13.12.2010 - 15.12.2010 21 °C
...and there we are, in Mexico City! And what a city this is: gigantic, loud, busy, but also colourful, beautiful, impressive... We arrived Monday night, tired from the long flight, falling into a deep sleep almost right away. Tuesday was actually our real first day here. We have spent our time walking around town, visiting different neighbourhoods, museums, sights, enjoying the green parks and the good food. We are staying at the lovely Hostel Home in the quiet residential Roma neighbourhood thanks to a tip from Esther, it´s a cosy small hostel with supernice staff! Mexico City is actually built on an altitude of about 2200m above sea level, this means we have beautiful sunny days around 20 degrees, and chilly nights that require extra blankets! In contrast to all the stories you hear, Mexico City actually feels really safe: We have walked the streets at night, taken the metro (the cheapest and biggest metro system in the world), squeezed ourselves through crazy crowds in narrow streets and did not feel unsafe for one second. It really feels a bit like a bigger and crazier version of Barcelona.
On our first day we visited the Centro Historico: the heart of Mexico City. We walked along the main street of town, the crazily busy Paseo de la Reforma, through the business district into the Centro Historico. It´s the old centre with big impressive architecture, lots of shops, musea, and many, many people crowding the streets. On the Zocalo, the main square, we actually found out that Mexicans love snow and winter very much: Stand in line and buy a snowball, join the crowds in the ice skating ring or take a sleighride!
And not only do Mexicans love winter, they also love Christmas: there are colourful decorations everywhere and we actually found ourselves on a busy street where they exclusively sell crazy Christmas decorations and lights like in this hilarious shop! (Malka´s mum would love this we are sure)
We checked out the Templo Mayor, actually Aztec ruins right beneath the city center! You can walk around in the ruins and there is a beautiful museum. These ruins were buried under colonial houses for a long time, but now they are a big tourist attraction. Unbelievable that this is right next to the big busy Zocalo square and cathedral.
We also visited the very famous Diego Rivera mural Dream of a Sunday Afternoon - it used to be outside in the park but they built a museum around it. Really special to see the real mural. Here is Pim analyzing the painting! ;-)
On our second day we checked out the hip colonial neighbourhood of Condesa with it´s beautiful buildings, cafés and little parks. We strolled around all morning and soaked up the athmosphere, enjoying our oh-so-sweet Mexican pastries and café con leche.
Afterwards we spent almost the whole the afternoon at the Museo de Antropologia in the middle of Mexico City´s biggest park, the Bosque de Chapultepec. The park was filled with vendors trying to sell sweets and toys (and yes, Mexicans definitely have a sweet tooth!), there are huge memorials, and a lake in the middle of everything where you can rent a boat.
The museum is huge, and it is housed in a very impressive, beautiful building. It shows a complete history of the people of Mexico, the most famous being the Aztec and Maya of course, and they have a huge collection of intruiging items and also some impressive giant replicas of statues and parts of famous temples.
Walking home we realized once more that traffic is actually supercrazy here, huge avenues cross town, there are crazy traffic jams even at night - but some people dare, running around between the cars trying to sell stuff to the drivers, like this guy here.
Once at home, the jetlag kicked in :-) and we fell into a coma sleep! But now we are alive and kicking again ;-)
Still 2 more full days in Mexico City...more stories coming soon!