz for local crafts, gifts and souvenirs abound. The crafts are almost all domestically made, as are souvenirs (nothing from Taiwan or Korea). Curiosidades, Plaza de las Artesanias (for local crafts), Plaza Crystal Veracruz and Mercado are but a few of the choices for gifts and souvenirs.

Clubs and nightlife abound in the "jarochos." Music is primarily Spanish, although some clubs have Rock and Jazz. Some of the places to visit are Caprichos, Climax, La Ballesta, Parthenon, Moruchos and El Mirador. Cadets have a tendency to have absolutely no difficulty finding fun during the evening at most any port.

For tours, look no further than LT Antonangeli, who has organized a variety of activities in all ports. He will announce the possibilities while underway; be reminded that he can accept cash, check or money orders only for payment.

Veracruz is very beautiful, historic, modern and exciting. Without a doubt, it will be a good time for all participating in Cruise '97.

Rick Nash