I hope you like stairs.

Trip Start Jul 21, 2009
1
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Trip End Apr 28, 2010


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Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday

Upon arrivial in Mexico City, our number one goal was to find a place to stay, and clean up after two overnight busses in a row.  That proved to be relatively simple, so by early afternoon we started exploring the city, starting with the main square in the central historical district.  In the middle of the square at the moment is a large tent.  We had no idea what was inside, but it was free, and there were thousands of people winding through the rapidly moving line to get inside.  So why not find out.  It turned out to be a temporary history muesum of sorts, all about dinosaurs.  In one of the last rooms, they even had life-size skeletons of approximately one dozen different dinosaurs.  (No indication if they were real or replicas, although the rest of the exhibit related to areas in Mexico where they were found and how they were excavated). 

On the north side of the square were two cathedrals, and on the east, the National Palace.  We had a look inside, and the interior courtyards and gardens were impressive.  What was interesting, though, was one of their security requirements.  They required identification, they took your picture, and bags and self went through an x-ray.  The odd requirement:  they dispensed a generous squirt of hand sanitizer into your hands, and watched as you rubbed it in.  Only then could you pass through the xray.  As we wandered, staff passed through each room disinfecting each railing, etc.  There were other similar instances throughout the city -- even the trains on the subway advertise that each car is completely sanitized every 72 hours.  You can tell they´re trying very very hard to project a clean, sanitary image, expecially in the tourist zones. 

After the main square, we spent the rest of the day exploring other parts of the city -- side streets, parks, shopping districts, and other neighborhoods.  It was a lot of walking, but a very interesting tour of the city.  Even wandering out of the main districts, the city is still full of life.  There are street vendors lining not only every street, but every park pathway, every metro station, every enterance and exit, and so forth. 

Friday

First on the list this morning were the ruins of Teotihuacan.  These ruins are a short (about an hour?) bus ride away.  The main attraction here are the two pyramids -- one for the sun and one for the moon.  The Pyramid of the Sun is, according to something I read somewhere (great source, huh?!) the third largest in the world, following two in Egypt.  You can also climb the exterior staircase all the way to the top, which was pretty cool.  We also climbed the other pyramid, but only a part of the way up as the rest was blocked.  The rest of the ruins weren´t quite as interesting, but there were several smaller bits that you could explore, and some interesting carvings, faceplates, and murals.  The main street (Avenue of the Dead) also had an interesting feature.  Approximately every 100 feet, there was a staircase.  You went up about 10 steps, then back down about 10 steps.  There was no going around, because all four sides -- surrounded by steps.  I have no idea why.   

After returning to town, we still had a bit of time, so we went to the Anthropoligy museum -- more information than one person could ever digest regarding the cultures of Mexico, and artifacts from all the major ruins in the country.  Very interesting, but overwhelming!  As we left the museum, there was a performance outside -- a few times a day, a group performs an ancient rite known as voladores.  Essentially, 4 men climb a 20 meter pole, turn around to secure some ropes, then jump off, slowly twirling their way back to the ground.  They´re upside down.  Three fly (in various positions) while the fourth plays a flute-like instrument.  Quite the spectacle to stumble across!!

Tomorrow: we go to Acapulco!
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Comments

vivacious09
vivacious09 on

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I think it's odd they took your picture as part of the pre-admission screening...does security need to be that tight?

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