Lexi and Hiro's Round The World Journey 2008-2009 travel blog

the flight was delayed, and a captain invited lexi to the cockpit

in the Mexican restaurant

great soup

beautiful spanish tiles

lexi receiving Mexican purification

police officer

the view of the city

handcraft market

Teotihuacan ruin

big pyramid that we climbed

great view from the top of the pyramid

while climbing up

Hiro climbed another one

huge area of ruins

another great pyramid shot

Mexican mixed grill in a hot stone pot

lexi playing a puppet

boat ride along canals

colourful boats

After a 3-hour flight from Miami, here we come to smoggy Mexico City, one of the most polluted and dangerous cities in the world. You can actually see how polluted this city is when the plane was landing, it is very hazy and poor visibility even in the day time. But what we were more worried about was safety. On average, 4 kidnappings, 70 car robberies, 50 muggings a day happen here in Mexico City and actual numbers are estimated to be higher. It is definitely one of the most dangerous cities on our trip, where one police officer is killed every week! So why did we choose to come here? Because Mexico City is actually very unique and attractive city with countless number of historical ruins and museums. You just have to be a bit more cautious in this city and know what you should and shouldn’t do here. One of the very basic rules for tourists in Mexico City is not to take a taxi off the street, unless you would like to be taken on an ATM tour around the city to max out your credit cards for your kidnapper. You also need to lock the door when you do take a taxi (the one your hotel organised) to avoid muggers to jump in. You also need to dress down here trying not to get unwanted attention, but we didn’t need to worry about this because we always dress down and don’t look rich anyway! There were a lot of police, army and security guards present in the city and we were actually surprised how safe we felt there. This means, on the other hand, that one street off the main one without police or security guards seemed very dodgy and unsafe.

We loved walking around this city full of character, through the modern part of the city with high-rises and greenery parks, to the historical part with old buildings and churches. Its architectures have influence from Spain mixed with native Mexican style. Spanish-like colourful tiles were seen on many building walls along with Mexican sculptured walls. They were just amazing. Street vendors are everywhere selling traditional Mexican Tacos and Tortillas. We were there just after the big celebration of their National Day, so we saw a lot of Mexican colour decorations still hanging on buildings too. Lexi was also very lucky to experience a traditional purification ceremony on the street. A lady dressed traditionally with a headband, offered Lexi what we believed to be some spiritual or purifying thing with some leaves and smoky pot. She also put some water on Lexi’s skin, and finished it with a firm wring from behind. We later found out that it was apparently to get rid of bad sprits and energy from your body. She actually enjoyed it and surprisingly felt much relaxed afterward. We also visited a market with colourful handcrafts and we bought a few souvenirs here. Walking around this city we realised we hadn’t seen many tourists here, almost none. It might be because of Swine Flu, high crime rate or polluted-air, but whatever the reason is, people are missing out a lot by not coming to this very attractive city.

One of the highlights was a visit to the pyramids called Teotihuacan, located just outside the city, less than 2-hour drive. They were impressive, and we loved the fact, unlike the ones in Egypt, that we are actually allowed to climb up! It was very high, steep, and to make the matter worse, it started to rain when we got there. However we made it to the top and we enjoyed fantastic panoramic views of this amazing archaeological site. It was tough for Lexi with a fear of heights, but she did it. I think she’s overcome it after all the climbs she’s done on the trip! These pyramids were built nearly 1800 years ago as a holy place for the Aztecs who believed the sun, moon and universe were created here. It reminded us of the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

We also enjoyed a boat ride along canals, with Coronas and Mexican music. There were boats with music bands, food, drinks and souvenirs, they come by to your boat and you can buy things or get them to play music for you. It was very relaxing moment in the busy city.

Lastly the Mexican food, it wasn’t as hot as we thought it would be. They said too much spiciness would kill the flavour, they just need a little bit of chilli to add the character to dishes. Our favourite was (apart from Tequila and Corona) the soup. It’s got vegies, beans and some herbs and spices and was a little spicy but very delicious. We loved it.

We luckily didn’t get into any trouble, and enjoyed Mexico City thoroughly. We’d love to come back to Mexico in the future to visit other great places in Mexico. Now we are going right up to Vancouver, Canada.

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