Published: March 3rd 2009March 2nd 2009
The last two Valentine’s Days have started very early for Ronnie and I. Last year we got up at 3:30am to catch the first train from London to Paris. This year we got up at 5:30am to catch the first bus from San Miguel de Allende to Mexico City. The ride itself was uneventful except for watching The Dukes of Hazard in Spanish. We arrived to the bus station called Mexico Norte, bought a taxi at a sitio stand (never catch one off the street in DF) and took it to the Ramada Aeropuerto Hotel. We chose this hotel because it had free shuttle service to the airport for our flight to Puerto Vallarta the following morning. I also wanted to stay there on Valentine’s Day because their color scheme is the color of love…red.
Since we arrived so early, we had their buffet breakfast, which was surprisingly good and then checked into our room. Knowing we were spending the day in Mexico City, I really really really wanted to go to Teotihuacán to see the pyramids. We were supposed to go in August with our friend, but he got sick and we had to postpone the adventure. I asked
the bellhop if he had a friend that would take us for the day to the pyramids and to the Basilica of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico. He disappeared for a while and then flagged me down at breakfast saying he had a guy who could do it. It was a bit more money than I was hoping to spend but when are we going have the chance to see pyramids in the future or if at all? I didn’t think we had much of a choice.
We left with our driver at 1:00pm from the hotel and hit major traffic in the baking afternoon sun all the way to the famous site. The pyramid of the sun was the first one that we saw. It towered over everything else and we could see little dots of color scaling the side. Passing many vendors, we headed to a little stop for Ronnie to capture the site in his sketchbook.
I chatted with our driver, who walked out into the scorching sun with us, and asked him how many times he had climbed the pyramid of the sun. “About 7 times,” he smiled proudly. He motioned for me
to come with him, a bit past Ronnie, around the corner and I followed. To my shock there was another glorious pyramid to our left; the pyramid of the moon. It was a good distance away but was still massive. There was also a long road with ruins all around the area. I felt very very small compared to their greatness.
Once Ronnie finished his drawing, we headed towards our great climbed. Our driver said he would meet us on the other side.
“You are not going to go for an 8th time?” I teased in Spanish.
“Not today, it is too late in the afternoon and too hot,” he smiled.
“Be sure to only go one level at a time to catch your breath or you could get too hot and pass out,” he warned.
Looking up at the task we were about to undertake, I didn’t think that was going to be a problem. So with a lot of gusto, we started up the pyramid. The steps were steep and uneven. For some reason, my feet were scared to fall off and so they insisted on getting as much of themselves on each step as
possible. This caused me some problems as I ended up smashing my toes into each step. My breathing got heavy and the sweat that was already on my brow from the afternoon sun had begun to form drops. We finally reached the first platform. “I hope I can make it to the top,” I panted. Ronnie had full faith in me. We did as our driver instructed and slowly made our way to the very top of the pyramid.
The feeling of being on top of this ancient structure was like nothing I have experienced before. I climbed a Mayan pyramid when I was in 5th grade, but all I really remember of that was how tiring it was and how good the icy orange soda on the ground tasted before we left. This time, having many more years under my belt, I had a whole new respect for the experience. The world looked so big and yet so small. The wind was fast and I felt like a bird. I couldn’t help but spread my arms and close my eyes, allowing the wind to push me around until I got butterflies in my stomach.
Ronnie sat to
draw in his sketchbook again and two babes from Mexico City asked to see his work. They loved it and insisted on getting his picture, as they knew he would be famous some day.
Once Ronnie was finished with his drawing, we headed down the pyramid (much much easier) to meet our driver. He then took us over to the pyramid of the moon and to see some carvings.
The sun was close to going down, so I was worried we weren’t going to make it to the Basilica of Guadalupe. Luckily, there was no traffic heading back into the city and we made it there in no time. I love the Virgin of Guadalupe. She is everywhere in Mexico. I have started to collect images of her as to me, she is a loving Auntie who watches over us and her children of Mexico. In this Basilica, is the cherished relic of Saint Juan Diego, the man who had the vision of the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531. One of the miracles to prove that he had had the vision was that an image of the Virgin appeared on his cloak. In this holy church, one can
see the original cloak of Juan Diego and the image that appeared of The Virgin many years ago. The church has moving platforms by the relic so everyone gets a chance to see it. After we rode that thing twice, I headed to the “religious articles” shop to buy some trinkets. After I had my handful of treasures, they were blessed by a father who sprinkled them with holy water from what looked like a lettuce leaf.
Ronnie and I were exhausted after our long Valentine’s Day so we headed back to our hotel for a great steak and red wine dinner. We were so tired that both of us fell asleep to the TV and the band playing in the bar across the street at 9:30 in the evening.
And so, we have had another amazing Valentine’s Day. We have been joking about how we are going to be very hard to please on future V-Days. There was Paris and then pyramids…what will be next? Peru? The Philippines? Does it have to be a “P” word? Only time will tell but I do know that no matter what happens, I feel like one of the luckiest people
alive to be able to travel this way with the man that I love on the day to celebrate love in all it’s forms.
There are more photos below