Veracruz, Mexico (No. VI)

Today we spent time strolling through the streets of Veracruz. It was also our last day with Domi’s best friend Daniel. Tomorrow he’ll fly back to Vienna, Austria, and we’ll head off to Cartagena, Colombia, in order to continue our trip across South America.

The Última Edición

The Volkswagen Bug was introduced to Mexicans in 1954. At that time four VW Beetles were shipped to Veracruz. The first Bug “Hecho en Mexico” was assembled in 1961.

In 1971 more than 200,000 units were produced and the exports to Europe and Costa Rica began. Just nine years later, in 1980, already more than a million were made.

In 1985, the official export to Europe ended and 20 million were sold. These were the reasons to launch a special edition in a grey metallic color called “Jubiläumskäfer”.

In 1994, Volkswagen celebrated its 40th anniversary in Mexico. Three limited editions from the “Vocho“ were launched: “Firebeetle”, “Edition One” and “40th Anniversary”.

1995 was a very important year for the Mexican Beetle, because many improvements were fitted into the car. All together 87 details were changed according to Volkswagen.

The production plant is located in Puebla de Zaragoza, Puebla, ever since – quite close to Mexico City – the probably biggest city on earth regarding its number of inhabitants.

Examples for other special editions of Volkswagen Beetles in Mexico were: “Clásico”, “Jeans”, “Europa”, “City”, “Harlekin”, “Wolfsburg Edition”, “Unificado” and “Summer”.

2002 a new decree by the governor of Mexico City was set, which prohibited new permits for public transportation in the form of taxis to two door cars as “Vochos”.

In the year 2003 the last special edition was created – the so-called “Última Edición” (first picture on top of this article). 3,000 units were made, but the very last one was shipped out from Veracruz to the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.

“It was incredible that such a small car leaves such a large emptiness.
Goodbye Beetle!”

Benito Juárez vs. Maximilian I

The year is AD 1864 when Maximilian I from Austria, brother of Austrians Emperor Franz Joseph I, arrived in Veracruz, Mexico, as its new leader. He was proclaimed as the Emperor of Mexico and was therefore the only monarch of the Mexican Empire.

But a Mexican lawyer an politician called Benito Pablo Juárez García got already president of Mexico in 1858. He of course refused to recognize Maximilian’s rule, although the Austrian had the backing of Napoléon III from France and others.

Finally, on June 19, 1867, His Imperial Majesty, Maximilian I from Austria, Emperor of Mexico, who has been captured, was sentenced to death by execution. His last words were, “I forgive everyone, and I ask everyone to forgive me. May my blood which is about to be shed, be for the good of the country. Viva Mexico, viva la independencia!”.

Bird On A Wire

We took another walk to the port the other day. Seagulls were sitting lined up on a rope. Just when they were about to take off, Domi got these awesome shots.

Our Hotel in Veracruz

We’re staying at a very neat place called “Hotel Reforma” since we arrived in Veracruz. It’s located quite close to the old center in a narrow street named “Callejón Reforma”.

We got to Veracruz ten days ago in order to ship Herbie from here to South America.

Just besides our place there is a banana tree, but the bananas are not ripe yet.

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Our Hotel is right in a kind of small pedestrian zone which makes it not too noisy.

Everywhere you can find little shrines. Catholicism is of course the main religion.

We’ll stay here four more days before we take off towards Cartagena, Colombia.

You’ve Got a Friend

Domi’s longest friend, Daniel, just arrived in Veracruz. He took a week off and decided to visit us here in Mexico. He’ll be with us until February 8. On that day he’ll fly back home and we’ll take off to Colombia in order to follow the Pan-American Highway.

Daniel Wertheim was born in Madrid, Spain, but spent his infancy in Klosterneuburg-Weidling, Austria, where Domi was raised too. Both of them are now 28 years old and know each other ever since. They even shared the same apartment in the past.

Veracruz, Mexico (No. V)

Still in Veracruz, but meanwhile a very good friend of Domi is visiting us here in Mexico. He’ll stay until we head off to South America. Today Herbie is supposed to go on board.