Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a good time to be in Mexico City

First off, 4 years of high school spanish is failing me here.  People talk so fast that only the last syllable is clear.  For example when they say “Como te llamas?” (What’s your name?) it comes out as “te..mas”  And I’m left to fill in the words according to the context.  Still I must look somewhat spanish because people here keep talking to me in spanish. It takes about 15 seconds for them to realize I’m just another extranjero.

So I was never a fan of wrestling but since it was Friday night, it was lucha libre night! A bunch of people from the hostel were going so I tagged along.  It was fun for about 30 minutes, then I had enough of their acrobatic performances. I could tell some of the other girls from our group were bored too but we couldn’t really leave early.  A few beers later though those lame fake moves looked better and we actually started having fun….

Next day I went to visit the pyramids of Teotihuacan, about an hour bus ride from the city. At the bus stop I met Marion, who is also staying in the same hostel and we ended up doing the trip together.

Which is why I actually have a picture of me in front of the Pyramid of the Sun:

Temple of the Sun Pyramid

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan

We climbed all 250 steep steps to see the view from the top.

people climbing

But I like the view from the top of the Pyramid of the Moon better: You could see the entire Teotihuacan compound, including the Pyramid of the Sun.

panorama of pyramids

Teotihuacan

My hostel, Hostel Amigo, is within walking distance from the town center, the Zocalo. It  is a big square flanked by the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace. There’s been gatherings in the square the past few days because of holy week.

Zocalo

Zocalo

This is a photo of Diego Rivera’s murals inside the National Palace:

diego rivera mural

Lots of museums here in the city, but since I am only here for a couple of days I decided to go to the Anthropology Museum where they did a thorough job presenting the cultures that developed in Mexico.  One exhibit that you may recognize is the Aztec Calendar:

Aztec calendar

Aztec calendar

After walking around the museum for about 2 hours, I left to go to the Basilica of Guadalupe.  I thought I’d save 3 pesos on the pesero (public bus) and walk instead toward the metro. But of course I got lost! 45 minutes of wandering around I find myself in unfamiliar Zona Rosa with no metro in sight.  I finally gave up and asked the next policeman I saw for directions. It turned out it was directly ahead of me, shrouded by food stalls.

Basilica of Guadalupe is in the north part of the city, a few minutes ride by metro. It is the second most visited basilica, next to St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.  Here you could see the New Basilica on the left, and the Old Basilica on the right:

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Basilica contains the original image of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the 16th Century.  The place was packed for Easter Sunday.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

I noticed that eating while traveling is somewhat of an inconvenience.  I’m usually never at a right place to eat during meal times. Before I know it, it is 4pm and I haven’t eaten anything since breakfast (breakfast, thank god, is free in the hostel.) I tend to just pick up a quick bite from street vendors. Besides the tacos, here’s one of my favorite, it’s called Tlayuda. It’s a tortilla with beans and I think some cilantro, chili and onions.

street vendor

tortilla

tlayuda

I was going to leave Mexico City tomorrow and head for Puebla, but encountered some lodging problems.  So I am staying for another day.  On Tuesday I will take a 6 hour bus ride to Oaxaca.