In our travels, there have been places that have failed to live up to their reputation as a travel destination and then there are those that have surprised us that more people haven’t travelled there. Mexico City is one of those places. When there is little first hand accounts (other than that of the travel book writers) we end up travelling to a new city and a new country with preconceived notions of what that place is like. So it may be surprising to you that Mexico, specifically Mexico City is not a dangerous place infested with drug cartels and dragged down by the desperation of poverty. Mexico City as I see it is a city that is misunderstood (or at least carries an outdated reputation). Don’t get me wrong, Mexico City has its share of poverty and crime but you (or Trump) may be surprised to know that the US has eight times more total crimes than Mexico and specifically six times more violent crimes (source).
The reality is… Mexico City is a city that prides itself on its grand architectural and cultural history. It is a city that celebrates art of all forms. It is a city with possibly more impressive galleries and museums than any other city in the world. It is a city with a myriad of culinary flavours that can cater to anyone who loves food. And who doesn’t?! It is a city that offers warm hospitality whether you speak Spanish or embarrassingly little. Here is the Mexico City we saw.
View from our hotel room overlooking the Zocalo (main square or Plaza de la Constitución) on the right with its giant flag of Mexico, the Mexican City Metropolitan Cathedral on the left and Palacio Nacional (National Palace) across. Unfortunately not much of the 240 m X 240 m Zocalo can be seen due to a combination of tents set up for a festival and the ongoing restoration of the 700 year old square.
A street in the historical centre.
A street festooned with flags.
Excellent public photography exhibit that sends a powerful message about the beauty of nature and the negative ways humans impact nature. This was found along one of the main roads – Paseo de la Reforma.
Also along Paseo de la Reforma, located in the median strip, is a series of bell sculptures that can be rung in various ways (including this one by swinging). It’s perfect for keeping tired kids going.
Artistic expression of green wall found in the historical centre.
A Diego Rivera mural found on a random wall in the city. Do you see Frida Kahlo?
From Diego Rivera to this street art from an artist unknown to me, Mexico City is overflowing with art.
Another exceptional mural made by one of the talented street artists of Mexico City.
From visual art to performance art. We came across this ritual and celebration of Aztec music and dance in an area that was considered the centre of the universe by the Aztecs.
Incredible costumes of the performers.
Including painting the face.
Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts). One of the “newer” architectural beauties in the city having been constructed in the 1930’s. It hosts art events of all forms.
One of the doorways to the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral. It is the largest cathedral in the Americas. Construction began in 1573 with the last section constructed in 1813.
Chapultepec Park looking up towards Chapultepec Castle.
One of the food markets in the city.
An incredible bakery in the city. There’s practically a bakery on every block.
Next up on the blog is going to be some of the highlights from what we got up to in 4 days in Mexico City!