17.-21. Aug / 15.-16. Sept / 22.-24. Sept 2019
CDMX (= Ciudad de Mexico) is a huuuge city (the second biggest in the world) where we stayed in one of the nicest airbnbs ever! 🙂 We decided to start discovering this metropolis by strolling around in the city center. There is a lot to see: the big main square, the cathedral, the government palace, and lots of museums and churches. There are also many houses with beautiful colonial architecture while having a walk in the streets. And in the Zócalo (“Plaza de la Constitución” – birthplace of México’s Constitution), we did not only see the city’s most visited tourist attractions – the National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Templo Mayor with its Aztec relics but also a regional food expo and a lot of traditional Aztec dancers! It was very colorful and fun!
For our second day in the city, we went to Chapultepec Park & Castle which used to be the residence for the Aztec rulers as well as later the Mexican presidents. With more than four square kilometers, this is the largest park of CDMX. These days, the park is popular for its lakes, sports facilities, the botanic garden, the zoo, and several museums. You can take a nice, relaxing stroll there – and be sure to eat some mangos! Now also a museum, the castle is in some ways very simple but it has some majestic rooms and offers a great view of the city from up the hill.
South of the city, you can find Mexico City’s floating fiestas in the UNESCO-listed ecological reserve Xochimilco, where you will be going along the canals (Yes – México City used to be a lake!) on small colorful boats called “trajineras” while enjoying the music, the views, and the food sold from other boats. Don’t miss the flower gardens and the island of the (creepy) dolls! Oh, and I would definitely recommend going there on a weekend since it is way more fun than on work days! And make sure to hire some mariachis who will sing for you.
Being the city with the most museums in the world, one of Mexico City’s most important of these is the Museum of Archeology and History. As spectacular as the building itself is its vast collection, which includes archaeological finds from extinct Indian cultures along with details of the lifestyles of contemporary Indian inhabitants of Mexico. It is filled with statues, objects and relics of the most important prehispanic cultures as well as modern crafts and tiny representations of ancient life. Here, you can even see the Aztec Sun Stone – commonly known as the Aztec Calendar. Oh, and also make sure to check out the Soumaya Museum of Art when in CDMX – it’s free of charge and an impressive building.
On September 16th in 1810, México started its war calling for the end of the Spanish rule. The celebration of the Mexican Independence Day begins in the evening of September 15th when at 11 pm the President along with all the mayors of each state and city gives a speech called “El Grito (de Dolores)” (originally held by the Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo) and people respond with “Viva!” to whatever Mexican hero the speaker is remembering. This is Mexico’s largest, noisiest and most important party – with a lot of drinks, food, and dancing on the streets. The celebration is crowned by enormous fireworks in each and every city all over the country. What a vibrant, unforgettable FIESTA MEXICANA!!! 🙂 And make sure not to miss the big parade on the following day due to a hangover!
Lucha Libre is unique – it’s a mixture of a comedy and a drama. The fights look so real and so fake at the same time. This Mexican version of wrestling with colorful masks and characters is very melodramatic and acrobatic. People usually cheer for either the good guys named “Tecnicos” or the bad ones named “Rudos”. They engage in a fight with half show, half reality where they throw themselves at each other with slaps, bumps, big jumps, and grabs. This show is very unique and interesting – definitely a must-see when in CDMX! Afterwards, we went to the restaurant & bar high up in the Torre Latinoamericana – a skyscraper downtown – in order to have a birds-eye view of the city from high above.
UNESCO-listed Teotihuacán is one of the most important archeological sites in México. With both the Sun Pyramid and the Moon Pyramid as the main features connected by the Avenue of the Death, this ancient city is just amazing. Now one thing is going to the ruins – a whole other experience is getting up in very early morning and going on a hot air balloon ride for sunrise with the Teotihuacán pyramids as the main backdrop. It was spectacular – I loved it! Definitely unforgettable and an amazing goodbye (for now) to México! Thank you, Asis! 🙂
And of course, we went to explore the ruins and their surroundings afterwards, as you can see: