I started my New Year in great style: roaming around Mexico City with my family. I wanted share this amazing journey with you folks.
Strolling around the Aztec City center
Mexico City was founded by the Aztecs in 1325. On my first day in the city, we walked along the ancient historical center. I was amazed by Diego Rivera’s mural paintings at the National Palace. The Fine Arts Palace is a must see! An architectural masterpiece from the early 20th century. What was most inspiring for me was the majestic Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana), which graciously highlights the stunning Zocalo, the central square with the Presidential Palace on the opposite side.
We stopped for a quick bite at the “Casa de los Azulejos” before heading to the final part of our day at the Anthropology Museum – a must visit! This world-famous institution houses an enlightening journey of human development through beautifully laid out exhibits which impress even the most well-traveled visitor.
Day trip to Teotihuacán (pyramids) and the Virgin Mary of Guadeloupe Shrine
The sacred city of Teotihuacan (about a one-hour ride from Mexico City) was established in 200 B.C. We begin our second day visiting the monumental temples devoted to the sun, moon and the Quetzalcoatl. Walk along the path of the dead and you will no doubt be transported back two thousands years, when this ancient civilization was at its prime development.
Now the highlight of our day (and probably of the trip): the Basilica of Guadalupe. A worship place of the Virgin Mary who appeared in 1531 at the Tepeyac Hill in Mexico City. Our Lady of Guadalupe came to restore the the faith of the indigenous people and to celebrate the union of the conquering Europeans and the indigenous of that time. It wasn’t by mistake that one can see the similarity of an indigenous woman with the image of the Lady of Guadalupe.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of Latin America.
Frida Kahlo and Bazar del Sabado
Frida is considered one of the best surrealist painters of America. A visit to her Blue House and Museum where she grew up and lived with Diego Rivera, is certainly worthwhile. The visitor will have the opportunity to see her first paintings, her furniture and even encounter Frida herself, who roams the house and welcomes visitors with stories and song.
Before heading for some serious shopping and exploring of Mexico’s rich art craft, we had a deliciously typical Mexican cuisine at San Angel Inn Restaurant.
We had a great time leisurely walking along Coyoacan’s streets, exploring the Art Garden in San Angel. This was a fun way to burn all those calories from lunch.
Design and Food extravaganza
We started the day walking around the stores at Avenida Masaryk and Moliere Street.
For lunch, we headed to the much anticipated Hacienda de los Morales. This farmhouse, nestled in the middle of the city, is just oozing with cozy, rustic charm. It carries the perfect balance of old and new and I’m especially obsessed with the whole hacienda environment – probably because I was with my mom who kept mentioning she felt like she was attending a dinner set of a Mexican soap-opera.
We then visited the Museo Soumaya in Nuevo Polanco, home of the private collection of the world’s wealthiest man, Mexican telecom giant, Carlos Slim.
To top it all off, we had dinner at Pujol, listed as one of the top 20 restaurants in the world. The restaurant offers a modern twist on Mexican traditional cuisine which ranged from tacos to . . . insects. Love me some “gusanos de maguey.”
I hope you enjoy the photos, stories, and history Mexico shared with us at this short but sweet trip. Now off to Cancun. Swimming in turquoise waters, an afternoon to bask poolside, under that Mexican sun, might be in order to start 2014 with the right foot.