Our purpose for going to Mexico City (the capital of Mexico) was originally only to get a very important piece of paper from the South African Embassy (Read Here). Fortunately, our sweet friend’s mother offered her home and her incredible authentic Mexican cooking for the weekend and to be our tourist guide.
Mexico City is huge, and that is no exaggeration. Traffic is absurdly congested, and added to the mix is the electric buses on the inner lanes. Give yourself at least an hour to two hours travelling time if you plan to travel by car anywhere in Mexico City. In the centre of Mexico City is the The Chapultepec Park; a beautiful green and luscious park lined with Jacaranda trees radiantly showing off their purple flowers. This park extends for 686 hectares from the old historic centre known as Centro Historico to the more modern side of the city. The Chapultepec Park is very well maintained and safe to walk or ride a bike through; there are bikes to rent at almost every corner.
The museum is 75 years-old and 20 acres in total comprising of two stories in a U-shape design. The museum holds the largest collection of artefacts of archaeology and anthropology from the Mayan era to the Spanish conquest. Between the two sides of the U-shape is a massive courtyard where an umbrella structure that depicts a mythological tree, eagles and jaguars. The water continuously streams over the top edges of the umbrella roof encompassing a peaceful and serene feeling at the museum.
The ground floor is the Archaeology floor; I cannot express to you enough how impressive their collection of artefacts is. There are eleven halls; the first six halls display artefacts from certain historical eras. The next five halls display artefacts from different regions. The quality and quantity available to view are outstanding. The biggest attraction is the Aztec Calendar “Piedra de Sol” (Stone of the Sun). It is 12ft and weighs 25 tonnes, carved from a basalt slab in the 1600’s.
The upper floor is the Anthropology floor; Eleven halls, each with a different era and culture. In every hall, you feel as though you have been transported back into that specific time and place. The modelled houses and people dressed in the tradition clothing is so transcending you belong there just by looking at them.
We spent four hours at the museum, and that was not enough time to see all the incredible pieces. Open from Tuesday to Sunday 9.30 am to 17.30 pm. If you’re in Mexico City, don’t miss the experience of this museum.
The downtown or historic downtown of Mexico City dates as far back to the prehispanic era in 1325. The main plaza known as the Zocalo is surrounded by these buildings of absolute brilliance. A person could stand in awe of them all day.
I wish we’d had more time to see the inside of the Palacio Nacional, but we had spent so much time wondering around the streets of the enormous Coyoacan market. (It really is massive) There is so much to see at this market from art, crafts, clothing, souvenirs, toys and most of all the best traditional Mexican food.
When in Mexico do as the Mexican’s do; eat Mexican food in the tradition style, and try a restaurant that have a Mexican band playing, it’s fabulous. Mexican food is so delicious; it’s no wonder the Mexican people love to eat.
We found our way to the Santo Domingo church, Señor de la Expiación Chapel, a cathedral of over 500 years. There was a wedding in process, however, that does not deter tourists. The church is so big inside the bridal couple and guests probably had no idea they were accompanied by tourists. The extreme wealth of the Spaniards is evident inside the building, the outer walls sadly not.
When we arrived in the Centro Historico, we first went to Frida Kahlo’s house which is now a museum. I have wanted to see this since we first arrived in Mexico. The queue of people doubled up the road, and so we decided to walk around and return later (as we did). The queue it seemed, after several hours, had not moved as it was still doubled up the road. So we had our photo taken in front of Frida’s house and bought a doll for our grandchild. Note to self; visit Frida Kahlo’s house during the week, not on the weekend!
Visit Artsy a site dedicated to Frida, her life and her work.
I mentioned earlier about the absurd amount of traffic in Mexico City, well here in the Centro Historico there were even more people – tourists and locals – than I have seen anywhere at any given time. Goodness me! And even with so many people, we felt completely safe, yes there is always the element of having your bag or phone stolen but be wise about how you carry them.
Honestly, this city blew me away; to return, I must!
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There are so many photos to view from our very short but very interesting visit – here are the links to the various photo albums;
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology – https://www.facebook.com/pg/AliandAileenMissions/photos/?tab=album&album_id=406946692999165
Mexico City, Coyoacan Market, Frida Kahol’s House – https://www.facebook.com/pg/AliandAileenMissions/photos/?tab=album&album_id=407208986306269
May God bless and keep you