Mexico and Mexico City

Jamie, my girlfriend, and I booked a trip to Mexico a little while ago. Our plan: hit Mexico City and the surrounding area for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Then we would head west to the ‘real’ Mexico in the mountain town of Guanajuato before sipping margaritas on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta.
It feels like Mexico City is to Central America as Paris is to western Europe. It’s a destination for local tourists: the shopping, the historical sites, the arts, the religious cathedrals. Though the majority of tourists speak Spanish, it’s easy to tell many of them are visitors, cameras and maps in hand, come to see the ‘big’ city.

Many of these visitors chose to be blessed by local natives outside the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metroplitana de la Asuncion de Maria).

We made a pilgrimage to Estadio Azteca (Azteca Stadium) to watch Club America play Jaguares in a Mexican premier league football game. The opportunity to see the site of Diego Maradona’s 1986 World Cup ‘hand of god goal’ and ‘goal of the century’ could not be passed up by this footy fan. Despite a dull 1-1 draw and a seemingly empty stadium, 25,000 people in a 100,000 seat stadium does seem empty, the visit was worth it. I bought the shirt to prove it.

We also took in the ancient city of Teotihuacan. The city came to prominence sometime between 1AD-250AD but was later abandoned. It’s ancient pyramids lie 40km north of Mexico City. It went unnoticed by Hernan Cortes during his 16th century conquest of Mexico but is today a UNESCO world heritage site, which is considered one of the world’s must see sites. Watching tourist walk along the Calzada de los Muertos (Avenue of the Dead) it’s easy to imagine the city at it’s zenith.

Images ©2009 Stuart Gradon

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