Our first trip to Mexico-It won't be our last!

Mar 4th, 2017, 07:10 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Interesting, thanks. We were in Colombia last year on our own and liked it a lot. I agree with your assessments.

We've travelled a fair amount to Mexico over the years and stopped when all the issues arose. We were happy to return 2 years ago to Mexico city, San Miguel and Oaxaca. Check them out for your next trip.
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Mar 5th, 2017, 05:09 AM
  #22  
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Oaxaca sounds like the type of city we would enjoy. I was thinking of including it this year, but because of the teacher's strike and possible roadblocks, I decided to skip it for this year and hopefully include it next year.
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Mar 5th, 2017, 05:45 AM
  #23  
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Our next full day in Mexico City was a Monday when many of the museums are closed. Therefore, I scheduled a Monday trip to the pyramids which are about an hour outside of the city. Although I had researched how to get there by public transportation, and it sounded relatively straightforward, once in Mexico City I decided to let someone else take care of the logistics of getting us there.

I considered a group guided tour offered by the concierge at the hotel, but it left the hotel at 10:30am, and arrived at the pyramids at 11;45. I wanted to get there by 10am, so I asked the concierge to book us a car and driver to pick us up at the hotel at 9am., wait for us at the pyramids, and return us to the hotel. The cost was about $60 US. for the day, which lasted about 6 hours.

We arrived at the pyramids at 9:50 and spent a little over 4 hours there. Although I had contemplated hiring a guide at the entrance, I decided to go through the site on our own, with my guidebook. This worked well for us.

We climbed the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon. The view from the top of each is spectacular. We walked the road between them, stopping along the way to view the highlights mentioned in my guidebook and to take many photos.

There is very little shade so I recommend taking a hat, and using sunscreen. I also recommend getting an early start to avoid the heat and the crowds.

We had a lovely day here. The weather was ideal with sunny, blue skies, and temperatures in the low 70s. The lack of crowds was an added bonuses.

The one mistake I made was forgetting to go to the on site museum which I had intended to do at the end of our visit. I'm happy we saw many of the pieces taken from this site at the National Archiological Museum several days before. If anyone has been to the on site museum at the pyramids , could you tell me what we missed.

Next up-Two days in Mexico City-Murals, murals and more murals
shelleyk is offline  
Mar 5th, 2017, 06:17 AM
  #24  
 
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Great reporting!
For others I might suggest if you should get to Guanajuato be sure to visit Diego Rivera's boyhood home. Among the exhibits are a few of Frieda's works but my favorite pictures there are nudes of both Frieda & Diego's mistress side by side!
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Mar 5th, 2017, 06:40 AM
  #25  
 
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Glad you enjoyed Teotihuacan. The museum on the site is very good in that it helped fill in the blanks on what we saw, and housed a good number of artifacts from the area; it really helped me better visualize and appreciate the site. Did you make it down to the Temple of the Feathered Serpent and the cluster of sites on the lower end of the Avenue of the Dead?
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Mar 5th, 2017, 07:05 AM
  #26  
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No, we did not. We felt we had seen enough after 4 hours, and we wanted to make it back to Mexico City before rush hour started .

Several days before this excursion, we saw a very large painted,model of the Temple of the Feathered Serpent at the National Archiology Museum. Of course it's not the same as the real thing, but it did give us an idea of what it would look like in ancient times before it became ruins. Is the real deal restored (painted) or was it left the way it was found?.

If we have an extra day next year, perhaps we will return to the pyramids to see the museum and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent.
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Mar 5th, 2017, 08:05 AM
  #27  
 
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Interesting report. Thanks.

I was surprised to read that the Kahlo museum requires timed tickets! The last time I was there, about seven years ago, we just walked right in. Seems like everything is more crowded these days.

We've been out to Teotihuacan three times -- I think I've finally seen most of it! If you look at my profile page you will see that I list my first sight of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl as my all-time favorite travel moment. So, I do urge you to return and see it!

Pickpockets on the metro. On my first trip, two friends I was with were pick-pocketed when we entered a very crowded car at the Hidalgo station (which is notorious for it). Lesson learned. At least you'll know what to avoid in the future.

Looking forward to the rest of your report!
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Mar 5th, 2017, 09:11 AM
  #28  
 
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Shelleyk, it is clear that some work has been down on the Temple of the Feathered Serpent but more work is still being done so I would not say it is fully "restored". The area between the Temple and the two main pyramids are also covered in some ruins now mostly overtaken by vegetation; I also enjoyed wandering through here. Do check it out whenever you're back there.

Fra_Diavolo, I typically assume that there are pickpockets on public transportation whenever I am in a city I am not familiar with. I did not feel any more or less safe on the subway in Mexico City than I do in capitals across Europe. Just carry what you need and be aware of your surroundings.
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Mar 5th, 2017, 09:25 AM
  #29  
 
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>>>I did not feel any more or less safe on the subway in Mexico City than I do in capitals across Europe.<<<

Neither do I, and did not mean to give the impression that I did. The subject was pickpockets on the Mexico City Metro, and I related my experience. I have returned several times and never hesitated to use the metro. What I took away was to be wary of entering crowded cars or buses, anywhere.
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Mar 5th, 2017, 10:20 AM
  #30  
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FD-Your take away is so true- Be wary of entering crowded cars or buses, anywhere.

I usually never "blame the victim", but since the victim was my DH I feel that I need to say that part of the responsibility for the incident lies with us. The pickpocketing occurred at the Hidalgo station (interesting that FD said his incident occurred there, also). It was about 4:45PM. We were heading back to our hotel near the Zocalo station.

Three trains passed going in the opposite direction. After about 15-20 minutes a train came going toward the zocalo. There was 20 minutes worth of passengers waiting on the platform. It was very crowded.

We are savvy travelers and we should have let the first train go by. But it was the end of a long day and we wanted to get back to the hotel, so we did not use our savvy traveler's common sense, and we got on this train jammed in like sardines.

Fortunately, nothing of value was taken and it is now just a blip on our wonderful trip. But next time, we would do things differently.

As an aside, DH was pickpocketed on a Madrid metro many years ago. Again, nothing of value was taken. And a good friend was recently pickpocketed in St. Petersburg where he unfortunately lost $140 USD and credit cards he had in his pocket.

We continue to use public transportation in most cities. The trade off is efficient and inexpensive transportation as opposed to the possibility that you might get pickpocketed. We accept the latter possibility. But when using public transportation, caution and common sense are required.
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Mar 5th, 2017, 11:18 AM
  #31  
 
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Hear, hear. Apologies to you Fra_Diavolo and Shelleyk if the tone of what I said came across as negative; certainly did not mean it to be.
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Mar 5th, 2017, 02:10 PM
  #32  
 
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Thanks for the description of the ruins. Once again it's been quite a few years since we were there and I remember them as being huge. Looking forward to reading about the murals, probably my favorite part of MC.

We had 2 rip offs on our last trip to MC in 2015. A taxi driver overcharged us but we were too exhausted to deal with him. Then we went into a hotel on the zocalo to break a large note, ~500 peso note into smaller denominations. The hotel clerk walked away with it, came back and said, "Counterfeit,". We had, of course, gotten this out of an ATM. We learned what to look for to avoid that happening again. First 2 scams in all our travels including many trips over the years to Mexico.
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Mar 5th, 2017, 05:07 PM
  #33  
 
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No problems, tripplanner. As an aside, Hidalgo was mentioned as a hotspot for pickpockets way back in my 1999 Lonely Planet!
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Mar 5th, 2017, 07:55 PM
  #34  
 
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I also was picked after getting on at the Hidalgo station, stupid me, as I also read the very same warning in the '98 Lonely Planet. Later slapped away another attempt at a station I forget. I had $15 US in my front pocket, and when I got off at Chapultepec it was gone. But the next year in Huatulco I picked up $100 mxn in the water thinking it was trash, and later on our last day in Oaxaca De J I found another $50 on the sidewalk, so I broke even, as I recall the exchange rate was like 10:1.
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Mar 6th, 2017, 05:25 AM
  #35  
 
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Only time a "pick" was attempted on myself was recently in Leon's leather market on a crowded Saturday.
I was jostled on my right causing me to reach for my left rear jean pocket feeling a hand. I pulled back seeing a pre teen boy with his buddy I used my walking stick to sharply wack his rear side receiving but a dirty look as they quickly took off. Interesting that two so young had a routine down even though it failed.
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Mar 6th, 2017, 08:18 AM
  #36  
 
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Love your report. I also love Mexico City - think it is as cosmopolitan and filled with treasures as just about an European capital I have visited.

The Frida Khalo museum is wonderful - but did you know that within very easy walking distance of the Blue House is also the Leon Trotsky Museum, housed in Trotsky's former home? In my opinion, it is more authentic than the Khalo home - albeit a much different experience/perspective into the local history - as it is still in many ways undisturbed since the final days of Trotsky's life. Khalo's and Trotsky's lives were intertwined in many ways ... quite interesting history. Well worth a visit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_T...m,_Mexico_City
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Mar 6th, 2017, 02:55 PM
  #37  
 
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Agree the Trotsky house is well worth a visit. The bullet holes from Stalinists remain in the walls.
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Mar 11th, 2017, 10:08 AM
  #38  
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Our last 2 days in Mexico City were spent viewing many murals, and walking the pedestrian only Avenido Madero lined with several architecturally significant buildings.

DH and I especially appreciated seeing 120 fabulous Diego Rivera murals in the Secretary of Education building. Without going into detail, I can say the experience was fascinating and fabulous. We spent about 3 hours here.

The National Palace and the Belles Artes building also had many noteworthy murals. At Belles Artes we were fortunate to be there during a temporary exhibit of "artists of the revolution", so besides seeing the murals in the building which are always on display, we saw additional artwork by Rivera, Orozco, Khalo and Siqueiros. We also stopped into the Supreme Court building (ID necessary for admittance) and the College of Ildefenso (free on Tuesdays) to admire more artwork.

We loved these 2 days in Mexico City, which is an art lover's treasure trove of artwork to view and admire. Everything we saw was in walking distance of our hotel, and was within walking distance of each other. We look forward to returning to Mexico City next year to continue our art tour.

On our last night in Mexico City we went to Terrazo, the restaurant in the hotel where a James Bond movie (Spectre) was filmed. The lobby is beautiful and the restaurant on the 6th floor overlooks the zocalo. We had drinks and a small plate of tacos, and admired the view of the zocalo as the sun set.

The next day we asked the hotel to call us a taxi to take us to the airport for our return flight. We used AA frequent flier points to go MEX-MIA-BOS. We had a 4 hour layover in MIA which was fine with us as I wanted to try a Cuban restaurant in the AA terminal called KU VA. I had read good reviews of this restaurant and after eating dinner there I can say that the reviews were totally on the mark. If anyone is transiting through MIA in Terminal D, I highly recommend this restaurant.
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Mar 11th, 2017, 10:56 AM
  #39  
 
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The Majestic! That's where we usually stay.

Thanks for the report.
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Mar 11th, 2017, 12:21 PM
  #40  
 
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Thanks for your TR. Nice to read about a city I love. Next time for a totally different experience think about staying in Condesa or Roma.
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