Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mexico City, Mexico - Sightseeing

There were no fireworks or red, white, and blue for me this year. Instead, I spent the 4th of July holiday weekend visiting my friend in Mexico City.

Mexico City is a special place for me; it was the first international city that I visited as a kid. My grandparents took me there when I was in 9th grade and it was quite an adventure from what I remember. Mostly I was impressed with how confident and adventurous my grandfather was considering he did not speak Spanish and had to look after both me and my grandmother in an absolutely massive city.

Mexico City is overwhelming. I don't particularly like cities and I certainly don't enjoy massive crowds of people. I felt on edge and uncomfortable most of them time. Despite those feelings, I enjoyed revisiting memories from my childhood, wandering around a city of epic proportions, and checking out some of the finest museums in the world.

The primary purpose of this trip was personal, but we did manage to head out for a couple of adventures. On my first full day we headed to Zocalo - the historic district of Mexico City. The area is full of street vendors, markets, and lots of entertainment. There is also a massive public square and even some ancient ruins from the beginnings of Mexico City.

Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María

Ruins of ancient Mexico City - Tenochtitlan


The Plaza de la Constitución in Mexico City

We spent the second day exploring the ruins of Teotihuacan north of Mexico City, a massive archaeological site with some famous pyramids built between about the 1st and 7th centuries CE. We climbed both the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon and explored some of the surrounding residential complexes.

Pyramid of the Moon viewed from the Pyramid of the Sun

Pyramid of the Sun in the background

Facade carving

Preserved mural

The Pyramid of the Sun viewed from the Pyramid of the Moon

I spent the final day in Mexico City walking down Paseo de la Reforma - the main avenue of the city. I walked around Zona Rosa and Chapultepec Park and spent a good portion of the afternoon at the National Museum of Anthropology.

The Ángel de la Independencia - Paseo de la Reforma

Paseo de la Reforma

"Altar to the Nation" monument - Chapultepec Park

Aztec Sun Stone - Museo Nacional de Anthropologia

Museo Nacional de Anthropologia