Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tues 8 Sept - Mexican history and parks

We started and ended today with wifi frustrations at the hotel. For fans of the IT crowd this might seem familiar...at 5pm today I went down to reception and encouraged them to "turn it off and on again". Success. But earlier... We ended up using free wifi in the park. So much better!

Our aim was to walk to Chapultepec park and the Museum of Anthropology but it's not easy. Paseo de Reforma is a heavy traffic route and we got side tracked by this monument to the 1902 Revolution (at Plaza de la Republican).  Famous heroes, like Pancho Villa, are interred in the base of the arch. 

It took a bit of negotiating to get back to main Passeo de Reforma and a charming local guy asked us where we were from and seemed delighted we were visiting his country.  Viva Mexico. 

It was clear that the walk was further than we expected and Lisa's sunburned feet needed to be protected fofrom a big day, so we caught the local bus to the national Museum of Anthropology. 

The crest of Mexico is based on an old omen of the great city's being located where the native people found an eagle eating a snake near a cactus. Hello Mexico City. 

The museum is huge and has some strict rules - maybe a few too many...

We just did the highlights... Teotihuacan, Aztecs and Mayans and even then we skipped heaps in the 2+ hours we were there. It's a bit too much to take in with 1 visit but fascinating. 

Stone carvings are very detailed and murals are colourful and clear. 

The Teotihuacans believed in human sacrifice and also a plumed God. You see this guy and feathers and human bones feature regularly. 

And lots of steles carved...

This is how they believe Mexico City looked pre Spanish times (1500's). It was an island in the valley of water. The central plaza sort of still exists and was where Di started her walking tour yesterday.

The Aztecs moved into the area after the Teotihuacans and then Spanish took over from them. Aztecs worshipped the sun, built on the Teotihuacan learnings but seemed to only be in this area for 150 years. 

And this giant carving came from under the plaza in the picture above. It's about 4 metres across!

No lions in South America but we think this could have been based on a jaguar. 

The Mayans were the most advanced and civilised of all. The culture lasted 4,000 years and was quite scientific and artistic. 

Lisa's dog, Lucky, is almost identical to this guy...very cute. 

We found it a bit tough to keep going (Di's brain was hurting) so we went outside in time for this amazing demonstration which we think must have been some sort of old ritual for boys showing off!

They have no harnesses, just tie the rope around their waist and spin from the wound rope at the top of the tower...all the way to the ground. Takes at least 5 minutes maybe more.

Across the road we wandered into Chapultepec Park, which is huge and lovely. We think this was the old palace grounds for the presidents of Mexico.  Fantastic place and must be popular on Sunday's. 

The stall holders all sell the same stuff and we just couldn't figure out how they made money...but it was colourful. And handy. We were a bit peckish and plantain chips served us well. And the squirrels benefited too. 

Lisa the soft touch...

Our plan was to go up to Chapultepec Castle but the guards expected Di to leave her backpack in some lockers about 1km away from the entrance. No thanks. So this was a close as we got.

Around 2.30pm and it was time a break and lunch. We hopped back on a local bus which took us very close to home. 

A surprisingly perfect lunch at our neighbourhood baguette cafe. For $70MXN pesos we got minestrone, salad caprese with bread, red wine and a mouthful of a sweet treat. Delicious. 

But where had the time gone? It was close to 4.30pm before we were back in our hotel room to continue our struggles with wifi.  So apart from a modem reset our solution was to drink the rum Lisa brought with her from Cuba. 

Oh dear a bit too much rum...by the time we were ready for dinner at 7.30 we both felt a bit sloshed. 
So went an ordered food and a piƱa colada to wash it down at nearby Cervezia De Barrio.  A headache may be on the way... But all delicious with nice food. 

Finished with coffee and more food we did not need and ventured back to our hotel for the night.

Buenas noches. 

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