Mexico: Mexico City- Part 1

I have decided to break up my Mexico trip into three different parts. There will be two posts of more dialogue of me writing on what we did on our trip. One of the posts is entirely video and picture clips of our amazing train ride. There are going to be many pictures and videos in all these posts, so please read through everything. This was an amazing trip and I hope you all have a chance to get down to Mexico to visit Daren.

Thursday April 21

I met Daren at the airport in Mexico City. The first thing we had planned was to go to Xochimilco. Xochimilco is a very peaceful part of Mexico City. It is a maze of canals where we rented a boat and navigated through the complex system. You forget that you are in the bustling city of Mexico City. You can enjoy the fresh corn doused in mayo when the food vendor pulls along side the boat or pay a three piece band to serenade you with some sweet sounds on the water. I met one of the Trombone players from the orchestra that Daren plays in named Ian. Ian said, “It’s like going through the canals of Italy except for way, way cheaper.” Enjoy the band playing for another boat as we were passing by.

We had nice, quiet and relaxing afternoon on the canal. It was a perfect start after a long plane ride and before a long excursion. It was now off to our next destination of Coyoacan. Coyoacan is another part of Mexico City, but a little different than Xochimilco. We got dropped off in front of this small park in the center of town. The sun was just going down and I could not believe how many people were out and about. It felt like that every family was out walking around the park in this section of Mexico City. It was here where we were meeting with a brother of a friend’s of Darens’. Raphael is his name, but after five minutes we were calling him Rafa. He had his three dogs roaming the park with him. Three big dogs not on leashes. The dogs would just walk with him and listened to him very well. The dogs never misbehaved. We got to Rafa’s place and his apartment was in shambles. He did have a sweet ass Star Wars collection!! News to us, that Rafa is moving out of his place because he is moving to Italy to start a new life with his girlfriend. At first, we thought this was awesome for him, but as the days went by and we got to know him more both Daren and I were truly saddened that he was leaving. Thank god that Rafa had a blowup mattress for Daren and I to sleep on the next three nights. Rafa’s apartment was our homebase for our endeavors in Mexico City.

Friday April 22

The best thing about knowing someone from the place you are visiting is that that person can show you the ropes of the city. The secret spots to eat at and see. We also got to meet some of Rafa’s best friends and learn about new uses for rose pedals that one could not even dream of. Today, our plan was to go to Teotihuacan. Teotihuacan is 50 km NE of Mexico City and is a complex set of ancient pyramids. There are two main pyramids: The pyramid of the Sun and the Moon. These two are monumental in size and we climbed up the 250 steps to the top of the Sun pyramid. The first picture is Daren and I on the walk of dead and you can see the two pyramids in the background. That road is supposedly 2 miles along and runs through the whole complex. The video is at the top of the Sun Pyramid. The last picture is of Daren and I in front of the Sun Pyramid.

We got back to Rafa’s and I believe we went out to a sweet Italian restaurant for dinner. Daren and I were exhausted, so we got back to the apartment and crashed on the aero bed with our three new best friends.

Saturday April 22

I woke up this morning a little soar from climbing up those 250 steps to the top of the pyramid. Today, we had two things planned. We were going to the the Museum of Anthropology and the Zocalo. The Zocalo is the downtown area of Mexico City. The museum was amazing, but filled with so much information that after going to three different sections that you get exhausted with all the information that you are reading about. Daren and I went to three different history periods of Mexico and then had to leave because we could not sponge up anymore information. After spending a couple of hours at the museum we took a bus ride to the Zocalo. There were two things that we were planning on seeing in the Zocalo which was this large cathedral and the Templo Mayor. The cathedral was beautiful and very large. They actually do hold services on Sunday, which would be amazing to see. Here is a video of a certain part of the church that was breathtaking.

After the church, we went to the Templo Mayor. The Templo Mayor is truly an amazing sight to see in the middle of Mexico City. The Templo Mayor are old temples that were originally built in Mexico City. You can actually see the layers of the different temples built over each other. These temples were not found until the 1970s. Truly amazing that it took this long to find. I will show a picture of an actual aqueduct built through the temple without them actually know they were building it there.

The video is from a section of the Templo Mayor. You can see some of the layers of the different eras of the temples and if you pay close attention to the end of the video you can see a building in the background leaning over. That is because of the earthquake in 1985 and the fact that Mexico City is built on soft land. The templo Mayor was our last tourist spot in Mexico City. We got back to Rafa’s and hung out and ate some food. We all cried because Rafa was leaving while watching Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” DVD.

Sunday April 23

Today was our last day in Mexico City and Rafa wanted to bring us to some vintage Mexican food. He brought us to a little market in Coyoacan and the food we had was delicious. I could have eaten the food for every meal in Mexico. Rafa was so kind and endearing that I just couldn’t help but opening up and telling him about my story with cancer. And Rafa was so worried about my stomach and eating that he was constantly looking out for me with what food to eat and making sure I was not eating too much spicy food. It was great. After food Rafa dropped us off at the airport, so that Daren and I could catch our plane to Culiacan. Once we landed it was a non stop travelling day and night. Daren’s friend Shea picked us up and dropped us off at Daren’s place. Now Daren’s place reminded me of my old place in Thailand for those of you that have seen that apartment. Daren and I repacked for our trip to the Copper Canyon. We got a taxi to Dante’s house. Dante is a friend of Daren’s and happens to be Rafa’s brother. Dante was dropping off some peeps at the bus station where we needed to go, so it just worked out perfectly. So far this whole trip has worked out perfectly, without a glitch. We got to the bus station at midnight to catch our bus to Los Mochis where we were catching the train. We got into Los Mochis at about 4 o’ clock in the morning and had to wait for the most amazing train ride at 6 in the morning. This is where part 2 of the trip starts about the Copper Canyon. Look out for that blog in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, here is a link to Daren’s view on our trip through Mexico.