Travel Series. Mexico City.
By Guest Contributor Ruth Metcalf
Recently, I spent a very enjoyable 5 days in Mexico City. It easily could have been 5 more without running out of things to do or places to eat.
The flight to Mexico City is a relatively straightforward 5 hours (non-stop) from NYC. After arrival, we checked in to a lovely, newer hotel that offered a great central location, a block off Paseo de la Reforma and just outside Chapultepec Park. The temperature was a mild 75 degrees during the day and 50 degrees at night, it rained briefly (once) during our stay.
We saw so many interesting places and sites including:
- Independence Square, 3rd largest in the world, behind Tiananmen and Red.
- Mexico City Cathedral, the largest in the western Hemisphere.
- Templo Mayor, Mexican ruins under the square, exposed after the 1985 earthquake.
- Xochimilco, the Venice of Mexico.
- The National Anthropology Museum, the finest collection and accounting of the of Aztec Empire.
- Chapultepec Castle, a fascinating account of the brief French rule over Mexico.
- Palacio des Bellas Artes, complete with a Tiffany dome and stage curtain.
- The Mexican Folkloric Ballet, an outstanding dance performance tracing the entire history of their dance styles for the last 1000 years.
- The Soumaya Museum, billionaire Carlos Slim’s private art collection housed in a magnificent modern building.
- Diego Rivera Museum, including a large mural and his sketches during the time he spent in Russia in the mid-1950s.
Please click on the images below to enlarge.
I regret I cannot go into greater detail on each location, suffice it to say we were busy and fascinated throughout the visit.
The food, too, was really excellent. Their local specialty is Pozole, a ritual stew traditionally made from hominy and pork. We attended a cooking class while in town which started with a trip to the local market and ended with us cooking (and eating) hand-made salsa and tortillas, a squash blossom appetizer and a wonderful, rich chicken mole entree. The restaurants in Mexico City offer a wonderful selection of choices for any appetite.
Safety was a concern before going but I cannot say that I ever felt threatened or ill at ease, most of the people we met were professional, helpful and engaging. Knowing some Spanish will be helpful when you are navigating around the city but we found that using Uber made it very easy for drivers to understand exactly where you wanted to go.
Mexico City comes highly recommended for anyone looking to get away for a few days to a warm and interesting locale.