Monday, January 19, 2009

La Ciudad de Mexico

On Sunday we took a trip to Mexico City. We left Cuernavaca at 7:30…which meant I had to get up at 5:30! Good thing we had a nice hour long bus ride to sleep.

A not so cool fact about Mexico City: every year it sinks about 7 inches. You can see buildings that are slanted or even seem to make this shape (~)

We arrived in Mexico City around 8:30 and took the metro to La Casa Azul or “The Blue House”, which is where Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera lived. It is now a museum full of their art and craft projects. They are both very famous artist here in Mexico people visit their house from all over the country to visit their house, and see where they worked.

After La Casa Azul we took the metro, and a bus, into the city center. Because many people can't read in Mexico City each station has its own symbol and the metro maps are only made of symblos. Here we saw many very historical sites. Mexico City was originally Tenochtitlan, the capitol city of the Aztecs. Below is a photo of the plaque that marks the spot where Cortez supposedly met Montezuma and a link to read his account of seeing the amazing city for the first time.

We also visited the capital building in the city center. This is a huge building no longer used by the president and now open to the public. Diego Rivera painted an extensive mural around the walls of the second floor hallway. It depicts the history of Mexico as far back as the Maya and other tribes. We had a tour to explain the steps in Mexican history and it was very interesting to see the progression from indigenous life to today’s very Hispanic culture.

After our visit to the capital building we sat in the center and ate our lunch. Dancers dressed in traditional clothing and head dresses danced and sold many hand made pots and jewelry. It’s very important for those who come from a heavily indigenous background to continue with their traditions and customs…the thread of indigenous Mexico runs deep and this was clear as we watched the dancing and heard them speak with the native Nahuatl language.

After lunch we spent time walking through the ruins of Tenochtitlan. This was the capital city of the Aztecs, and much of the ruins lie beneath the city. However, we were able to see many small temples and statues and it was hard to imagine the Spanish ever choosing to destroy it, especially after reading the accounts of how amazing Tenochtitlan was when it was discovered.

Finally we finished off the day by going to a bull fight. The stadium in Mexico City is the largest in the world…I’m not sure how many it holds but it was BIG. The atmosphere was great and everyone was having fun. The crowd plays a large part in the fight, as they yell “Ole!” and whistle at the torero (matador). It becomes louder as the night goes on and the beer runs out. If the fight was especially good, and the fighter was very brave the guys in the crowd throw their hats to the torero and he receives one of the bull’s ears as a prize. It was a very unique experience, I don’t think I want to go again as it was hard to watch…but I’m glad I was able to experience it.

What a long day….all of these excursions are exhausting!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Fellow Traveller,
    Getting up at 5:30, very early! But also beautiful to see the world waking up. I too have made many journey, setting my foot on every continet. How beautiful to see our Planet.