Mexico 2 - Xochimilco & Anthropology Museum

Trip Start Nov 02, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2008

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

2eme jour sera la visite de Xochimilco au sud de la ville. C'est en fait un ancien village qui a etait englouti par Mexico et qui en est devenu un quartier. Ce village vit autour de canaux qui sont les restes d'un lac immense a la base qui a etait asseche pour batir Mexico.Mexico est donc dans le lit d'un ancien lac ce qui explique le fait que beaucoup de batiment sont penches.(on a la tour de Pise en Europe, ici c'est tout Mexico).
Pour en revenir a Xochimilco, qui veut dire terre de fleur, nous avons mis environ 2 h en en metro et rer depuis le centre ville. Le probleme est que le train s'est arrete avant notre arret car la ligne n'existe plus, quelqu'un a piquer les rails et meme la gare. Bref une fois la bas on loue un genre de grande barque pour faire un tour dans les canaux et aprecier une promenade paisible sur l'eau. Ce qu'on ne savait pas c'est que c'est la destination preferee des familles mexicaines. On a donc fait des barques tamponnantes avec les autres touristes, les marchands, et les mariachis ambulants. c'etait pas tres calme mais tres rigolo.

Prochaine visite, celle du musee national d'antropologie a Mexico: Enorme. Tres interessant sur les differentes ethnies et civilisations au mexique avec des reproduction de temples, tombes et autres sculptures majeures des periodes precolombiennes. A l'etage, des reproductions de la vie actuelle des ethnies avec leurs habitations, leur vetement, outils, tradition et fete...
Le point faible est que quasiment tout n'est qu'en espagnol.
Trop grand, on a fait en profondeur certaines expositions et en courant le reste.
On a termine la journee par la visite du parc pres du musee et du zoo gratuit qui se trouve dans le parc. On y a vue plus de gens que d'animaux bien qu'on ai souvent du mal a les distinguer. En fait c'est facile, les gens sont ceux qui jetent de tout partout.

After meeting and exchanging stories with other travellers at Hostel Moneda, we decided to go to Xochimilco by the subway. There was a direct line from our hostel to Taxquena, where we changed for a train to Xochimilco. The metro is amazingly cheap. It only cost us 4 pesos to get to our destination.
On the train, we met other french travellers who were heading the same way. We alighted a stop (Francisco Goitia) before Xochimilco as it was closed. Together, 5 of us shared a cab to Embarcadero Nativitas, which costs 15 pesos.
Once arrived at the embarquement port, we were approached by many boatmen. Armed with a little leaflet that indicates the fixed prices for everything from boat rides to food and drinks, we were glad to find out that the boat ride costs 280 pesos per boat per hour and not per person.The five of us decided to take a 2-hour ride.
Xochimilco is otherwise known as the Land of Flowers. Mexico city was once a lake dried out to form the city...and Xochimilco is the last lake left from it. The water from this lake is what nourishes the abundant botanical nurseries along the banks of the lake. Unlike the floating market in Thailand, here we have boats serving cooked food a la carte and Mariachis (musicians) singing and dancing to their music. Apart from its colourful outlook, the boat reminds me of punting. Although the lake was oversaturated with boats, we had fun bumping into other boats.  We only regretted having put down our guard by not asking the price of the food beforehand. Instead of paying 60 pesos per person as indicated on the information leaflet, we paid 80 pesos per person. Luckily, itīs not a big loss if you convert it in Euros.
Mexico boasts of one of the best Anthropology Musuem. Given its rich history, itīs no wonder. Not only does it have a massive collection, there were vivid life-like displays of the different Indian cultures. One can spend days in there! The Museum is located in Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Woods), whose surface area is probably comparable to the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. In there, you can also find a little zoo, which is suprisingly free. Though the animals look like they could use with a bit more space, the zoo is well-maintained and the range of animals they have is beyond belief. They had bisons and yaks, which I honestly believe must be extinct by now!
We also visted the Blue House, which Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera once resided, in Coyoacan. There, we find clues to which both artist may have found inspiration in their works. There were books, newspaper clippings, personal letters, photographs, paintings, the corsette that Frida uses to support her back after her bus accident, stone sculptures,etc.
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