Deemed as one of the most dangerous cities in the world, we felt extremely safe in Mexico city. We don’t go looking for trouble, so trouble ain’t gonna find us. Supposedly sprawling with 25 million people? They must have been busy or out of town when we were there, as we didn’t notice. It’s a beautiful city. And the bonus was, being of average height we felt tall!! The peeps there are tiny.I booked a combined tour with viator.com; Frida Kahlo museum, Coyoacan, Xochimilco and National University. Despite the cold, rain and flooding, as we’d just missed the hurricane that hit Veracruz, we absolutely loved Frida’s casa Azul (blue house) and were inspired and refreshed of her life with Diego Riviera. On the bus we found our tour guide’s English, a little hard to follow, so tuned out a bit. We had a fabulous Italian coffee and churros stop when we hit the town of Coyoacan. Little did we know that was the last of the good coffee or sight of churros for pretty much the rest of the trip! Coyoacan was lovely with cobblestoned streets and a gorgeous St Juan Bautista church. The University wasn’t worth it. We then took a boat tour and got lost in translation with our lunch order but it was really good and served by other boaties rocking up and cooking it while we waited. The canal was flooded with brightly coloured boats, that was formerly used as transport in the Mayan town of Xochimilco. The Mariachi bands were hilarious and so loud and annoying! The hand is always out in Mexico for tips whether you like it or not and you’ll get asked for a tip so be warned. Later we had an obligatory stop at the local market which was a bit too long for our liking; find the tour that skips the Uni and you’ll save $NZD20!
Second tour with viator.com was an early morning visit to the Teotihuacan Pyramids. I ummed and aahed about booking this tour, not sure as to how many ruin visits we could cope with. But my friends it was amazing. We were blown away by the size of the ruins and it was great to be able to climb the Sun and Moon Pyramids and look down across the old city. We then had time to walk to the lovely huge park and admire the fabulous modern art in the city.
The Mexicans are obsessed with bakeries. There seems to be one on every corner and these places are humungous. You see them piling pastries sky-high into these large boxes, that they carry along the street. Um maybe this is why they have the second highest obesity rate in the world. Despite their love for pastries, these city folk seemed to be so unhappy and you rarely saw anyone smiling.
Our final day in Mexico city was the start of our 9 day MexTrotter Tour. Our guide took us walking to the Zocalo main square and then to the gorgeous National Palace where we got to see more Diego Riviera paintings. He then took us to the wonderful, modern, archeological museum. Hunger got the better of me so I had switched off after an hour. We ventured to the gorgeous Polanco suburb, deemed the Hollywood of Mexico. It’s about 25 minutes out of town and I’d definitely recommend a visit. The houses and shops were gorgeous. We ate the best soft tacos at El Farolito and it was so cheap with a beer thrown in for good measure.
Our final night we ate Café Tacuba, this large, stunning upmarket, restaurant recommended by our guide. It was fantastic. The décor was Spanish-inspired, and food and service excellent.
Catch me next week for more of our MexTrotter tour. It only gets better from here.