Published: October 8th 2010October 7th 2010
Wednesday 29th September
Hello peeps, Jill here......Leon's not feeling too good this morning so he decided to miss out the Mexico City history morning walking tour.......so you have literary skills for this morning's blog!!.
I wandered (all by myself...hehe) from the Holiday Inn over the zocalo to the Moneda hostel to start the tour. Luckily it was the same guide from yesterday's tour,Pepe, taking it this morning. Only 2 other couples this morning, one couple from Switzerland & the other from Holland.
We headed back towards the zocalo to take a right turn to Templo Mayor, which was one of the main temples of the Aztecs in the capital city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City. Only the foundations are visable today. After a photo oppertunity we headed to the National Palace, (Palacio Nacional in Spanish) where after about 10 mins of "airport" like security checks we finally got into!.
This site has been a palace for the ruling class of Mexico since the Aztec empire, and much of the current palace's building materials are from the original one that belonged to Moctezuma II. As you walked across the threshold, it opened to a large rectangle courtyard with a
centre fountain. They were holding a 200 year anniversary exhibition from the time of the indigenous people through to present day. As we turned away from the courtyard, to follow the stairs upwards there was a massive wall painting showing the life & times of Mexico. Moving to the first floor balcony we are guided round to see smaller wall paintings showing more detailed images such as the gifts given to the indigenous people's god, how the indigenous people farmed their land to finally the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Pepe headed toward an open door into a room.....and to a wee surprise....the actual skeletons of, if I remember rightly the men who wanted to fight against the Spanish to keep their land their own.....I suppose the founding fathers of Mexico....but I won't quote me on that last sentence!!! My memory's not getting any better with old age..............
We were due to continue further into the exhibition just as Pepe was showing us the paintings of the presidents of Mexico, from the indigenous people time when he was rudely asked to leave!! The reason, only to those who could understand very quickly spoken spanish!! So we were shown around a few
of the stately rooms within the palace before heading back outside to meet up with Pepe.
From the National Palace we headed across the zocalo to the Cathedral. It is situated atop the former Aztec sacred precinct. The cathedral was built in sections from 1573 to 1813 around the original church that was constructed soon after the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán, eventually replacing it entirely. Really errie when I walked in - a priest was conducting a service along with what sounded like a female opera singing in the background!!! As I wandered around, the detailing in all of the arches around where outstanding, a lot of gold blinging away to itself!! Looking into the middle was the biggest organ ive seen with it's vents nearly touching the roof! So much detail in the little "cupid" like figurines around each arch......amazing to see while still hearing the service & singing in the background.
At the end near to the exit there were a bunch of metal locks attached to a waist height table......apparently if you know someone is gossiping about you &/or your family you pray to God then attach the lock to the table....this helps you to get
over whoever is gossiping about you!!!
After leaving the Cathedral we walked up 5 de Mayo to the Opera house where our tour concluded. Before saying goodbye to Pepe, he mentioned the Sears building had a fantastic 8th floor cafe overlooking the Opera house. We waved goodbye to Pepe then the whole group decided to have a coffee/hot chocolate on the 8th floor balcony of the Sears building!!
I got home and found Leon still in his bed watching champions league football!! We got freshened up and went up to the roof top restaurant for dinner and then went for a wander into to town and got an ice cream before bed. Jill. over and out!
Thursday 30th September
Well its me again, Leon , fresh and ready after yesterday's lazy day.
We have a short tube train to the National Museum of Anthropology to visit the artefacts from various sites around Mexicofrom various era's within the last 3000 years. Looking forward to it as it will fill in the blank spots i have in regards the history of sites we have visited over the last 4 weeks. Plus i can understand the different tribes for the three
After a ten minute tube we hauled up onto the park area in which the museums is situated and we had a very nice 20 minute walk through the park until we arrived at the Museum. Wow, this museum is very nice to look at from the outside as its very modern and looks new where in fact i was built in 1963. It has large exhibition halls surrounding a patio with a huge pond and a vast square concrete umbrella supported by a single slender pillar and looks splendid!
We visited a wide variety of exhibits from the different age's such as Azteca, Mayan, Zapotec, Mixteca and also Indian. Its got the usual beginning of man and creation of earth stuff that we had seen already in Washington so we cracked on and visited the Mayan and Aztec exhibitions which were absolutely fantastic. My camera was red hot as you can tell from the photo's.
2 hours later and we were brain dead from all the information that was being inserted into our little brains so we stopped for a revitalising sandwich and beer.
I could go on about the lots of
different stuff we seen but instead im going to just publish most of the photos for you to enjoy instead of reading my drivel as normal..
So moving swiftly on and realising we are a bit short on time before we catch our flight to San francisco we hailed a cab which took us to the Mexico City airport. It weird this airport as its slap bang in the middle of the city with all the houses built up around it. We are looking forward to the take off so we can see the size of the place properly and also enjoy the night views as its 9pm before we depart.
We sit in the airport for four hours generally speaking about our first 6 weeks of our travels and how much we have crammed so much in such a short space of time. Can we keep it up? Will we manage to drive 3 weeks in u.s.a? Will there be any money left in the kitty by Australia? haha, well, who knows....we have had a great time in Central America and we both hope you have enjoyed sharing it with us on this blog...
adiós México. cuidar!!
There are more photos below