Tuesday, 21 January 2014
Mexico City-I (Distrito Federal).
30/09/2008. In the morning when we got up, sweating in the heat, and on opening the tap, I found that there was just a trickle of water dripping and the same was with the shower. No water. Some how we managed, soaking the towels with the trickle of water, cleaned our teeth, wiped our bodies and went down to the reception desk. The concierge told us that there was acute shortage of water in the city and at no time during the day or night, should we expect to have water for a proper shower.
So we came out of the hostel and started walking towards the city centre, which was not far off. And to have breakfast. So walking and asking, we came to calle Bolivar and found Hotel Principal at No.29. Hostel Isabel and Hotel Principal, both recommended by the Lonely Planet. On inspection, we found that the rooms were larger, and the one we selected, had two wide comfortable beds, a bigger bathroom and bigger shower-head too. And when I opened the tap, water came out gushing. The daily rate was 340 Pesos. So we booked the room for two days, went back to Hostel Isabel, collected our backpacks and deposited them in the newly selected one, and came down to explore the city centre.
The city was full of shops selling fresh juice,tacos & tortillas, chorizo and guacamole, all fried food and not fit for breakfast. At that time Alex was on vegetarian diet and we found that there was nothing by way of vegetarian food. In Mexico we found that except guacamole, cabbage and tomatoes, there was no other vegetable and it was very hard for him to eat anything. An other thing we found was, that there was no fresh baked bread, only Bimbo brand sliced bread. Mexican do not eat bread.
At ten minutes walking distance, we came to the historic city centre (Centro Historico) known as El Zocalo. Approaching the centre( La Plaza de la Constitution), a very large plaza indeed, from Avenida 5 de Mayo, you see this majestic and elegant Palacio Presidencial and the Parliament building in front, and the magnificent Cathedral y Sagrario Metropolitano, on your left.
The sight was amazing and impressive, bustling with people, entering and coming out from the Cathedral, priests listening to confessions of devotees sitting in booths open to the public, Mass being chanted. I asked Alex to take a photo of the priest listening to the confession of an old lady, he however, replied that a confession was personal and private, although it was open to public to see and listen.
The 16th September was the National Independence Day and the whole plaza was still decorated with light bulbs and Mexican flags, flying on many building surrounding the plaza.
The Palacio Nacional (National Palace) is a historic building, on one side is the Presidential residence, which was cordoned off and guarded by military soldiers, and on the other side was the gallery full of murals painted by Diego Rivera, Mexico's most famous artist, painter and muralist. The paintings depict the country's long journey through wars and revolutions, military rule and independence. In his paintings he reflected the lives of the working class and native peoples of Mexico.
The site of the Presidential Palace is, where once stood the palace of Montezuma. The city and its environs boasted of beautiful haciendas, towers and trees, its castle of Chapultepec and in the distance the volcanic peak of Ixtaccihuatl "The Sleeping Woman".