Monday, October 17, 2016

6 Days in Mexico City

Temple of the Sun - Teotihuacan
I got halfway up. The people who built this (nobody's really sure who) had really good legs.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to Mexico City for a week. This is not the relaxed Mexico of white-sand beaches and tequila and all-inclusive resort hotels.  It’s more like New York than Miami.

Mexico City is big.  I read the guidebook and knew (intellectually) that Mexico City was a sprawling urban area of 22 million people, but the sheer size does not really register until you see it. It’s huge.  And the locals seem to like building big as well. If they can make something taller, wider, grander, more monumental, they do it.
Palacio de Bellas Artes - Pure Beaux Arts on the outside, pure Art Deco on the inside

A lot of Mexican architecture seems to intentionally dwarf its inhabitants. It’s impressive, not particularly friendly, but very impressive.
University of Mexico
Of course, I didn’t get to see the whole town. Who could see this place in only a week? It would take a month just to get your bearings.  My paltry 6 days barely scratched the surface; all I have is a quick impression. 
Painted storefront - Avenue of the 20th of November
Mexico City is a fascinating, culturally diverse, intriguing, and totally overwhelming destination.  I learned about pre-Columbian food, Aztec theology, the Virgin of the Guadalupe, earthquakes and subsidence (erecting monumental stone buildings on swampy ground is not a good idea).
Aztec goddess in the Archeological Museum - This carving is about twice the size of my car.

I came back impressed and exhausted.  I also caught a cold that flattened me for a week when I got home. 

The main cathedral in the Centro Historico. The altar is solid onyx.
Michael Jackson Day of the Dead figurine
Answered prayers

Mariachis in Xochimilco

Temple of the Sun - Teotihuacan 
When I took this picture, I had agreed to climb the pyramid, and was beginning to think I had lost my mind.


  1. How... odd. I know someone else who got back from Mexico City about a month ago and had an awful cold that took him down for a solid week, with a lingering cough that hung in a couple weeks longer.

    I've heard mixed reviews of Mexico City, but yours sounds relatively positive. Worth a visit, then?

    1. So it sounds like I've got another week until the cough goes away?

      Mexico City reminds me in some ways of New York. There is a LOT to see and do, but it's not the friendliest place I've ever been. And like New York, the sheer volume of it all can be overwhelming, made worse by the language barrier. It is worth a visit, but be aware of what you are getting into.

      I'd like to go back to see more of the art museums, take some side trips to Taxco and Puebla, and I'd definitely spend money on a better hotel. Personally, I think having someone to go with would have helped even out the stress level of it.