Hola Mexico

Trip Start Dec 21, 2009
Trip End Jul 17, 2010

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Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Friday, December 25, 2009

Another few days have passed and chapter 1 of our holiday has finished. Let the culture shock begin. It shouldn’t be too much of a culture shock because we have been in Central America before but this time, we have a whole lot of language stuff to deal with, me especially. I’m sure we’ll be able to find our feet when it comes to Spanish, we have a few months to go.

Nic has come down with a cold and it’s pretty miserable. Sore throat and blocked nose is not great when you also feel the need to be out and exploring things. The sore throat started in San Francisco and now it’s continued to the nose. It could have been a few things, either being quite run down in the lead up to the trip of a dramatic temperature change. How it happened doesn’t really matter, we’re just wishing it away now. She’s been trooping along and still getting out and about to see the sights.

We spent most of Christmas travelling from San Francisco to Mexico City via Dallas and touched down a little after 7 in the evening. There was a bit of snow when we landed in Dallas – so I guess it was a White Christmas. Nothing much to report that night, just got to our room, unpacked our stuff and had a dinner of chocolate and pretzels. Don’t feel sorry for us, we’re reliving our Christmas dinner in India a year ago. We did get a treat when we flicked on the TV and there was the Grinch with Jim Carrey but with a Spanish overdub. The Grinch is my favourite Christmas movie, along with the claymation of Robbie the Reindeer. Good to see that some traditions are kept, even if they are in a different language. Feliz Navidad Senor Grinch!

The next day, we got up late and headed into the Historical Centre. A nice long walk to the Zocalo (which is their main square) and we’re greeted by the typical Spanish colonial layout. Square in the middle, south of the square is the church, north is some government building. What was NOT colonial in structure was the ice skating rink and manmade snow in the middle of the square that was erected for the Christmas period. The Mexicans seemed to be enjoying themselves.

In the heart of the city, are some ruins (Templo Mayor) that were more than likely discovered by a fluro jacket wearing worker when he accidentally dug where he shouldn’t have, hit something and was trying to cover up his mistake. The Aztecs built their capital here and then the Spanish came along and decided that they would build their capital directly on top of it. A lot of excavation has since taken place and a lot of the cool stuff has been put into the museum next door. I don’t profess to know a whole lot about Aztec history so I just took pictures of what I thought looked cool, old or both.

There are also plenty of stories where the Spanish had grand plans to build fabulous buildings with stone and marble rising into the sky but they discovered that the ground wasn’t great and their buildings started sinking. One such building is the Palacio Belles Artes that was built, started sinking, then the Revolution happened then it was finished after the revolution. It has plenty of cool murals but the coolest is the one called El Hombre En El Cruce de Caminos (Man at the Crossroads) done by Diego Rivera. Originally, the painting was commissioned for New York’s Rockerfeller Center but they destroyed it because of its anti-capitalist themes. Diego Rivera decided to stick to them anyway and re-did the painting as a mural. I hope he was enough of a capitalist to insist on getting paid upfront by the Rockerfellers.

Skipping ahead a few details, we also went to the Museo Nacional de Anthropolgia which is supposed to be one of the best museums in Latin America. It was certainly huge. Again, anthropology is not one of my strong points so I snapped pictures at whatever looked cool. The museum did seem quite thorough though. Fans of anthropology specialising in meso-american anthropology (I’m sure there’s someone out there who is) then this is the place for you. You could spend days there.

A quick side note about travel infrastructure before I end this blog. We caught the Mexico City rail and it appears as though they haven’t taken any chapters out of the Sydney rail system. They charge a flat fee per entry into the system and you can go anywhere for 2 pesos which is the princely sum of A$0.20. The other thing is that the cars are one level in height which makes them extremely fast to board and get off. Add to that you don’t have to wait longer than 5 minutes for the next train and the door close extremely quickly on you means that the Sydney rail system can’t hold a candle to the Mexicans. My weekly ticket in Sydney was $47. If we had their system, I would be paying $2.80 per week, and that’s if I went to work on Saturday and Sunday. Yes, our rail system does suck that badly. 

We also did some other stuff but you really should come and see for yourself. More details have been omitted for the sake of keeping this blog short. Next blog will include a short ride to Puebla where we check out some churches and I split my head open. The part about the churches should make my parents proud!
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GshM on

Robbie the Reindeer??? - much much mumbo jumbos - cut to the chase man!
Hope Nic's feeling better

Saj on

Nice one Col... So, its now time to take on Mexican food aye... Didn't realise Mexico had so many interesting artefacts... Where are you heading next?

Carol Howard on

It is good to hear from you and the trip sounds like a blast. I am really envious. Particularly regarding the Fleor de Lys. You will have to tell me more about the five courses when you get back Nic. I hope you are recovering from your flu. Don't forget plenty of Vitamin C. Can' wait for the next leg of your trip

Kiki on

Soooo loving reading your blog! Wish I were there! And yes, it's very different as Mexico is still North America; similar, but still a contrast to our adventures throughout Centro America. Feel better Nicole! Love and Happy New Year to both of you! How was midnight spent this time?? :)

travellingtans on

Hey Saj, we're currently in Oaxaca which has plenty of art and culture amongst some beautiful mountains.

Kiki, we spent new years here in Oaxaca in the local town square (Zocalo), with the locals. It was plenty of fun and this trip is awesome so far. Even had some time to eat some grasshoppers but that's for the next blog entry.

Prabs on

Sounds like you are having a blast Col! Oxaca is a great part of Mexico. Hope your smashing the foods over there. Try and get yourself to San Cristobal. It should be on your way if you are busing it to the otherside of mexico (ie cancun, cozumel, play del carmen etc). Take care.

Sim on

Happy New Year, you 2. Finally have time to catch up on your blog and boy ... very envious. Hope you are feeling better, Nicole, and keep the stories coming, Colin.

Bec & Avi on

Hola! We're loving your blog...but we're waiting for the novelty to wear off and for Colin to stop writing in such great detail....Bec hopes you keep it up but Av's money is on two sentence entries posted 2 months apart! We wish to request more cheesey photos of the two of you taken by one of you with your hand stretched out. Happy New Year and more safe and happy travels. Hope Nic feels better soon! xoxo

Richie on

Happy New Year Col! You'll be glad to know you've got another reader. I'm keen to hear about the great food you have on the way :)

Mate you would have been proud of us today, Ilan and I managed 8 stair runs, and the final was a battle of ego's as i challenged Ilan on a sprint too the top. As Ilan would say, it was closer than a bee's dick haha And so was us hurling.. but we managed to hold it in.

Anyways, hope all is well, lookin forward to the next post.

travellingtans on

All recent comments, thanks for contributing.

Novelty isn't wearing off, just need access to decent internet.

Prabs, went to San Cristobal, then Palenque, and now in Merida. Awesome so far.

Rich, glad you were near puking. You know you should have let it go, better out than in.

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