Mexico City, Mexico 🇲🇽 June 2020
I got in too late in Mexico City, so I stayed at the pod hotels in Terminal 1.
The Metro station had black and white mechanic art, bright pink paintings and Pink Cars on the CDMX metro trains (Aka women and children under 12 only. Strictly enforced.) In fact, a guy snuck in by going through the cars, and at the very next stop, an armed guard pulled him off. It wasn’t every line, but enough to feel secure. Then again, I wasn’t on the trains after dark.
Dropped my stuff off at my Airbnb, met my supremely nice host, Susana, her husband Alfredo and their dog child, Jorge. He was a two-month-old pug, and not to be dramatic, but I would die for Jorge. Alfredo spoke no English and I did not speak Spanish, but he made it very clear that he did not like Jorge. Jorge didn’t understand that, though. Jorge loooved Alfredo. 🤣
Free Walking Tour
Met up with my CDMX city guide and a German guy, another tourist, visiting from Frankfurt for the weekend. (His accent is so good that I never would have guessed he wasn’t from like, California. 🤣) Our guide encouraged us to check out the two churches before we began. One is absolutely massive with a beautiful high altar, and the other one (pictured above) is smaller and “less” impressive.
I found this tour by searching “Free Walking Tour Mexico City.” There were tons of options, I chose by what time was convenient.
We passed by Templo Mayor, the original temple of Tenochtitlan (the city that was destroyed by the Spanish to make Mexico City). It looked like piles of ruins, dark brick stones in makeshift pyramids over this large area of the city center. They do have a huge museum, but the ruins can be seen by anyone walking past, as you have to walk over a glass walkway that lets you see all the ancient stones.
I wanted to go into the museum, as it had opened the day after their Covid shut down ended, but the morning that they could finally open their doors again, they were hit by a massive hail storm and THE ROOF CAVED IN, collapsing on all of the important, expensive and priceless artifacts. While they did manage to salvage all of the items, and it was before opening time so no one was inside, the green roof is smashed against all of the display cases, and therefore it wasn’t safe for visitors.
The city is bursting. There are people running into each other, church bells chiming, children selling souvenirs and lots of loud chatter. There’s no such thing as a quiet place by the Zócalo (the main square).
Some of the entrances to the metro stations have the railings and signs similar to what you might see in the Paris Métro.
In nearby parks, you can find public workout equipment. Brightly colored, somewhat sturdy and probably squeaky, any type of equipment that could be nailed into the ground and not hauled away by unscrewing a screw or two was available for public use.
We ate some of the most delicious Mexican food in the city. Blue corn tortillas stuffed with either meat or cheese, topped with onions, cactus, salsa and maybe lettuce.
The guide did a double take when he saw how much green hot sauce I’d put on the next yummies we tried. He said that that green sauce was one of the hottest in the city and they had to get me another one. “This one is not for tourists. You will be sick for a week and never come back. You are too pretty to not come back.” He said, but in a matter-of-fact way, not in a way that felt uncomfortable. I reassured him that my husband was part Indian and I could handle my spice. (That being said, that was one HOT lunch. My tummy got a little rumbly, but nothing more than a few burps 🤣)
10 Minute Storm
Right after that, the skies opened and the rain poured, torrential rains, for a good 15 mins. We actually hid under a local seller’s tent, because walking and sightseeing was simply impossible during the freak-mini-hurricane that appeared out of legit nowhere. It was pretty intense rain and thunder, drenching this part of the city so heavily that every minute or so, the tarp would bubble over and splash a huge overflow of water that was being held in the tarp onto the sidewalk. The only downside was, if you were walking next to the tarp, when said tarp decides to empty its water supply onto your head. Can we would get a three second notice, as the tarp would start to shift this way and that, so we would nudge people out of the way to avoid them getting more of a shower and they were expecting from this storm. 🤣 After that, a clear horizon and no hint of rain. There was water gathered in the uneven sidewalk however, which I did not discover until I fell into one of them and twisted my ankle so badly that I limped for the next four days. It was actually still a little swollen, over a month later. (It felt like a giant pop, like when I missed a step as a freshman in college, or when I didn’t see the last step going down the metro train station steps in Germany in 2016. All three times… The same ankle. That poor ankle. 🤣)
Luckily, my ripped jeans on bloody knee seemed to be the worst part of the whole mess. (I didn’t realize how beat up the ankle was until I got back to Susana and Jorge at the AirBNB. It blew up to the size of my knee… Super flattering. I iced it and took anti-inflammatory meds, and then wrapped it really tightly with some of my scarves. It’s sort of looked like a fashion statement when I wasn’t visibly limping. lolll)
After making sure I was going to live lol, the guide showed us the very first theater that had pornographic movies, with separate entrances for men and couples, lol, the lavish and sparkly quinceañera dresses that made British royal family weddings look pedestrian, and the giant squares, filled with shops, restaurants and cafes.
Mexico City was MASSIVE, and not what I’d expected. I don’t know why I presumed everything would be dusty with very few large buildings. Lol Just goes to show that even after 45 countries, you realize you still have stereotypes, and just how incorrect they are 🤦🏻♀️🤣
Last, we checked out the Palacio Postal Post office that looked like a castle, the Bellas Artes Museum that has a 27-ton glass curtain inside protecting the theater, and the Blue Tile restaurant that pulls its influence from Portugal and their memorable tiles that are on every doorway, facade and restaurant table.
Blue Tile House
The inside of the Blue Tile house (now a very famous restaurant and building) Is gorgeous inside and out, full of happy diners and an enchanting pianist, filling the tall ceilings with Chopin and Strauss.
Bellas Artes Museum
I had a pastry on top of the Sears building with an amazing view of the Bellas Artes, took a time laps video of the people in the square and the biking groups that look like little clusters of ants, rushing here and there. People were dressed up like superheroes, selling water and candy bars. This museum is stunning and has massive Diego Rivera paintings on every floor, and beautiful rusty red marble floors, walls and ceilings.
The paintings are massive, and the whole place is just stunning.
The Palacio Postal that is still a functioning post office, but it just happens to look like a palace inside. People still come here to mail their letters downtown. (CAN YOU IMAGINE???!!! 😍😍😍)
The elevator looks like a movie prop from Knives Out, and the large columns and bright, barred windows make you feel very important for being in their presence haha
National Art Museum
There were three floors of beautiful pictures, statues and modern art. The stairwell was beauuutiful and the ceiling kept my camera very busy. You need a photography pass, which is a little piece of paper wrapped around your finger like a ring.
There were all these exhibits for different types of dresses, including details that were NSFW. 🤣
Every night I was greeted by Jorge, the most lovable little 2-month-old fireball who had never been outside until the earthquake drill that they had while I was staying at their AirBNB. He is my favorite thing and I will love him forever. He wanted to play every minute of every day. And if that didn’t work for me, he would steal my shoes so I had no other option. 🤣 he also liked to chew on my indoor slippers, but he was polite about it. He would chew on one in the corner, bring it back and leave it at my feet, and then grab the other one and chew on it in the corner again. He made sure I always had at least one slipper 🤣🤣😍❤️
My cooking class for Tacos Al Pastor was the next day, and PHENOMENAL. And delicious.
To the Frida Kahlo Museum, where I waited in the around-the-block line for 45 mins, only to get to the front and find out that they needed reservations and they were sold out until Wednesday. (This was Saturday) Legit the only place I didn’t check for reservations. Ugh.
Onto the Coyoacan market, which had everything one can dream of, and by far the best prices I’d found in the city.
Church of San Francisco
I ate breakfast with Jorge the next morning and then off to see the Blue Tile house and Church of San Francisco in the city center.
Madeira Ave is gorgeous with lots of tourists, teenage lovebirds and tattooed dudes. While heading to the church of San Francisco, known for its crazy amazing façade, I passed by a little courtyard filled with different types of corn stocks. Some type of public art display, there was a giant sign on the adjacent building naming all the different types of corn available in Mexico. What a cool idea!
Continuing along Madero Avenue, I found an electronics shop that looked like it was in the first floor of an old castle, with vaulted, arched ceilings and decorated window displays. Selling Blu-ray’s and DVDs. Lol what a juxtaposition. 🤣
The Culture place had the history of all kinds of films and cartoons. The building itself was also gorgeous.
Church of San Hipolito
Went to find more of the famous churches, and was quite impressed with the stunning Church of Hipolito.
I saw that everyone was waiting in a big long line to enter the church from the front door. I poked around the side, and realized that people wearing church attire were entering of back door. I presumed it was a balcony or the secret entrance or something haha, turns out! it was a graduation celebration, being held in this beautiful old part of the church. Everyone was dressed very nicely and I was glad that I had a coat to cover up my casual appearance. 🤣
Popular Art Museum
The Popular Art Museum was fascinating, with all the tall monsters and what looked like papier-mâché statues and all the colors of the rainbow.
There was a car covered in designs of a little bees in the entranceway and handmade monsters that were quite convincing. Then to the yummies at a famous place close by, but it was only okay even though it was one of the top restaurants in CDMX. The tortilla soup was reaaaally good though.
Went to Puebla for a day trip, which was awesome.
The next day, I was going to go to Taxco, but I saw 7 days behind me and another 9 days in front of me of 14 hour, nonstop, exhausting, 16-18k-step days, and I was like…Nope. Haha so I stayed at my little AirBNB in and cuddled with Jorge until the planned earthquake drill where we all went outside for 3 mins. Dogs sniffed each other and older ladies tripped over un-cornered-off construction areas, and then everyone disbursed. It was a little Jorge’s first time outside, so Alfredo took him for a begrudging walk. 🤣
I then explored the STUNNING neighborhood of Roma, one of the incredible and modern parts of CDMX.
Museum of Anthropology
On my last day in the City, I headed to The Museum of Anthropology, the most famous museum in Mexico City.
It is MASSIVE and literally took the entire day! It had 16 rooms and the whole museum was shaped like a giant U, with upstairs and downstairs exhibit.
There were ancient designs, old tools and weapons, colorful masks, interesting hieroglyphs on ancient paper and entire stone buildings within the museum itself.
So cool seeing things from history books in person 😍
The next morning, I said goodbye to the best boi in the world, Jorge, and my adorable host Susana, and got ready for my flight to Oaxaca and then the Yucatán after that.
In other words, Mexico City is sooooo pretty! 🤣😍❤️