Mexico City (CDMX)


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North America » Mexico » Distrito Federal » Mexico City
March 31st 2017
Published: April 1st 2017
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Sunday, 26 March

Both flights were quite eventful as far as turbulence went. The LA leg was bumpy for over 80%!o(MISSING)f the time, and the Mexico City flight was like a rollercoaster with those high rises and stomach curdling drops. I didn’t mind it though. The Air Canada lounge at LAX was a good place to whittle away a couple of hours between flights.

We arrived 2 mins late to our Mexico City apartment, which is pretty impressive given I had to estimate how long it would take to get through customs and immigration and catch a taxi. Our AirBnB host, Pablo, was there as organized, and after a quick handover of how things work, he walked us several blocks out of his way to one of his favourite restaurants, La Buena Tierre. The menu has jammed pack with items from front to back – all of it in Spanish – so we spent a good 20 minutes using Google Translate to try and figure out what things were. We eventually ordered two drinks, bean soup, tostada soup, tacos, enchiladas, soy burger and veggie panini. It was all very delish but nothing like what we have at home. Their interpretations of what paninis and tacos are, is different to ours. I think the soups were the stand out. We were all too tired and too full for dessert. We went to bed at 9pm, but not before Dwayne had a bout of diarrhea.

Monday, 27 March

Today is our wedding anniversary. Just two imperfect people in a flawed relationship. For 17 years we’ve chosen happiness over hurt, solutions over problems, commitment above conflict and grace over giving up. Into eternity and beyond!

Our apartment is awesome. We lack for nothing, except the location is a bit further out from the Historic Centre than we would like. However, it’s a nice neighbourhood with trendy restaurants so as a base, it’s great.

We woke at 9am – feeling good and no jet lag. We walked 13km throughout the day and even forgot that Mexico City – fondly called CDMX - is at 2200m. We were all expecting to feel the effects of altitude but it doesn’t feel any different to sea level. We caught the metro successfully for 70c each, ate $2.80 of food and 1L water at street vendors for lunch and wandered around La Ciudadela markets buying a souvenir or two. You should have seen the massive fruit cups that Mum and Dad came back with! It must have been the size of a 1L cup filled to the brim with fruit and topped with a mountain of whipped cream. I don’t think we’ll be eating too much savory stuff at street vendors though, as they don’t do frijoles (beans).

We were going to eat out for our anniversary but after all the walking we’re just as happy to stay in tonight and maybe go out on our last night in CDMX instead.

CDMX feels safe thus far, and no one has tried to rip us off, so it’s instantly better than Turkey in that regard. The people are friendly and will try to help, even if they can’t speak English. You don’t need English to enjoy CDMX, but it certainly would be an advantage when trying to find public toilets! I like this town.

Tuesday, 28 March

We were greeted this morning on our way to the metro, by several police trucks and police with rifles pounding the pavement down one of the streets. No idea what was going on, but it was weird to see these guys doing some sort of raid at 10.30am. Speaking of police, there are police on every street corner blowing whistles left, right and centre. Some are directing pedestrians and others are directing traffic despite there being traffic lights. I’m sure the government must just employ people for the sake of it, whether they are needed or not.

We continued to the Museum of Anthropology, which gives a comprehensive history of the Mesoamerican people. It’s interesting that the Aztecs arrived around the 1200’s and between them and the Mayas, they only ruled this area for 300 years before the Spanish invaded in 1523. It’s not long for an indigenous race to be in existence in the big scheme of things. We spent 4 hours there and they had some very cool exhibits of jungle temples and the like.

The afternoon was spent exploring Chepultapec Castle. Built in 1775, it was also the home of Emperor Maximillian from the Hapsburg family in the 1800’s until his execution. It stands atop a hill with a great view of the surrounding park lands and city. The royal apartments were, as expected, the prettiest part of the Castle, with everything preserved as it was when the royals were there.

Wednesday, 29 March

Dwayne and I always give each other experiences over gifts on our anniversary and this year was no exception. We reveled in a 2.5hr Segway tour of the Zocalo (Historical Centre), which is quite European. There are lots of little balconies of wrought iron and most of the buildings were built in the early 1900’s after the Mexican Revolution, so there’s very little Aztec, Mayan or Spanish architecture in the city. In the centre of the Zocalo is the large plaza with ornate European buildings on all sides. They have several wonderful streets with shops, restaurants. Our guide spoke excellent English and with only three of us on the tour, it was effortless. It certainly beats walking!

Unfortunately for Mum, the altitude and jet lag caught up with her and she was hit by nausea and the diarrhea bug and could not come segwaying, despite having paid for it.

After the tour we grabbed some lunch at Los Vegetarianos, where everything on the menu was vegetarian or vegan. I had the daily 5-course set menu for $7.70 and that was yummy. That and the ice cream we had afterwards at a little hole-in-the-wall homemade joint, meant we were too full to go out for dinner on our final night in CDMX. Oh well, there will be plenty of opportunities to eat out on this trip, but perhaps not with all the award-winning choices that CDMX has.

Temple Mayor was our next stop, which is a big open pit exhibiting the ruins of an Aztec temple. It was destroyed by the Spanish in the 1500’s and was only re-discovered in 1978 when some building explorations uncovered it. It was used as a trash heap for decades until the land was eventually bought and slated for development. Chemical analysis of the floors have shown they held human sacrifices there, and one wall inlaid with 240 skulls was testament to the importance of rewards to the gods.



Our last stop was the Palacio de Bella Artes (Palace of Fine Arts), which is a stunning Neo-classical building, built between 1910 and 1934, and adjacent to yet another scenic park of manicured gardens, park benches, water fountains and sculptures. We sat and watched the world go by for half an hour, being continually amazed at how many people were out and about as if it were a weekend. This city has a rhythm all its own. It grows on you.

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14th April 2017

Trip
Read all your stories backwards, chronologically, that is. Interesting observations. Glad your dad didn't don't break a bone in his fall. Glad Dwayne got his backpack. A pity I couldn't have met you as it's only a few hours away.... sounds like you're having a great if not very different time.
15th April 2017

It's a shame we couldn't have met up! I thought Dwayne would have shared our plans during the Christmas phone call...

Tot: 3.079s; Tpl: 0.047s; cc: 12; qc: 58; dbt: 0.0568s; 3; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 4; ; mem: 1.4mb