Monday, January 21, 2013

Why I spent four days in Mexico City and all I got you was this lousy blog post

It turns out that four days is not nearly enough time to see everything there is to see in Mexico City. Case in point, Things We Did Not Get To Do in Mexico City, Though Not For Lack of Wanting:
  • See the floating gardens of Xochimilco; take mariachi band-accompanied gondola ride on the canal (these pictures are giving me major regret pangs)
  • Enter either the renowned Museo Nacional de Antropologia or the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes
  • Visit any of the hip neighborhoods of Zona Rosa, Condesa, or Roma
Fortunately for us, the list of things we did get to do is much longer:
  • Wear a path in the streets around the Zocalo

  • Tour the bell towers and walk on the vaulted rooftop of the Catedral Metropolitana at sunset

  • See the murals painted by Diego Rivera inside the Palacio Nacional

  • Walk around Chapultepec park and castle

  • Eat an enormous cornsicle outside the Museo Nacional de Antropologia (corn on a stick slathered in mayonnaise, cheese, chili powder and lime)

  • Visit the Aztec ruins at Tlatelolco; also the Basilica of Guadalupe; taste tequila; climb the pyramids at Teotihuacan; develop mild sunburn (this was all in the same day, whew)

  • Sit in Mexico City traffic for three bumper-to-bumper hours after the above; grow increasingly cranky; ponder probability of spending the rest of my life in this fucking van
  • Finally exit van; kiss ground (not pictured)
  • Tour the Casa Azul and Frida Kahlo museum 

  • Visit the craft markets of Coyoacan and San Angel; accidentally drink a frappe blended with ice (ICE!); experience intestinal regret as a consequence of my poor choices
  • Walk around Aztec ruins of Templo Mayor

  •  See murals of Orozco in the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria

Though four days is not enough time to see and do even just the highlights of Mexico City, it turns out that four days is also exactly the right amount of time to visit Mexico City. Molly and I both came to this very same conclusion somewhere around day three-and-a-half, when we finally admitted that we were, frankly, exhausted. Of the aching feet and joints and complete bodily fatigue variety of exhaustion. You see, we walked everywhere, for miles and miles a day, not to mention climbing up and down pyramids. And this wasn't like a beach vacation where we could recharge in a hotel or by a pool somewhere. We chose to save money by staying in a hostel with private rooms (no more dorms for us, thanks), and while the price was right, the spartan accommodations meant that there was absolutely no reason to hang around after sleeping and (mostly cold, pressure-less) showering were done. One more day, and the 'What are we going to do today, and how are we going to get there?' routine would have started to feel a lot more like work than vacation. 

Mexico City, we both agreed, is best approached in small chunks. The next time we go, we decided, we will avoid the Centro Historico altogether, being the one area we really got our fill of, and stay in one of the more residential neighborhoods of Zona Rosa, Roma, or Condesa. Next time, we will visit Xochimilco; next time we will spend more time in Coyoacan. Next time, we will go to museums. La proxima vez.

Until next time, Mexico City!

And a special shout-out to Molly for being an awesome friend and travel partner! Muchas gracias, chica. A la proxima vez.    


  1. hasta la próxima! maybe next time we'll get to see the camels, too! xo

  2. Looks like such a beautiful place to visit!! I need to add this to my blog post :)

  3. Looks like you had quite an amazing trip! Travel is a great way to refresh and get away from the day to day bullshit. I love that you're already talking about your next trip!

  4. Yay you! I'm happy for you :-)

  5. That my sweet sounds like an excellent adventure.

  6. Visita virtual del museo Nacional de Antropología de mexico