Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/469

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


CHAPTER XX.


ORIZABA—THE GREAT CONDUCTA.


ORIZABA is one of the most curious old towns which we visited in Mexico. It more resembles Colima in its surroundings than any other, but the growth of tropical vegetation in the immediate vicinity, is not to be compared with that which gives such an air of oriental luxuriance and magnificence to the City of the Sun, out by the Western Ocean, through which we made our entrance into Mexico. The heavy, flat or arched stone roofs of the central table lands and elevated plains of Mexico, disappear at the Cumbres, and at Orizaba we saw only low-walled buildings, for the most part but one story in height, with wide projecting eaves, and pitching roofs covered with the same old fashioned red tiles which the Spaniards placed there three hundred and forty years ago.

Mr. Seward's party were quartered in the most comfortable manner, in one of the few two-story houses in the city, which was owned by a young physician, Dr. Talivera, and from our windows we looked down upon the streets of the greater portion of the town. The streets are wide, and tolerably straight, and paved with lava. The gutters are in the middle of the street, and the sidewalks are mere banquettes, about three feet—rarely four feet—in width, hardly wide enough for two persons to walk abreast. Grass fresh and green—