14 hours after leaving Maui and with a change of plane in Los Angeles we find ourselves landing in Mexico City a city of 20m, for a very swift 3 night stay.
Dinner is at a local Mexican where the nachos are slathered in thermo-nuclear salsa which requires copious Corona’s to control the heat. We approach further salsas with caution which proves the right course of action. These spicy salsas are, however, incredibly moreish!
The Frida Kahlo Museum, is the former home of Latin America’s most celebrated artist and is known as “La Casa Azul” The Blue House. It affords us the opportunity to take a glimpse into her life and that of her husband, Diego Rivera. It’s a beautiful unpretentious residence with an air of assured creativity. The queues around the block evidence of her continued popularity.
Teotihuacan is an enormous and an imposing archaeological site located about 40km North of Mexico City. When we visit it’s pouring with rain and set for the day. The traffic is horrendous, taking us around 2 hours to get there with our tour group for the day consisting of Columbian’s Peruvian’s and Nicaraguan’s. Our pigeon Spanish is tested.The site is famous for its two large pyramids dedicated to the sun and the moon and separated by the 3km Pathway of the Dead. It’s one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in Mexico. Construction at Teotihuacan began around 200 BC. Since the ethnic group and the language spoken by the inhabitants of Teotihuacan is unknown, they are referred to simply as “Teotihuacanos.” At its peak it was one of the biggest cities in the world, with around 200,000 inhabitants.
Pyramids of Tlatelolco
In the Plaza de las Tres Culturas where modern blocks of flats sit alongside a colonial church and the ancient stone ruins of a Prehispanic city resplendent with pyramids built 700 years ago. you’d be forgiven if you felt slightly confused as to how these buildings became neighbours. The ancient city was once the site of an important Aztec ceremonial centre and bustling marketplace. The church was built in 1527 on the site of the Aztecs’ last stand against the Spanish. In the early 1960s, the area was the setting for an ambitious housing project. Trying to solve the problem of Mexico’s housing problems, architect Mario Pani had the idea of making this a city within a city. The Conjunto Urbano Nonoalco Tlatelolco is the largest apartment complex in Mexico, and second largest in North America.
The bohemian district we stayed in is a myriad of cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, lush green spaces, bars, restaurants, brightly painted houses and the location of the houses of Frida Kahlo and exiled communist leader Leon Trotsky. We visited the house that he lived with his wife and family and was assassinated in, in 1940.
We loved our brief stop in Mexico City which is enormous, crammed with culture, a wide diversity of food, a great subway system and has for us felt quite safe. The traffic however is absolutely awful. Take the subway or walk. Just wish we’d booked more time here, very much hope to return one day. We leave today for our next stop Guatemala.
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