México City is Amazing

First, I must make a profound apology to all Mexicans. Your country is rich in history, culture and art. Somehow I never understood that before. Perhaps it’s because I am from the United States where children are educated primarily in their own history and culture. Nearby countries, like Canada and Mexico, are ignored as are far away continents such as Europe, South America, Africa and Asia.

It wasn’t until high school that I learned much about other places in the world such as China in Social Studies class and France in French class. I don’t remember ever reading anything about Mexico from elementary school through college!

On top of that, there are many Americans who are prejudiced against Mexicans, thinking of them all as “illegal aliens” who must be stopped from entering the United States. Many Americans supported Donald Trump as President because of his focus on building a wall to keep Mexicans out. I was not among this group but this type of thinking predominates among many Americans.

I am sorry I ignored you, Mexico. Now I have come to appreciate you in so many ways. The first thing I noticed when arriving in Mexico City is the riot of colors everywhere. No drab greys and beiges for you. We are talking red, green, blue, yellow, orange, purple, pink everywhere you look. Just look at the colors in the ubiquitous food stands in Mexico City (aka CDMX).

One of hundreds of food stands in CDMX

This food stand is one among dozens in Chapultepec Park. This is a gigantic city park that reminds me of Central Park in New York City and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Like those city parks, it has thousands of trees, fountains and small lakes. Like Golden Gate Park, there are many sites of interest within the park, including the Chapultepec Castle and National Museum of Anthropology, among other delights.

The National Museum of Anthropology is enormous and cannot be fully appreciated in only a few hours. We signed up for a guided tour of both the museum and the castle with Viator. I highly recommend this tour as the guide could show us the highlights of both places in the park and explain the significance of what we were looking at to us. The tour was only $41 per person, a good value since you got to see two national treasures with a knowledgeable English-speaking guide. For more details, https://www.viator.com/tours/Mexico-City/Viator-Exclusive-Chapultepec-Castle-Early-Access-plus-National-Museum-of-Anthropology-in-Mexico-City/d628-5885MEXCHAP.

Here are some photos of what we saw at the Anthropology Museum.

The guide explained how the Spanish invaders replaced the worship of many Gods by the indigenous people with Christianity as represented by the wooden Cross in this exhibit.
Here is a sample of some of the gold the Spanish tried to take from Mexico back to Spain. Luckily, they were unsuccessful in most cases in stealing this natural resource and much of it wound up in local lakes.
This huge bowl-shaped object was a propaganda device letting people know who is in charge. On the left is a local warrior grabbing the hair of a warrior from another tribe on the right. The hair grabber is the boss man, our guide explained.
I thought this one was humorous. The man a pointed hat to cover his private parts.
Face mask made with colorful ceramic tiles
Some of the art found on the pyramids of Teotihuacan near Mexico City

After spending more than two hours at this museum, we walked through the Chapultepec Park and stopped for a coffee and snack break. Then we walked about 20 more minutes up to the castle. This was on top of a hill overlooking the entire city.

The Chapultepec Castle was a combination art museum, palace and rooftop garden. So much to see there too. Here are some highlights.

Dining room of the palace
Entertainment room in the palace
Palace garden
Palace hallway
Mural in palace depicting Mexico history of revolution and independence from Spain
This ceiling painting shows military school students who were living in the palace fighting soldiers from
the United States during the Mexican-American war.

While in Mexico City, I also took the hop-on, hop-off tourist bus to some key city sights. I love doing this in every city I visit to get a mental map of the area. I got on and off at the main city cathedral and the Zocalo plaza. Here is some of what I saw.

Palacio de Bellas Artes
Mexico City Museum of Art
Part of the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
Side of cathedral. Much of it is surrounded by scaffolding as part of a restoration project
Immense and ornate organ inside the cathedral
Main street of the city called 20 of Noviembre,
recognized as the day when the Mexican revolution began.

I know this does not cover all the highlights of Mexico City, such as the Frida Kahlo museum, for instance. It’s just my snapshot of some key sights I saw while spending a week in CDMX.

From now on, I will be singing Mexico’s praises. My eyes have been opened to the rich cultural heritage of this city and this country. ¡Viva Mexico!

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7 thoughts on “México City is Amazing

  1. I totally agree that Mexico is so unlike from what we are told or read. Before going to Cancun recently I always bracketed it with drugs and illegal immigrants. Now I want to visit rest of the country to know about its culture and architecture.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful unplanned holiday you are having. I have been in love with Mexico since I was in Grade three when we learned all about this amazing country. I have visited many times but have yet to go to Mexico City. I love the pictures. Merry Christmas!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved Mexico City and Mexico! I went for the first time in 2015 when my daughter was in a competitive rowing camp. I visited the Teohuacan pyramids and Puebla as well. The food was amazing as well. All fresh ingredients with wonderful flavours and not to spicy. The country definitely has so much to offer and is so rich in history.

    Liked by 1 person

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