04.02.2013 - 08.03.2013 24 °C
Our last Latin American city! We both have mixed feelings and like anything amazing, we don't want it to end. However, it has been a long time on the road, so some routine will be nice as we venture to a new city to look for work and live in Vancouver, Canada.
Mexico city is massive. One of the largest cities in the world and we had just 3 days to explore it. It's safe to say we jammed loads into our 3 days and despite being completely wiped by the end, loved Mexico City. We stayed in Mexico City Hostel, a great hostel in a large, restored old building situated on the corner of the main plaza of the old town. Our first day was spent wandering the old town and tucking into some famously tasty soft tacos. They city surprised us by being very clean and full of fantastic old colonial architecture. The Cathedral Metrapolitano was impressive and the largest we've seen on this entire trip, the old post office was also beautiful, and the building of education, with it's walls inside covered in all sorts of murals.
We booked in a couple of day trips through our hostel to visit some of the sights on the outskirts of Mexico City. The first was to the Mexican "Pyramids." The vast Teotihuacan ruins are comprised of two large pyramid structures, amongst ancient houses and large roads. It was constructed around 250AD, from red volcanic rock and was once home to over 100,000 people. The altitude and dry weather this time of year in Mexico meant it was hard work climbing the pyramids, but well worth it for the great views out across the ruins.
Xochimilco was contrastingly different trip which we took on our final day in Mexico. We discovered that Mexico city used to be a large shallow lake, drained by the Spanish invaders 500 years ago, which explains why a lot of the city is slowly sinking! There is a small area which remains as a network of canals, 80km long that you can float down in a colourful wooden boats whilst being served traditional Mexican food and Corona beers of course. The rivers are used by many locals and are a lovely place to spend a few quiet hours. We also visited Latin America's oldest university and the Olympic stadium.
On the way to Xochimilco we stopped off in the suburb of Coyoacan - which used to be a small town, but has now been engulfed into the sprawling Mexico City. It was full of gorgeous cobbled streets and plazas, and we visited the Casa Azul (Blue House) which belonged the famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The house has been turned into a museum honoring the memory and work of the artist, a great place to spend a couple of hours.
The view from the 44the floor of Torre Latinoamericana was a great way to see just how big Mexico City is. We loved the view at sunset, and after the sun went down we got to watch the city light up beneath us.