We visited Mexico City in 2008 and it’s an exciting city with lots to see and do, so we had to revisit while we were on our way, eventually, to Guatemala. Thanks to Trip Advisor we found a great hotel in a great location for little money. From the outside it looks like a flophouse between a newspaper company and an Oxxo convenience store, but it’s actually a nice retro hotel on the inside, complete with an old crank-handle-and-cage elevator with a security guard running it 24 hours a day. Our room had a nice view of the city and a kitchenette for around $40 a night.
The Mexican elections had just happened with a major reversal of the party in power, so there were protests going on, and here is one street where the posters were all gathered (below). Apparently a lot of people are upset and accusing the winning party of cheating with false votes and bought votes. The posters say democracy is dead, among other things. The next day we walked to the Zocalo, the main square, and it’s huge. They have some interesting little vehicles you can rent to tour around in. And the cathedral there is huge! Nothing special was going on when we were there, but in 2008 they had a huge festival of some kind with all the indian tribes doing dances and shamans doing mysterious things. Quite interesting.
This time we were on the way to see Templo Mayor and its museum. This was the main temple of the Aztecs in their capital city way back when. You can learn about it on their Wikipedia page
Here is a shot of a serpent head and some frogs for the rain god. Face knives were used in human sacrifice – cute and grizzly at the same time. And they had some gorgeous pottery.
The next day we took a taxi to the main bus station to get to the pyramids of Teotihuacan, the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas, an enormous complex. Of course, we had to climb both the Sun and Moon pyramids, in hopes we lived through it. They weren’t too bad, considering how they look – thanks to Rubi, the dog at our last house sit, and her long, twice daily walks through the hills of Chapala Haciendas at 5000 feet!
There was even a family there performing some sort of ritual on the plaza near the base of the Sun Pyramid that involved burning something in a bowl, holding the bowl overhead and making prayers in different directions. They were there for quite some time in their special clothing. See the little ants way down in the plaza? No, further down. Yep, those are people! After our walk around, we went to the museum there, which is quite interesting. Again, more info on their Wikipedia page.
Our last day we walked around a bit and revisited the top of the Torre Latinoamericana, the Latino-American Tower, and took a few shots. We hoped we could see the volcano that was acting up, but it was hidden behind closer mountains and there were quite a few clouds that day.
Quite a view from up there! The big city park is being cleaned up and renovated, so we didn’t get to go in. The Bella de Artes is just as impressive from above as it is from below and inside.
If you get the chance, visit Mexico City. It’s a fascinating and diverse city with too many things to do and see. Don’t let the US government scare you off. It’s no more dangerous than Detroit or downtown Dallas, the people are generally more friendly and helpful if you ask, and taxis won’t break the budget. Just stay where the people are, like you would at home, instead of wandering the back alleys – duh!