Mexico City Stole My Heart And The Earthquake Will Not Break It

I spent five wonderful days in Mexico City. The people, the vibe, the food, the beaches; it’s a dream. I have been traveling throughout Mexico for some time now, and it is by far one of my favorite countries. This particular trip was a birthday present for my mom.

We arrived at Benito Juárez International Airport and took a taxi for 250 Mexican Pesos to our beautiful apartment booked through Innclusive. The first taxi driver quoted us 300 pesos and the second told us 350. I turned them down and waited for another driver who gave us a better price. We stayed in the neighborhood of Condesa, away from the hustle and bustle of Centro. Condesa is lined with lush greenery, plenty of delicious restaurants, and a fantastic park.

Our first full day we visited the Frida Kahlo Museum aka Casa Azul in Coyoacan. I didn’t buy tickets in advance and had to wait in a line. Don’t be like me, purchase your tickets online. If you are a lover of Frida this is a must and if you’re not, what’s wrong with you? My favorite parts of the museum were the garden filled with plants and trees and her beautiful dresses. It was very emotional learning about her life and relationship with Diego Rivera. Also, the urn with her ashes is held there. Following our visit to the museum, we walked around the neighborhood and visited the market lined streets. There were several little shops and street food. Since we happened to be in Mexico City during their Independence Day weekend, we headed to Zocalo to participate in the festivities.

The next day, we went to see the parade held in celebration of Independence Day in Reforma. The ceremony composed of serviceman and women starting at Zocalo and ending in Reforma. The weather was perfect and sitting on a bench under trees with locals watching the parade was an amazing experience. Initially, we thought all museums were closed on Independence Day, but we were able to visit the Anthropology Museum which was in the same vicinity.

The following day, we woke up early to visit the floating gardens of Xochimilco. Without traffic, it was about 35 minutes from Condesa. We took an Uber there for about $12. As we were getting close to the entrance, some guys on bikes stopped my driver. I couldn’t quite understand what they were saying, but it made me very uncomfortable. What I gathered was them pointing for my driver to follow them as they were leading us in the wrong direction. Responsibly, my driver kept following the GPS and took us safely to our destination. There we rented a trajineras (boat) for 400 pesos per hour for 2 hours. We purchased corn seasoned with lime and chili and had the mariachi band perform for us. Once again, you’ll need to bargain.

On our last day, we visited Teotihuacan Pyramids. I decided to book a tour, and the driver picked us up from our apartment in a comfortable air-conditioned van. We were taken to the pyramids but also stopped along the way at the Plaza De Las Tres Culturas and Basilica De Guadalupe. I climbed the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. I’ve always heard that it was a challenging climb, but I found it quite easy. Initially, you will feel it. However, there are areas to stop along the way and rest and take pictures. I took advantage of that, and before I knew it, I was at the top. I was so proud of myself. Unfortunately, my mom chickened out. My recommendation is to climb in an S-shape instead of straight on.

On September 19, 2017, as my plane landed at Fort Lauderdale Airport, I turned on my phone to see a text from my friend about an earthquake in Mexico. I felt my heart breaking. During my time in Mexico City, I met some incredible people. I landed safely, but I was just there. After sharing their hospitality and kindness, this pains me greatly. Fortunately, I know that they are resilient and they will rebuild. I will do what I can to support them in that process, and I encourage everyone to do the same.

Until next time,

Gone Solo

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