Trip Start Dec 01, 2009
29Trip End Aug 01, 2010
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nadya: Jeepers, this is going to be a long entry - we have done and seen so much since landing in Mexico City!! It has been such a surprise to find that it is so incredibly culturally rich - loads of museums and art galleries, and very sophisticated aesthetically, not to mention the vibrant and multi-faceted pre-hispanic and colonial heritage, and also the excellent variety of food... (the metro system is so good that Rojo has been parked on the street, a much needed break for him considering it took us a whopping 11 hours to cover the 480km climb from Saladita! That´s an average of 45km/h!!! This is no reflection on the state of the roads - they´re just extremely windy, with loads of speedbumps and beasts of every kind around every corner).
As usual, we landed with our bum in the butter, thanks once again to Guillermo (visiting his family in Mex City) who hooked us up with a place to stay - not just a couch, or a room, but a whole apartment all to ourselves!! He has also been playing tourist guide, advising us about what to do and see (of which there is plenty!), and introducing us to some wonderful people...
pengs: After our flippant remark in a previous entry of the blog regarding our entry into Mexico, Guillermo become concerned about our legal status in Mexico. So after some investigations, he calmly informed us that we are las ilegales and that if a policeman were to check our passports, cos they aren´t stamped we might be in quite a bit of trouble! So we visited the Mexican immigration authorities and had to stay quite a few more days than planned to get the mess all sorted out.
In addition to our immigration issues, my credit card was used in some fraudulent purchases and has been cancelled. Hmmm starting to see a pattern?
nadya: We got whisked off for a couple of days (along with Gerardo, G´s boyfriend) to San Miguel de Allende (where Guillermo´s parents have a holiday house), and did a day-trip from there to Guanajuato - both towns incredible examples of colonial Mexico, with vibrant reds, ochres and yellows adorning every surface - made me feel like I was walking through a tunnel of fire...
nadya: We raced back to Mexico City on New Years eve (wearing our newly-aquired red underwear, which we were assured is a Mexican New Year´s good luck tradition), enjoyed another fantastic meal with Guillermo´s parents, and swallowed 12 grapes on each toll of the midnight bell, on each grape making a wish for the new year (another quirky Mexican tradition). Then we landed up at a very interesting (but suitably mellow) party in an apartment in the city, rolling home at a record 5am (does this mean the jetlag has finally worn off?!)
pengs: We had heard so much about the Anthropological Museum and were not disappointed when we visited their Aztec and Olmec exhibitions. We were completely blown away by the exhibits and have really come to appreciate just how important and diverse pre-hispanic culture is in Mexico. Those Olmecs, way back BC, had already figured out how good corn is (they made tortillas and everything!) and were not shy of sacrificing someone to appease the gods.
We´ve also been exposed to some more cutting-edge themes and have fallen in love with a distinctive sushi style: japmex. Think of salsa or coconut or cream cheese or chilli or fried bananas or peppers combined with fish in a califormia roll. Oooo loooo loooo we have been eating well!
nadya: We visited Frida Kahlo´s blue house (where she was born, grew up and later lived with Diego Rivera) as well as the Trostsky museum, which was in the same neighbourhood. Saw some incredible murals by Diego Riviera in the National Palace. And since we had to spend some extra time in Mexico City, we also did a day trip to Puebla, another colonial town, but with a totally different feel to the others: here, painted ceramic tiles were the order of the day, adorning most of the buildings. And to add to the list of exotic foods, I also ate cactus leaves stuffed with cheese - interesting... Xochimilco, just south of Mex City, was another place we visited, where we did a boat trip in the maze of ancient canals - very festive, with vendors and mariachi bands on smaller boats crowding the waters inbetween.
Now off to Oaxaca where we hear there is even more delicious food to be sampled!