Two people exploring the world, seeking adventure & unique experiences.
Dallas to Mexico City
We took a direct flight from Dallas (US$150ea) to arrive into Mexico City. This was to avoid what we had been told by many was a potentially dangerous land based exit from the USA into Mexico. We still had next to no Spanish skills and didn’t want to risk anything strange happening on the border.
At the airport we took a pre-paid taxi organised from in the terminal (200MXN / $17) straight to our hostel. The theory is that it’s a registered taxi and you’ll avoid any potential “kidnapping” or other nasties. We stayed at Any’s hostel in Zona Rosa for a mid-afternoon arrival. A double private room with own bathroom was about US$23/person/day including breakfast and Wi-Fi. The manager for our stay, was brilliant and very helpful. He spoke almost perfect English and was absolutely determined to give us more help than we ever asked for. Maybe it was his calming demeanour, but he put our minds at ease as to safety issues in the city. Stay on the usual tourist trail and you’ll be fine. Step onto the wrong side of the tracks and you’ll find the crime and problems that other people have described.
Exploring the city
We spent our first day trying to deal with the culture shock. We took the subway, which was an adventure in itself. We then learned that the subway and buses were travelling shopping centres. We saw various things for sale including chewing gum, drinks, candy, flashlights, headlamps, CD’s (demonstrated by backpacks with boom boxes playing). There does seem to be some creative entrepreneurs around. We’ve seen quite a lot of successful sales in our short time. There are then also buskers on the actual subway touting their skills. The subway appeared relatively safe and the usual rules applied like any packed subway carriage. Always be aware of those around you and be careful of pick pockets.
We then walked around the central area with a wide variety of old buildings.
Learning food and Latin American Culture
So many times we had been warned to be careful of what you eat and where you eat. Street food was apparently high risk which we soon ignored. We took a recommendation from the hostel for dinner and went to a place called “La Casa de Tono”. This had a fairly genuine Mexican menu with fried specialties such as quesadillas, tostadas and flautas.
Pyramids of Teotihuacán
We did a day trip to the Pyramids of Teotihuacán about a 45 minute bus ride North East of the city. The hostel gave us great directions by subway (MX$3 / US$0.30ea) to the bus station. This was then a direct bus to the Pyramids (MX$40 / US$4ea). We felt like a trapped audience on the bus to the pyramids with a guitar player playing for what must have been 10 or more minutes. We’re bound to see a lot more of this on our travels.
The entrance to the pyramids was MX$57 / $4.75. The Teotihuacán pyramids themselves are certainly starting to show their age. This is not surprising considering it was thought to have been established around 100BC. The main one there was identified as the third largest in the world. It sure was a hike to get up the 250 steps when the elevation was already up around 1,800m. We are still in relatively off peak travel season, so it was fairly quiet. There were a lot of hawkers trying to sell their jewellery and other memento’s. The most interesting trinket was what was meant to resemble a Jaguar (relating to the pyramids) where you blew into it to sound like one. Initially we thought it was feral cats or some type of crazy bird.
National Anthropology Museum
The National Anthropology Museum is the most visited Museum in Mexico. The most famous piece it houses is the Stone of the Sun (Aztec Calendar Stone). Entry cost MX$57 / $4.75. The place is huge but can get a bit boring and monotonous fairly quickly.
Plenty more to explore. Keep following the blog and our Flickr account for updates. http://www.flickr.com/photos/toraadventure/