After a week in Phoenix for work (and a few nights with friends in Tucson), I traveled to Mexico City, arriving at about 2.30 pm.
GO and OV picked me up and after dropping my bags at their apartment we drove to an enormous shopping mall, Santa Fe. By this stage it was close to 5 pm and we were all ready for lunch - with a population of over 20 million people in the city, traffic is slow, even on weekends so we had spent a bit of time in the car!
The restaurant was amazing, on the top floor of a department store at the mall, El Palacio de Hierro. There was a band playing - a few guitarists and a passionate singer- which set a great atmosphere, latin music to go with our Mexican food. Salsa was made in front of us from our selection of ingredients in a mortar and pestle and we sampled a broad selection of tortillas and toppings, and I had to have a margarita, being in Mexico and all... My tastebuds were buzzing! We went wandering in the mall after dinner (much needed after all that food, including chocolate cake which I had to try because, of course, chocolate is originally from Mexico!!)
After an early night, I was allowed a sleep in while OV went to do the grocery shopping.
Around 9.30 am we drove towards the downtown area. We parked the car in the upmarket area of Palanco and started walking down one of the main avenues of the city, Reforma. We passed the main park of the city (much larger than New York's Central Park), and were also treated to a spectacular display of voladores de papantia (involves 5 men at the top of a 30 m pole - one starts drumming while the rest fling themselves off the top attached to ropes that slowly unfurl, spinning them, upside down, to the ground - google it as my photos aren't going to do it justice).
We then caught a taxi to take us the rest of the way to the downtown area. Our first stop was the beautiful Bellas Artes museum - just a quick look inside as we had lots to do but would be worth a longer visit for sure- interior is mostly marble which goes a way to explaining why it is sinking (as is much of the downtown area as Mexico City was built on a lake- no I'm not kidding, once again, google it, much of the city is sinking, easily seen when you look down the streets and try to find a straight building!)
By 10.30-11 am we were ready for breakfast which we had at a well known Mexican establishment, Sanborns azulejos. Let's count that as lunch as it was an enormous plate of what were basically chicken enchiladas.
After eating we continued walking to Zocalo, the large town plaza. By this stage the crowds were building as today was the second of the parades celebrating the beginning of the week of the day of the dead (officially 2 November). After a few close squeezes (think music festival size numbers of people), we arrived at the museo de Templo Mayor. This is the excavated site of an enormous Aztec temple that was covered over once the Spanish arrived. It was only uncovered in the 1970's and in fact much of the site still remains under the surrounding buildings including the city cathedral.
We spent some time (along with hundreds of others) walking the site and visiting the museum itself. There are so many artifacts there. The Museum is well organised and it doesn't take too long to get through it- really recommend it if you can get there.
Walking back to the main parade street was an experience in itself, but we eventually found a few spots where we could watch the passing parade. Lots of people, noise and colour, pretty much a summary of my experience in Mexico so far.
Keen for a drink, we popped into a cantina, over 100 years old and one of Mexico City's most well known. Through the windows we were able to still keep an eye on the parade which was good. A tequila sunrise seemed an appropriate drink- I've never noticed how may cocktails are Mexican...
On the walk back towards Bellas Artes it started to rain and by the time we reached the Museum of Popular Art it was pouring, together with lots of lightning and thunder! We only had time for a quick look inside before catching an uber back to where the car was parked. Due to the rain and the crowds, the 7 km trip took us over an hour!!
By this time, we were all happy to be heading home but of had to stop for food because that's what you do here- eat, drink, then eat and drink some more. We ate at La Cueva de Leon and I think I'll be dreaming about the Tacos al pastor that I ate there for the rest of my life, they were so delicious.
I think I will need new jeans when I get back to Santiago.