We have finished our first day in Mexico City after arriving at 7pm last night. Our hotel is great – very central to everything and the staff are friendly and we are coping with our limited Spanish.
Our day in Auckland was relaxing. We spent the day walking the streets of Auckland and doing some shopping. We bought a few DVD’s of NZ TV shows we knew about including two series by Marcus Lush (documentary film maker). The two series follow him as he travels from the top of the country to the bottom. The other show is Intrepid Travellers which documents NZ celebrities as they undertake an Intrepid tour in various countries. We are hoping this might even give us some inspiration for our next trip(s).
Today after breakfast we walked to the castle in the park – Castilla de Chapultepec and the National Museum of History. The park is huge and similar to Central Park with many stall holders and lots of people as well as many national buildings and museums. The castle had exhibitions and rooms with furniture and artefacts from previous heads of state. It is situated high on a hill with wonderful views over Mexico. We will be returning to the castle tomorrow night to view Mexico’s national ballet/folk dance company.
After a walk through the stalls and taking photos of the local merchandise including wrestling masks (which Christopher insists we should buy) we headed to the Museum of Anthropology. It is an amazing building with artefacts and displays from the various periods of Mexico’s history including Aztec, Mayan and various other cultural groups. We spent about a total of 4 hours there and still didn’t see everything.
We’ve now decided to spend an extra two days in Mexico City as there is so much to see and do. We will now visit the Monarch butterflies with a day trip booked through our hotel. Tomorrow we visit Teotichuan (sp?) and the pyramids of the sun and the moon. We also get to visit the second most visited religious site in the world after Vatican City – the church of Guadalupe where Mary appeared in the 1500’s. We don’t know a lot more about it as yet but hopefully after tomorrow we will.
The other ritual that we need to find out about is the swinging from the pole thing – five men climb to the top of a very large pole and then four descend whilst hanging upside down and rotating around the pole, unfurling the rope they are tied to as the fifth remains on top playing a flute. We saw this outside the Anthropological Museum and have seen it on videos but are not sure of its significance.