Trip Start Dec 21, 2009
43Trip End Jul 17, 2010
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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.
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
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!