Mexico City, Part 2

Bienvenido, loyal reader. Please come along as Bruce and Mary continue their exploration of La Ciudad, provecho!

We start our walking tour up Calle Tacuba and come upon this. It is so tempting but Mary reminds me of the time, many years ago, when her brother Bob loaned us a book on torture. I got about a third the way through, put it down and had a hard time sleeping for a week.

This is the Palacio Postal, Quinta Casa de Correos.

Quite the lobby, eh? For some reason we were a little surprised that this is a functioning post office.

 We come upon the Palacio Bellas Artes, again, but on foot this time.

These are some of the gardens of the Palacio.

This would have been a fun exhibit at the Palacio but alas it is closed. We should know by now that many museums are free on Sunday but most are closed on Monday, in Mexico. Sadly it is Monday this day.

Beethoven welcomes us to Alameda Central, the oldest park in the city.

Mary is standing next to one of several fountains in the park. Behind her stands the majestic and colorful Jacaranda tree. These trees are everywhere and strikingly beautiful.

As it is approaching beer thirty this promo draws us in, to a Chilis, of all places.

But it turns out to be a come-on. You can get a 22P beer if you order wings. We are not hungry and faced with the regular price of 51P I nearly walk. But Mary reminds me that this is about a two and a half buck beer which our kids would call pretty cheap. So we do order the beers and enjoy the view of Alameda Central from our second level perch. BTW: That is the most we have ever paid for a beer in our nine years living in Mexico.

We walk a little further to the tomb of Benito Juarez, the father of this country. We walked right up and started stroking the marble lions only to be warded off by security who told us that the steps are the closest one can approach but luckily we were able to…

Snap this close-up before being shooed off.

Working our way back to Zocalo we come upon this impressive building taking up an entire city block. With no markings that we can discern Mary approached the security guard and discovers this building houses Public Education of Mexico.

Following is a slide show of some of the art in the interior. Our apologies in advance, we could find no attributions but we were told some of the artwork was done by Diego Rivera:

This is one of many courtyards in this building.

In this courtyard we find the revered Benito Juarez. This nearly brings tears to our eyes, Benito Juarez extolling the virtues of knowledge to a fervent young man carrying a thick book.

It’s time for some light fare and beers. This is our view from Puro Corazon. We see that the band shell is one of the last things to be broken down from the weekend’s fair in La Plaza de la Constitucion.

Our food has come. How’s your Sopa de Huitlacoche, Mary?: This is a very flavorful yet subtle bowl of corn smut soup! Delicious, it has a briefly sharp bite in this delicate, earthy-corn and mushroom broth.

My Sopes de Cochinita are quite good and just the right amount of food.

After our meal we headed down to the info booth at the north side of the plaza and were directed to the Metro (subway) Station that serves this area. It was a short walk, down some stairs and now Mary is asking about buying some tix for our planned trip to Chapultalpec tomorrow. There is some confusion so Mary is directed to…

This very friendly Metro Cop. He assures us that all we have to do to gain free entrance is flash our Inapam (old age cards), and we’re in. We notice that if you just look old, he punches you through. Gotta love this country!

At this point we wander back to our room and we are just in time to catch a vidchat from our daughter, Helen, which is a lot of fun. After that we feel too lazy to leave the room and opt for some snacks we brought along while watching Arnold in Last Stand.

It’s Tuesday morning and we’re at Don Toribio, a grand cafe right next door to our hotel. We feel a little under-dressed as this place caters to a lot of suits who we assume are gov’t workers.

Our food has arrived, these Motuleños are delicious!

Mary has opted for an omelet. Take is away, Mary:  This is a pretty basic cheese omelet presented in grand fashion. Parsley sprinkled on the plate, fresh bread in a basket and dark, rich, refillable coffee brought to us by very friendly and professional servers.

After breakfast we head to the Zocalo Metro Station.

We pass through turnstiles and security and are a little confused. We thought we’d catch the Metro here at the Zocalo Station with a transfer at the Pino Suarez Station but no, we walk there.

This is one of probably a hundred tiendas we pass as we do probably about a half mile subterranean walk to Pino Suarez. If we’d been a little smarter we’d have taken a sight seeing walk above ground.

The Metro is packed which is the usual, people tell us. We’re a little concerned. We thought this would be like the light rail in Minneapolis. There, every car has an illuminated display of the progress of the train and a computer voice announcing station arrivals. This has only a a decal on the wall depicting the line with its stations. Luckily we’re near a door and I start making note of each station when the doors open. Soon we are at…

Chapultepec Station.

We’re crossing an overpass decorated with art to gain entrance to Chapultepec. In the background you can see the Castillo, Castle of Chapultepec.

This is a map of Chapultepec. It would take days to fully explore this complex

So we pass by the Museum of Modern Art on our way to…

El Tren, the train and a tour of just a small part of this park.

Following is a slide show of that tour:

This monument is dedicated to Los Ninos Heroes, check out the link.

Now we’re going to check out perhaps the main attraction of the park, El Castillo. This is the beautiful walkway up to it.

After gaining free entrance with our Inapam card we are at the main plaza of the castle.

Following is a slide show of the castle and its grounds:

That’s Maximilian, the French Emperor of Mexico, and his carriage. When France recalled him, I bet that was a very long boat ride.

El Bosque, The Forest, de Chapultepec. It is larger than Central Park’s.

This is the bedroom of the famous Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz. Kind of creepy, eh?

Our tour of El Castillo is concluded and Mary is asking for directions to the Leonora Carrington display. He shows us where on Av Reforma it is, but…

After walking up and down the Av for as long as we care to, without finding it, we give up and board a bus back to Centro Historico.

From the bus, here’s a pic of the famous horse. This is the famous ‘Caballito’ by Sebastián.

We’re pretty proud of ourselves as we got off the bus right at one of the two hospitality rows that straddle our hotel. At 25P each, this is about the cheapest beer you can find in Centro.

After freshening up back at the room we find ourselves at Pasaguero. Mary is having a pasta dish. Please tell us about it, Mary: Deliciously creamy sauce loaded with poblano chiles and cotija cheese, there is nothing I can add to that, other than “yummm.”

I’m having the filete mojo al ajo, the garlic fish filet. It is very tender and tasty. The portion isn’t huge but for 85P, I ain’t complaining.

This hospitality row is really getting busy, I bet there is a heckuva night life here. But we’re too old for that. We head back to the room and guess what? We binge on Modern Family.

It’s Wednesday morning of our getaway day. After breakfast at Don Toribio we walk over to the Museo de Ejercito, Army Museum. I have a confession: The only reason we are here is because when we passed by on the trolley car tour I thought it said Museo de Ejercicio, The Exercise Museum, you know like a torture museum, only for good! But as long as we are here we might as well take a tour. Here’s a slide show:

Now it’s time to walk back to the hotel and pack.

Checking out is pretty easy. The clerk says, you were here four nights right? That’ll be 3200P. We hand him a credit card and that is it. He volunteers to call us a secure taxi for the airport and within minutes…

He’s here. We’re a little surprised it is an unmarked minivan but that’s fine, it is about the most comfortable taxi ride we’ve had. And at only 180P, a real deal.

We’ve checked in so early that our gate, here in cavernous Sala B, has not been assigned.

It’s definitely beer thirty so we find this very comfortable restaurant to just sit and relax and because we’re feeling a bit peckish we order…

Perhaps the biggest and best chicken sandwich we have ever had. We split it with enough left over to snack on during our flight.

It’s kind of funny. The display says our flight is right on time for 4:30. The only problem is, it’s 4:30 right now and there is no airplane at the jetway. Long story short. We have a gate change and finally take off at 6. The pilot apologizes profusely and does make up half an hour during the flight and we land in Vallarta a little after 7.

And that my friends is our Mexico vacation, Cheers!

In a semi-regular feature, please meet blog follower Joe. Joe is a permanent resident of Mexico who has owned a house in Platanito, Nayarit for the last 16 years and is involved in the Playa de Tortuga’s turtle propagation project. We had a lot of fun drinking beers and swapping stories at La Caipirinha.

Thanks for visiting, gentle reader. Hasta proximo Domingo!

March 26, 2017 · Bruce · 14 Comments
Posted in: Life in Puerto Vallarta

14 Responses

  1. Clou - March 26, 2017

    Thank you for the tour! Mexico City is incredible. Can I share some photos from a recent trip? We’ve spent a few vacations there, never any problems, and the people are gracious and helpful.

  2. Bruce - March 26, 2017

    Hola Clou,

    Yes, the people of DF are awesome! We were treated extremely well.

    Thanks for sharing your pix and thanks for reading, Cheers!

  3. Joanne - March 26, 2017

    Good call on skipping the Torture Museum. We went and I did have trouble sleeping after that…..

    Next time you go to DF, make sure you go to the Anthropology Museum. You could probably spend the rest of your life there and not see it all, it is truly wonderful.

    We love Mexico City – every time we go, we say we need to go more often.

  4. Bruce - March 26, 2017

    Good to hear from you, Joanne!

    Thanks for the tip on the Anthropology Museum, we’ll put it on our list for the next visit because we will be back.

    And thanks for reading, Cheers!

  5. Alex - March 26, 2017

    Great blow by blow.

  6. Bruce - March 26, 2017

    Glad you liked it, Alex, Cheers!

  7. Peter Kouwenhoven - March 27, 2017

    Thanks for sharing your DF experience. Mexico city is amazing I was there in 1965, at age 10. I would love to go back some day… The food looks excellent as well…

  8. Bruce - March 27, 2017

    Hola Peter,

    Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, Mexico City is amazing! And the food was very good and quite reasonably priced.

    Thanks for reading, Cheers!

  9. Greg - March 27, 2017

    Hello Bruce & Mary from a former central Minnesotan that has been following your adventures for many years. First picked up your blog when it was featured in the Alex Echo Press…

    Looks like the peso has been steadily trending downwards which is good for you…however…do you find that the exchange rate fluctuates between the different areas in Mexico…PV vs Merida or closer to the US border does it go up?

    Just wondering how you deal with it.

    Thanks Greg

  10. Bruce - March 27, 2017

    Hola Greg and nice to hear from a fellow central Minnesotan!

    That is a really good question and I don’t have a very good answer. I get regular updates on the exchange rate from our Vallarta banker. When we left for DF the rate was about 18.5P/USD. I just asked Mary if she recalled seeing any rates in DF and she thought she did at right around 20. So that is our only experience in possible regional variances.

    The higher the value of the Dollar the better off we are as all our income is in Dollars (except for our tiny Vallarta savings acct) and all our expenses, including rent, are in Pesos.

    Thanks for reading, Cheers!

  11. Jim & Marlynn Miller - April 2, 2017

    Thanks for the wonderful report and pictures, really enjoyed them. Hope to see you both in the fall.

  12. Tay - May 4, 2017

    Hola Bruce y Mary,

    ¡Qué resumen espléndido de su tour de DF! I can see why you and others who’ve commented love it. I hope to visit it within the next year.



  13. Bruce - May 4, 2017

    Hola Tay,

    Glad you enjoyed the DF posts! And thanks for your kind words, much appreciated

    I am currently working on a book series. It will be action/drama. I have a mentor who will help me self publish it on Amazon. I believe my Google Feedburner account will still retain my blog subscription list. If so, I intend to let all of our subscribed followers know about the books when I have them published.

    Thanks again, Cheers!

  14. Tay - May 4, 2017

    Great news, Bruce; thanks!\


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