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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Travel
  
  
  
 
29 days in México by Lounge Trekker by Lounge Trekker on 4 July 2018 9:36pm
 
I had 29 days in Mexico this year, from mid February to mid March. I went there with a man from Querétaro. Mario is my learner at the Literacy Centre where I've been helping him with his English. He went back to work for 6 months and to stay in his house. I don't know if he invited me or if I invited myself, but it was great to be in Mexico with a local man.



México City


It started with 4 days in CDMX (Ciudad de Mexico or Mexico City. CDMX is a big city with over 20 million people. The taxi ride from the airport to the hotel was like a week in Disneyland! I was hooting and hollering, cheering our driver on. He was driving within 30-40 cm of vehicles on all sides...any more and someone would have cut in. Never saw an accident in 29 days. If drivers are crazy here...they sure are good at it.

If you are at all interested in Mexico City, I suggest you make time here part of your visit to Mexico. Learn your way around a Spanish-English dictionary, as Spanish is the predominant language in use here. Give yourself lots of time to get to attractions...maybe one a day, as distances are great even if the use of public transit is cheap and easy.
Reforma Avenue has modern architecture and is a hub of modern activity. At the southwest end is Chapultepec Park, where is found several museums, a castle and a zoo.

Museum of Anthropology


We went to the Museum of Anthropology, a collection of tens of thousands of artifacts from all eras of human history in Mexico. These artifacts are displayed in very nice order, with descriptions in both Spanish and some in English. There are guides who give informative descriptions of events being represented. The one I saw in action was speaking Spnaish. We visited it on the run, me taking hundreds of pictures including the posted info tags that I can translate in the comfort of home.

Xochimilco


On the second day, we boarded the metro for 5 pesos, rode to the end, boarded a surface train, then another bus arriving at Xochimilcho, the canals that are on display showing the floating agriculture the Aztec developed to feed the city. A total of 60 pesos took both of us about 40 kilometres round trip using public transportation.

It is a tourist trap, but still pretty cool. Try to go with a group of people, as the trajinera (canal boats) seat 10 or more people. There are vendors, cooks, bartenders and musicians all in their own boat willing to sell you food or drink, or to sing you a song. It would be great fun with a large group on board. It cost us 700 pesos for 2 hours. About $50 for way too long with only one other person to enjoy being with...go with a group or do something else. It took us hours to get there and hours to get back. We went on the trajinera because, although he grew up in México City, Mario had never been on the canal boats.

Teotihuacan


The next day, we went to Teotihuacan, a city in ruins below two pyramids that were built around the time of Christ. Please read about it here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teotihuacan

We arrived on the site too late to climb the pyramids and that was the only disappointment in the month I was in Mexico. Darkness falls at 6:30-40 and the steps are extremely steep. Rescue from falls and injury are difficult at best and would be dangerous in the dark. Teotihuacan is awesome and easy to get to once you are in CDMX. Next time, I will get there as early as possible, bringing food and water, and spend the day absorbing the fantastic ancient vibes. It is very cool.

We dined at the restaurant there and were pleased with the quality of food. It is a typical contemporary Mexican restaurant in that the decor is extremely garish and busy. There were no other patrons because of the time of day. The washrooms are...well...rather primitive. They are out back, across the yard. Good place to wash your hands, anyway. After a few days in Mexico, this type of facility will no longer be a surprise.

I have no easy way to share my pictures with you. Let me think about it. I have 600 pictures and videos! Again, come again soon. I will add something from the next 26 days I enjoyed in México when I get the chance.

Querétaro by bus

Highway buses in Mexico are comfortable, affordable and efficient. We went first class. The seats have plenty of leg room, charging outlets for your electronics and a Television playing an assortment of movies, videos and documentaries. Again, the language is Spanish. We were given a snack pack on boarding, with a selection of soft drinks, including water, a sandwich and a piece of fruit.

The Centrale de Autobuses is like the airport in a small city, where different bus lines have their own windows to sell tickets. Seats are selected and purchased in advance so you know where you will be seated upon departure.

These people have a good video on buses in México and they are in Querétaro so you will see what the city is like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk6yckhYaNI

Anecdotes and funny happenings

Stay tuned

LT
 
Re: 29 days in México by Lounge Trekker by sighthound on 5 July 2018 6:02am
 
I had my 5th birthday party at Xochimilcho back in - wait for it - 1951. I LOVED it! I smuggled the flowers I got there at the party back into California (agricultural restrictions) and kept them dry and dusty for years.

Chapultepec Park sorta scared me because our tour guide was very graphic about what happened to Maximilian I. Made a big impression on my 5 year old brain.
 
Re: 29 days in México by Lounge Trekker by Ken Dunn on 6 July 2018 5:16pm
 
It must be ages since anyone has used the Travel section here. Interesting posts LT & sighthound. I notice you are 5 years older than me sighthound - congratulatons!

Our most recent travel exploit was to a new (to us) hotel in Aberdeen as the Holiday Inn that we went to regularly closed down.
 



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