Drive to Oax

Markets around Oaxaca City: 
Sunday--Tlacolula = one of my favorite markets
Monday--no market but visit Telcajete's home studios for alebrijes
Tuesday--Atzompa = market and crafts gallery of green glaze potters
Wednesday--Etla = visit the market to eat typical Oaxacan food
          (Etla is Mexican chef Susana Trilling's favorite market.) 
Thursday--Zaachila =  one of the oldest markets in Oaxaca 
                and most typical Indian market
Friday--Ocotlan = with the Agular sisters and Coyotepec, with the black,                 burnished pottery 
Saturday--Mitla = the Mercado de Artesanias near the ruins;  
Daily--Oaxaca City = one the largest market in Mexico 

Sunday markets in Mexico are rare, but Tlacolula, about 20 miles southeast of Oaxaca, is the exception.  On the way, about 20 miles from Oaxaca, we visited the famous 2,000 year-old   El Tule Tree, and sampled the delicious rum-eggnog drink made by nuns.

The Sunday Tlacolula  market surrounds the Dominican chapel, which is considered to,be the most beautiful Dominican church in the Americas. We collected from basket weavers, wood carvers and the gourd painters. Just outside the church door, the family who hand crafts the gourds have their booth.  These hand painted calabazas, gourds, are among my favorites. After shopping untill we dropped, we stopped for fresh carrot juice, although the papaya juice is equally delicious. Leaving the market, we stopped at the ruins of Mitla where we easily saw the major buildings in less than an hour.  The Mitla valley is covered with blue agave plants, and cactus which supplies the  mezcal distilleries. To be genuine, the bottle of mezcal must have a worm in it. The
liquor is surprisingly cheap, the bottles exceptionally colorful and collectable, and the taste remarkably vile. 

Santa María Atzompa is a town and municipality located in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, about five km from the state capital of Oaxaca. It is part of the Centro District in the Valles Centrales region. 
The town was founded between the 7th and 9th centuries as a satellite of the ancient Zapotec city of Monte Albán. Since its founding, pottery making has been a major economic activity and the town is currently known for its green-glazed pottery. This pottery used to be shipped all over Mexico and exported to the United States but today most of this pottery is sold locally. 
Beginning in 2009, there has been excavation at the Atzompa archeological site, leading to the discovery of a 45-meter Mesoamerican ball court, which has been determined to have been on the principal one for Monte Alban. 
Today, the town is rustic with the smoke of wood-fired pottery kilns ever present. Poverty has been a concern for the town, but innovations such as the use of lead-free glazing and a communal crafts market have been implemented to improve the craft's prospects. 

Artisans Market in Oaxaca
After all that, we were ready for our comida, the main meal in Mexico, usually
served around 2 in the afternoon.  I especially loved the chicken in Mole sauce, but the saucy chicken stuffed with sautéed vegetables was a close second.  After lunch, Donald sometimes napped  but I always walked to the downtown  Artisan market, about 12 minutes away. It's a small market with about 30 booths offering a variety of  crafts from antique jewelry, baskets, carvers, clothing, tin work and weavers, and rug weavers
including Abuelita de Las Lapizs, or "granny with the pencils."

A visit to the Artist's Market in Oaxaca!

Abuelita with her handmade crafts.