Hola from Mexico City!
We had good flights Seattle/San Francisco/Mexico City and got the transfer to our hotel. The time difference is only two hours, so that won’t be a hard transition. So far there is minimal impact from the altitude (7500 feet).
Today the tour didn’t meet until 6:00 pm, so we had a leisurely morning, then headed down the Paseo de la Reforma, a wide, tree-lined multi-lane boulevard through this part of the city, with several memorials and statues along the way. There was a special event today, and the center section was filled with bicyclists, roller blades, skateboards and baby strollers. There were lots of music, dance groups, yoga classes and various sporting activities. It made for great people watching. We walked down to the Monumento a la Independencia, a pillar with a gold statue of winged Victory. This is the emblem of the city (like the Eiffel tower in Paris) and a gathering place for celebrations.
Near the monument, we got on a double-decker bus to get an overview of the historic center. It was a beautiful sunny day and we made a full circuit of the city center and many of the monuments, parks, major buildings and plazas. We had fun seeing all the US businesses (lots of Starbucks and 7-11 stores) This is a huge city (27 million), so we only saw a small part. Because of the event the traffic was heavy and the circuit took longer than expected, so we headed to a shopping center for lunch and enjoyed Italian food at a nice restaurant, including gelato for dessert. We did see a lot of interesting local food places from the top of the bus, including lots of fresh fruit, so we’ll look forward to going more local the rest of the trip.
Back at the hotel we had a short rest before meeting the group. We have nine people plus the guide. The rest of the group is Australian except for one guy from New Zealand. There are six single woman and three single men. (If they are married, the spouse is not with them on this trip). The guide, Gabriel is local.
It was raining when we left the restaurant after dinner (at the Mexican equivalent of Shari’s close to the hotel). There was some impressive thunder and lightning, but it has settled down now, and will hopefully be clear again tomorrow. It is plenty warm for us, and we got a little sunburn on the bus tour, but not too bad. Use more sunscreen tomorrow!
Tomorrow a local guide will take us out to Teothuacan, the pre-Aztec archeological site where we will see the ruins of the city, including the pyramids of the Sun and Moon.