Mexico City - Andale, Andale!
|The face of Mexico!|
I’m playing catch up with my blogging, so let’s jump back a few months to a time when people were younger, Spring was in the air, and I had all my organs ;o)
I’ve always wanted to go to Mexico City, ever since my primary school teacher said it was the most populated city in the world. There was something about the hustle and bustle of swathes of people crushing, grinning and grimacing on their daily grind that intrigued me. Btw, before someone writes a strongly worded letter to the editor, according to google the most populated city in the world is currently Tokyo (37m) with Mexico City coming in a mere 10th (19m).
Still and all, it’s an expansive city, a Mexican chap, who was very proud of his city, told us the city covers 3,000 sq kilometres and he estimated the population at 25m (take that google!). He did share his thoughts on the number of cars in the city which I can’t remember so I’m going to say it was around 50 billlllllllion.
I’m delighted I finally made it there and I would recommend it to all. Drop all your preconceived notions of sinister danger (ha, is there any other kind), backward sophistication (that doesn’t even make sense) and dirty streets (that’s just an outright lie!). Mexico city is full (and yes, it is full) of friendly people, not a hint of unease in the air, parts of town were very like Madrid (I know, who knew?!) and it was as clean as any ancient city I’ve visited.
|Cheryl Sandberg can stop 'leaning in', I've found the glass ceiling, it's breakable|
We stayed in the Gran Hotelde Ciudad bang in the historic centre which revolves around a massive central plaza called the Zocalo. It is the third largest city square in the world coming after Red and Tiananmen. It bleeds atmosphere as the city throbs and beats around and across it. When we arrived it looked like a noisy protest demo was in full swing on the square, but as the evening wore on we realised it was in fact a celebration, of teachers (go figure). The hotel was proper old school posh, the glass ceiling was a mosaic of beautiful stained glass, it was like taking shelter under a humongous Tiffany lamp. However the coolest aspect of all was the antique bird cages which lined the lobby with real live birds knocking around inside them.
|Some birds, wha!|
Back to the Zocalo, it is built over the remains of the ancient Aztec city. There is a Cathedral on one side that dominates the square and was built with the brick remains from the ancient city. People mill around it selling stuff and others burning incense (to be honest I couldn’t say for certain it was incense and bear in mind this was the very spot where the Church used to burn heretics and witches, maybe those dolls from Sanborns ended up in the pot!). An interesting thing about the Cathedral is that it is sinking but instead of stopping it the Mexicans have decided to let nature take its course, but they have made efforts to make sure it sinks in sync.
As with all cities that were dominated by the Catholic religion there are lots of churches, chapels, etc dotted all over the place. The kind of city where churchbells wake you in the morning. There is one chapel that is solely dedicated to St Jude, I liked the idea of that, a church devoted to the patron saint of lost causes. Once a month they have a mass there and people come from far and wide with lists of their lost causes hoping for, I dunno, answers, hope, resolution, or maybe just a good ole ‘how long is your list’ session, ‘Only 5 lost causes, eh, look at mine, I’m technically dead’.
|Mexico Stock Exchange|
|That's one hell of a hat!|
|Bench made from playing cards|
|Two human sacrifices coming up|
|Not a photo of the guide|
Mexico, great first impression but I want to come back and see those Mayan temples, however, next stop Panama.
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