Continuing the America's after two months rest
Trip Start Sep 23, 2010
366Trip End Jul 13, 2012
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Where I stayed
Hostel Suites DF
After spending some quality time at home enjoying all the home comforts, Christmas, birthdays among other things, we thought we'd continue our America's journey and flew to Mexico City to start up the Central American leg of the trip. So just after half past 9 Wednesday morning, we all got in the car (including Ruby the dog) and headed to Heathrow to catch a flight at 12.40pm. After checking in and saying our goodbyes, we wandered round the flashy new Terminal 5 to check it out, then made our way through security and down to the gate where we would be boarding. After boarding a little later than expected, we then sat for an hour or so, while 5 men stood around looking at the right wing checking to see how much fuel was leaking out of the fuel valve. Once they'd moved a few pieces of blue paper towel around (soaking up the drips) we were given the all clear and headed off to the now massing queue (as we'd missed our spot) to get on the runway
Thurs 1st March
Up surprisingly early in time for the complimentary breakfast of toast with jam or soft cheese or Cats favourite (not) dulce de leche (caramel spread), also bagels, melon and yoghurt. Don't worry, I was able to get some hot water to make my early morning cup of tea, but we'll have to go shopping later to get Cat some juice for tomorrow. After breakfast we had a wander round and noticed a lot of Police around (some of which were in riot gear) ending up at the Zocalo, which is one of the biggest squares in the world and holds tremendous importance as a cultural, political, historical and symbolical centre of the city and the countryhttp://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catedral_Metropolitana_de_la_Ciudad_de_M%C3%A9xico (THIS IS FOR YOU ANN) We had a quick look inside the Cathedral, (which is said to be the biggest cathedral in Latin America). It has four facades which contain portals flanked with columns and statues. The two bell towers contain a total of 25 bells. There are two large, ornate altars, a sacristy, and a choir in the cathedral. Fourteen of the cathedral's sixteen chapels are open to the public. Each chapel is dedicated to a different saint or saints, and each was sponsored by a religious guild. The chapels contain ornate altars, altarpieces, retablos, paintings, furniture and sculptures. The cathedral is also home to two of the largest 18th century organs in the Americas which are stunning to look at. There is a crypt underneath the cathedral that holds the remains of many former archbishops and by the front entrance there are glass covered excavations showing the floor beneath and even a few skulls in the walls! Creepy! As we were still tired from the flight we decided to walk back to the hostel for a rest and along the way we noticed another Latin American protest (that's what all the police were about). Do they ever stop! After a rest out of the midday heat, we walked to the local Walmart (yep you read right) to get some groceries for dinner for the next few days. Our first Mexican Walmart experience over with, we headed back to the hostel to cook spaghetti bolognese (from scratch) and have a nice relaxing evening
Fri 2nd March.
Up early around 7.30am and down to breakfast by 8am. During breakfast we got chatting to a Brazilian couple (Kleysson and Maria) that were also going to the Pyramids, so we arranged to meet up later when they had been to sort out some lost paperwork. We then headed off on the Metro to the north bus station to catch the 9.30am bus to the Teotihuacan Pyramids, an hour or so north of the city. We were soon back in the swing of things and remembered how much fun Latin American buses were, huge cracks across the windscreen, loud music, food sellers and even buskers hopping on and off. An hour later we arrived at Los Piramides and bumped into another couple staying at the hostel that were on their way back after getting to the site early at 8am. So we paid our entrance fee and spent the next 3hrs climbing up and down pre-hispanic ruins of a lost civilisation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teotihuacan The ruins are thought to date from around 300BC - AD600 but the builders remain a mystery. Where they came from and what happened to them is pure conjecture. There are three main areas of the site, the Ciudadela, the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon
Sat 3rd March.
Up at 8am and after meeting a few new people over breakfast we wandered into the centre along a different side road. Once in the centre we found that the square was filled with marquees, live music playing and people dancing the Zumba. There was also a wrestling ring with the local wrestling team demonstrating their moves with anyone brave enough to have a go, but it was mainly kids having fun. As it was starting to warm up, we went into the Museo Nacional de las Culturas at the back of the Palacio National http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Palace_%28Mexico%29 to have a look round. We followed that with a good look round the Palace which involved metal detectors and another quick pat down. Once inside we were shown an introduction video (in Spanish) and then we went from room to room looking at art on the walls that had some fantastic colours that you wouldn't expect from art so old. After passing suits of armour, big and small, including a dragon style horse head armor, we walked along the first floor looking at murals painted on the walls by the famous artist Diego Riverahttp://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monumento_a_la_Revoluci%C3%B3n_%28M%C3%A9xico%29 which towers over a nice concreted open space where kids played with bouncey balls that had tinsel attached and other activities going on. Under the monument, there were some uniformed solders on guard and we made it in time to watch the changing of said guards (not very grand or exciting but was a bonus). We then wandered up to have a look at the Palacio de Correos (post office) which is a very grand looking building especially inside. On the way there, we stopped to look at a poster of Obama with a Hitler tash and another with a picture of our Queen and Prince Phillip's heads on top of what looked like viruses. It turns out that they are part of a group called Larouchepac.com. It seemed like to us, that they had conspiracy theories, such as the US should impeach Obama and because the monarchy support Greenpeace, who apparantly are trying to control other countries that want to use nuclear power, they were saying that we were on the brink of WWIII if Russia and China don't capitulate to imperial rule
Sun 4th Mar.
Got up at 8am and went straight down to breakfast which was a little lacking this morning as they'd run out of fruit, but we did manage to get some cereal and toast so that did the trick. After breakfast we said goodbye to Kleysson and Maria as they were flying home today and exchanged details to keep in touch. We then grabbed a bag and our lightwight jackets (as it was a little cloudy and chilly this morning) and walked down to the Bosque de Chapultepec park http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapultepec. The walk was along the Paseo de la Reforma that is closed to traffic on Sunday mornings for people to ride their bikes (one of which was rather unique) and passes some pretty stunning statues, fountains and monuments. The footpaths are lined with trees and mordern art and at one end had a Reeboc fitness event on with a radio controlled Reeboc air ship flying around
Mon 5th Mar.
Got up at the usual time for breakfast but there's a guy on reception that we've not seen before and didn't have it ready until 8.30am, good job we weren't in a hurry! After finally having breakfast, we went back up to our room to finish packing and then checked out at 10am. We then dragged our bags through the Metro to the east bus station to catch a bus to Puebla, 2hrs south of Mexico city.