Our Mexico City story continues. If you haven’t checked out the other sights we have visited and fun we have had in Mexico City please look at my posts for week one, week two and weeks three and four by clicking on these links.
So we extended our accommodation again here in Condesa. The area and apartment was so lovely and relaxing, also we still had places to see on our list (not to mention food in the fridge which needed eaten). Our other reasoning was that we needed time to assess our options from here onwards so wanted a day or two in front of the computer to plan. At least that was the idea, we definitely spent time in front of the computer (and phone and tablet) but it was more playing games, reading and watching movies than researching. Whoops, oh well, at least we are stress-free. A positive note was that we did accomplish all the items on our large Mexico City to-do list so I’ll tell you a little about those places. This should be a short post as we mainly had late starts and we also spent a few days being social rather than sightseeing. All in all a lovely final week in the biggest city I’ve ever been to.
I mentioned at the end of my previous post on Mexico City that we had a strange and coincidental happening occur. We were casually walking down the street on our way to the Tuesday market in Condesa when we both had a “those people look familiar” moment. Our friends from Guanajuato were sitting outside a cafe with their dogs. In a city of 20 million people we both ended up staying in the same area at the same time. It’s a small world isn’t it! Over the next three days we spent time with them; eating, drinking beers and walking their dogs. Tom was loving having the dogs to play with again, especially as it meant he could legitimately go into the dog park and see all the other cute dogs as well.
I mentioned the Tuesday market in Condesa, it’s on each week (Tuesday as the name implies) and is a really lovely fresh market. We didn’t eat at any of the food stalls there (shocking I know) but we did buy produce. It’s not the cheapest market we have shopped at by far but it does have a good selection.
Another reason that we extended our stay was so we could attend the Folkloric Ballet in Bellas Artes on Wednesday evening. We purchased tickets for “cheap seats” or so I was calling them. They were $300 peso each compared to the $800 plus alternatives which would’ve been a bit of a splurge. The seats were right up top in the gallery which disturbed Tom a little bit but offered a good view of the stage. There are two amazing sets of stained glass in the theatre; a ‘curtain’ in front of the stage of watercolour mountains and sky as well as a skylight which we had a fantastic view of being way up high in the cheap seats. The ballet is definitely not what you would call a traditional ballet with tutus and point shoes. Instead what you get is traditional music and dance which is a wonder of sound, colour, athleticism and even a little humour. It’s a fantastic experience and the two hours we were there just flew by. This would be one of my top recommendations if you visit.
Hopping onto the metrobus we travelled south again to the lovely suburb of San Angel. If you have read my previous posts on Mexico City you will be aware that we had been here about three weeks before and had only managed the quickest visit to the Ex-Convento del Carmen to see the mummies before closing time. We arrived late morning and leisurely explored the museum. The mummies were still creepy looking but the building and art was quite impressive. We have got to the point where we have seen so much religious art work that it is all starting to blend into itself; much like the way we feel about pre-Hispanic ceramics and Colonial churches. Continuing on our way we walked further south to the Cuidad Universitaria (City University) to see their cool looking library. We then boarded the metrobus heading south again for our final stop for the day, Cuicuilco. This is most likely the oldest site we have visited. Because of this and that most of the city was covered with lava due to a nearby eruption there isn’t much to see. It’s a circular pyramid built around 800 B.C and the area was inhabited until around 2000 years ago when it was abandoned because of a nearby volcanic eruption. I thought it was quite interesting to see where the lava flow had been excavated to uncover the base of the pyramid. So after a bit of a late start we made the day quite productive after all.
On a recommendation we boarded the metrobus again the following day to see an area slightly south of us, the name of which I have forgotten. The main goal was to try some great tortas at El Capricho. They were a little pricey but humongous so we happily split one and it didn’t disappoint! In the same area is the university Panamericana which is in an old colonial suburb. Being a weekend it was closed but the area was lovely and we walked through a nearby park on the way back to the metrobus.
On Sunday, our second last full day in Mexico City we decided to see the Museum of Memory and Tolerance. The museum is located near Bellas Artes and we had not seen thus far. Not a difficult feat as Mexico City apparently is the city with the second highest amount of museums in the world (second to London). This museum is themed on the Holocaust during the Second World War as well as genocide in other parts of the world in more modern times. Pretty sad stuff. We waited in a huge queue to pay, waited in another queue to enter the building and then waited in yet another queue to access the lift to the galleries. So lots of queuing. Unfortunately as well as being very crowded and busy all the signs were only in Spanish. We read some but it would’ve taken days to translate them all. Luckily it’s a topic we already knew a little about, me from high school social studies and Tom from that as well as general interest internet searching. Even in our roughly translated Spanish it’s quite a depressing topic but the museum is very modern and well done overall albeit a touch on the expensive side, especially if you want an English audio-guide.
Bypassing our mercado in centro we stocked up on a few avocados to assist with cooking up the remainder of our food into an edible meal that evening. It would be chorizo, bean and vege tortillas with guacamole. The leftovers with egg for breakfast were delish as well.
Our last day was a Monday and this meant almost nothing was open to visit. But we had saved a museum specifically for this. Museo Soumaya is an amazing shiny silver building that looks like a four story wave. Inside is a collection separated into floors of different themes. Old money, watches and other silver work on the first floor. Ivory statues on the second. Poor elephants. It really is quite sad to see huge tusks turned into statues. Religious paintings on the third. Mostly European Impressionist and Avant-garde paintings on the fourth. We really enjoyed the paintings, there was heaps of art and it’s all well displayed by a lot of different artists including Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Degas and of course Mexican artists. Up on the final floor resides a huge open space full of statues by Augustin Rodin and Salvador Dali. Overall it’s a cool museum and amazingly it’s free to visit.
After having a nice last day we sadly started packing up our things. After staying in one place for three weeks our bags had exploded over the small room and needed to be coaxed back into the packing cells and bags like a tricky jigsaw puzzle.
It was time to leave Mexico City after five weeks here. We shouldered our packs and realised we had forgotten just how heavy they were. Onto the metro we went and made for a bus station we hadn’t visited yet, the eastern one. After scoffing a chicken burger for lunch in the terminal (man did that hit the spot) we were on our way to Puebla.
I should note here that I am FINALLY up to date with this blog for the first time in five months. Hooray, round of applause for me! I’ll try keep up the good work posting after each place we visit. As we are still in Puebla you should expect the post from here within the next week. Fingers crossed 🙂
Thanks for reading, I hope you are all enjoying following our exciting travels.