Friday, March 02, 2012

Mexico City 2012

Apologies to my friends who have already endured these photos on Facebook!

We just got back from a 12-day trip to Mexico City and Oaxaca. We travelled with our friends Anne and Andrew from Nova Scotia and had a wonderful trip. First stop, a 90-minute layover at the Toronto airport...


...free Wi-Fi! And we both took our MacBook Airs. It is great having a little computer along on vacation. It makes it so easy to look up directions, attractions, restaurants, bus schedules... you name it.



We also took our travel Scrabble board. Sorry, honey, "ZRFRTN" isn't a word.



In the end, I won. We always take the board with us when travel. We've played in Cambodia, Vietnam,   Sri Lanka and a few other exotic places.



Here's our Hampton Inn and Suites in Mexico City. An American hotel in a historic Mexican building. We stayed here on our last visit too, and were very pleased. The rates are very reasonable and it's close to the Zocalo (main square.)

One of our first stops was the National Anthropological Museum in Mexico City, or as the Mexicans call it, the Museo Nacional de Antropologia.


The centrepiece of this museum is this magnificent Aztec calendar stone, the piedra del sol. It measures 12 feet across and is very imposing! They discovered it in the Zocalo in 1790 while making repairs to the cathedral.

I, of course, was obsessed with all the duck pottery in the museum...



 

And I'm not sure which of these was more shocking...



The second guy does look a little more surprised!


Later, we dropped by the zoo, which has a lovely butterfly conservatory.


I wonder if this little fellow thought the other three butterflies were real?



There were feeding stations throughout the conservatory, and the workers arranged the fruit and nectar in different fancy patterns on every plate.

The museum and zoo are in Chapultepec Park in the heart of the  city. Outside the museum, we came across an amazing "pole flying" demonstration.


These guys climb to the top of a very tall pole, throw themselves off (attached to ropes) and slowly spin to the ground. We missed the very beginning of this.


One man was playing a flute, another a drum.


Here's a very short video I took:



After that, we headed back to the Zocalo, home of the exquisite Metropolitan Catherdral:




After the Spaniards invaded in the 1500s and conquered the Aztecs, they ever-so-thoughtfully decided to build their cathedral on the site of the Templo Mayor, the Aztec's main temple in the city of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City.) 



Mexico City sits on a soft lake bed, and the church has been sinking over the years. However, they have managed to stabilize foundation, so it won't disappear anytime soon.

 I went to Mexico with a Canadian cold, got better, then came down with a Mexican cold last Friday. It has gotten worse the past two days so I've been spending quality time in cuddled up in bed with my cats. Emily the kitten has been especially sweet. She is snuggled up next to me all the time! I think I may be developing a sinus infection. If I'm not improved by Monday, I'm going to the doctor. I haven't had a cold for perhaps three years. Now I've had two in a month!

Despite all that, we had a great trip. More to come!


Butterfly hitchhikers!



21 comments:

  1. Wow what a nice trip. The duck is so cute. I'm sorry about the cold I hope you get well soon.

    Hugs
    Elna

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  2. Thank´s for letting us go with you to Mexico :)
    My mom also loved the duck pottery , me I`m moore interested in the Butterflies :)
    Hope your cold go away soon !!

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    1. You would have LOVED chasing all those butterflies!

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  3. Mexican art leaves nothing to the imagination!!
    Jane x

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    1. It certainly doesn't. :)

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  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful time - it all looks fascinating - especially the museum and the cathedral. Hope your cold clears up quickly.

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    1. Mexico CIty is very cool, very European-feeling. ANd HUGE.

      Thanks for the good thoughts!

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  5. What an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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    1. I have lots more where that came from. You'll soon be sick of Mexico!

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  6. That looks like one mean phallic thingy. No wonder the second guy appears slightly surprised.

    I hope you feel better soon!

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    1. I would love to know if thing broke off accidentally, or if some tomb raider intentionally removed it! :)

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  7. Super report of your trip. I'm amazed that you stayed in downtown Mexico City! Do you speak Spanish? Amazing what dumb things the Europeans did when they came. the arrogance of planting your cathedral on the site of the other guys. they probably destroyed the other guys church before. But anyway the art is always awesome.

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    1. No hablo espagnol, Red! :) But I do speak French, and I took Latin in high school, so I find I can make out a lot of written Spanish. I know some numbers, menu items, and how to say " a beer, please!" and "Where's the bathroom?" :) I would like to take a Spanish course sometime.

      We stayed in Mexico City on our last trip too, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. We used the Metro (subway) on both occasions and it was clean, fast and cheap. And a little too crowded at rush hour!

      We spent more than half our time in Oaxaca on this trip. Pictures coming!

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    2. Sounds like a super trip. My friend Bob has passable Spanish and likes to stay in the more out of the way locations.

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  8. It looks like a great trip. I love the butterflies and the pole flying.

    Hope you're feeling better soon.

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    1. Thanks, LBM! We had a great trip.

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  9. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed every moment of your trip. And to redo it on this post. Can hardly wait for the cakes to appear!

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  10. Oh, those blues are exquisite! Lovely trip and thank you for sharing it with us. Take care ob dat cold in your poor liddle head.

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    1. Dat cold is dribing me NUTS!!! :)

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!