This is the story of my 6 months of studying in Arizona in 2010 and subsequent travels in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Biiiiiig city adventures! Day 16 and 17 in Mexico City

(Due to very slow internet I cannot add pictures at the moment! However, do check the Facebook album, Mexico part 2 ---->)

Our first morning in Mexico City started with a little walk through the city center, from the hotel through the Alameda Central park to get to a café, which Emmanuel had recommended for breakfast. Typically Mexican and very popular, but we quickly got at table and ordered orange juice, a tamale, and eggs with beans. We also got bread (with and without chili!) and butter for our delicious meal. And coffee for Sofie, of course!

Afterwards our tour continued to Zócalo, where we hardly got to the catedral, before a guy asked us if we were interested in a guided tour. He dragged to the guide, and old man speaking fairly good English, and we asked for the price – 100 pesos. We decided it wouldnt hurt with some historical introduction to the church, and accepted to offer. The cathedral is build on top of old Aztec ruins in an island in an ancient lake, and as the ground is unstable, the building has been sinking for many years. Hence the floor and walls of the church make you feel somewhat sea sick while walking around inside! Special expeirence… The catedral is very beautiful, and the guide took us around to the different shrines and told us some things about the traditions and history. When finishing the church he took us to an excavation site just behind the church, where the Aztec buildings are being dug out. Like Vicente mentioned the other day: “It’s a dilemma; should the historical buildings build on top of the even older buildings be compromised to learn more about the ancient history?” We decided not to visit the site itself, but the guide’s introduction to the nearby Presidential palace and its murals by Diego Riviera convinced us to join him there as well, for no extra charge. He showed us around in the magnificent buildings, and told us about the Mexican history based on the murals. Really a well-spent couple of hours and money! J

Again outside we checked out the public transportation system by taking a trip with the metro. Costs 3 pesos pr. trip and is easy to navigate, though rather hot and crowded. We went to Chapultepec where there is large park and lake, and we had lunch in a place that was a hybrid between a street vendor and a restaurant. Considering how hungry we both were, it felt worth the risk of poor hygiene! And for the record, none of us had any problems afterwards! ;) For dessert I dug out two Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, slightly smashed, but very delicious! :D Then back home with the metro to take a nap before meeting Emmanuel for dinner 19.30.

The nap was not the world’s best idea, as we both woke up feeling exhausted. No wonder for Sofie, whom with jetlag would feel like it was 2 AM. Anyway, we grabbed another metro, and waited for a while for Emmanuel, who’s phone stopped working so he didn’t know we were waiting. When he picked us up we went to a restaurant/bar with some of his colleagues, to celebrate a birthday. We had a bit of food and some entertainment from a magician, who did a really good job in making us astonished by his tricks! Around 11 PM we gave into the tiredness, and Emmanuel took us home.

Saturday morning started again too early, this time with breakfast in the hotel café – cheese omelettes with bread and jam and juice. At 9 AM Emmanuel picked us up to take us to the nearby ruins in Teotihuacan, app. 1 hour drive outside the city. It was a warm and sunny day, so we were soaked in sunscreen! Well, Emmanuel wasn’t, and got slightly sunburned…  :) The ruins were very impressive, and arriving before the loads of tourists from the city arrived in large busses some hour later allowed us some space in the beginning. Very nice! We climbed all the different buildings and enjoyed the view, though also feeling the exercise in our muscles! At a souvenir place I found on of the Mexican things I had already planned to bring home: a large ceramic sun in orange-reddish colours! Its really nice and will fit well in my living room! Also I got 3 little similar suns, and I am really looking forward to see them at home! I hope they will survive the trip…

Home by 5 and going out for dinner at 7, we had a bit of time to rest and shower to get rid of the dust! At 7 we grabbed the metro once again, and went for dinner with Emmanuel and two of his friends. We were in Coyoacan in a really nice restaurant serving mescal (similar to tequila, but stronger). With our dinner we had mescal drinks, mine with pulparindo. More special than delicious… Same goes for the guacamole we got, served with fried crushed grasshoppers… Yes, really. And they didn’t tell us what it was till we had tried it! Didn’t taste like much, though afterwards I really didn’t feel like eating more of them, recognizing legs and bodies on top of the otherwise delicious guacamole… After dinner we went to a salsa club to dance a bit. Not that either Sofie or I are very strong dancers, but with the 3 guys we really had a lot of fun! We didn’t keep track of time, and I was surprised to see that it was 3 AM when we finally got home! 

Though I am usually not so good with big cities, I must say that I got quite a good impression of Mexico City. Maybe because of our personal guide and driver, I don’t know – we just had a really nice couple of days! 

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