A Travellerspoint blog

"We're Going To Miss This!"

sunny 26 °C

"We're going to miss this!" We've been saying this all week, having reached that point in our travels where time is no longer suspended, but is rocketing toward the end. And now, we are here - less than 12 hours before we get up at an unholy hour (3:30 a.m.) to make it to the airport for our 7:00 am. departure home. We have our antigen tests back (negativo), and are soaking up every last Mexico City minute.

We've grown very fond of our apartment, our neighbourhood and our routines. For a brief period of time, this has felt like home - we're getting our big city fix. There is so much that we will miss about being here.

The beauty of the architecture:


The deceptive ease of simple modern design:



The impromptu performances as you wait for the light to change.


The unexpected signs that make you laugh:


The signs that remind you of your responsibility as a tourist:


Th unintentionally hilarious signs. In the middle of a beautifully tended garden that flanks both sides of a multi-kilometre pedestrian walkway, someone chose to place this sign beside the two plants that somehow missed the watering can.


Being surrounded by such abundance - the lush gardens, the palm trees, agave, bougainvillea, jacaranda - took the bite out of being in the middle of a huge metropolis. We really felt as though we moved from one village to another, travelling along shady paths.




I was struck by the uniformity of this hotel - how the square windows were mirrored by the precision-clipped shrubs below.


We were trying to figure out what it is about Mexico City that has captured us so much this time. Possibly it is because we haven't felt the need to madly sightsee every day, ticking off boxes and exhausting ourselves in the process. I can be guilty of that; creating overly-ambitious itineraries that defeat the purpose of travel.

We have seen most of the major sights in previous visits, so we spent a lot of time walking and exploring neighbourhoods and being excited about the next turn in the road. It made for an extremely relaxing and serendipitous visit but as is always the case, we are leaving a lot behind.

Getting around Mexico City is so easy. Walking is a pleasure, taxis are cheap and plentiful, the subway is fast and efficient and the city bus system is multi-tiered, but requires a better understanding of Spanish than I possess.

Luckily for us, we were right on the Metrobus line; actually right on two lines - the Metrobus travels north and south on two major streets, and has its own designated lane, so traffic is never an issue. Tickets are cheap - 6 pesos (about 40 cents) - and there is a steady stream of buses, so wait times are never more than 5 or 10 minutes.


There are over 150 museums in Mexico City and probably at least twice as many art galleries. For some reason, we saw very few of them this time. We did have one epic day where we headed into the Centro Historico.

We began by walking through Alameda Central, the oldest public park on the outskirts of Centro. This sculpture of hands clasping a flagpole really moved me but I am confused as to its significance. It is in memory of the thousands of lives (between 5,000 and 10,000, depending upon what you read) that were lost in the 1985 earthquake and I'm curious as to what the hands mean. Hands reaching to pull people to safety? A symbol of unity in the event of future earthquakes?


In front of Alameda Central Park is the magnificent Palacio de Bellas Artes. It is both a museum featuring murals by Diego Rivera as well as many other exhibitions, and a cultural centre that hosts music, opera, theatre and dance performances.


As we walked from Bellas Artes toward Centro, there were a number of streets cordoned off and police cars, vans and military vehicles were out in force. We could see and hear a massive protest underway on the next street over, but common sense won out over my intense curiosity and we stayed the course. Every time we have been to Mexico, there have been massive protests over something or another and the accompanying police presence - I think it is part of the landscape.

We carried on to the main pedestrian street that runs from Bellas Artes to the zocolo. This street is a curious mix of cheap clothing stores and fabulous old buildings, as well as pocket parks and museums.


There is a tiny park sandwiched between an ancient church and Torre Latinamericana, Mexico City's tallest building. It is currently featuring an outdoor exhibit of sculptures by Salvador Dali and Augustus Rodin. There were about 15 or so sculptures spread around this tiny park; here are two of them.
Rodin's La Eterna Primavera, 1898.


Dali's Venus Especial, 1977


Right across the street is the 18th-century Baroque palace, The Casa de los Azulejos ( The House of Tiles).


Just down the street, we popped into the Palacio de la Cultural Citibanamex.

There were three exhibits - a display of work by sculptor Yvonne Domenge Gaudry.


An exhibit about the 1910 Mexican Revolution; this Tree of Life portraying the major players.


An exhibit on Nacimiento - scenes of the Nativity from Latin-American artists. This one by Manuel Martinez, Peru, 2009


The main attractions around the Zocolo - the Cathedral and the National Palace - were closed due to Covid. We could have wandered around the Zocolo, but since it was stinking hot, we decided to head to one of our favourite spots for lunch and a view - El Meyor.


The restaurant is on the roof of a terrific bookstore, Porrua. If you look closely at the wall art in the entrance, you will see the design is made entirely of strategic book placement.


The Postal Palace is an architectural jewel - all marble and brass and polished wood, with venetian and art nouveau design elements. This part serves as a museum; there is actually a post office still in operation on the other side of the building.


We spent another day checking out Polanco, a swank neighbourhood with stunning homes and ultra high-end shopping; billed as Mexico City's
"Rodeo Drive."
We have seen some exceptional street fashion but there is something so je-ne-sais-quoi about the sartorial splendour of this gentleman. I have to assume his closet is filled with many other equally fabulous ensembles and I also have to assume he has plenty of occasions to wear them.


Converse sneakers have found a pretty fancy spot - no confusing this with a suburban Foot Locker.


One street after another, filled with homes that look like this - expensive, discreet, gated.




It is in the Polanco neighbourhood that the incomparable Soumaya museum is found. This stunning structure is named after Carlos Slim's late wife, and houses his personal art collection. We visited it a few years ago, but were once again impressed with its beauty.


Right across the street is the Jumex Museum, which showcases contemporary art. Please excuse the quality of this photo - I don't know what my camera caught to create this purple arc, but it does match the gorgeous lavender jacaranda. It is a beautiful building, but only two floors were open and both of them only partially. The exhibits were lost on both of us - if someone can explain the vision behind draping two sheets to billow along the floor with pillows anchoring them, I'm all ears. There was also a sheet of paper with a single line drawn horizontally about one-third of the way down the page. I always feel like a philistine when I complain about the "talent" behind exhibits like this, but sheesh...I sometimes wonder if we are being played and there is a hidden camera, capturing our expressions as we try to make sense of it all.


We were far more entertained watching this spectacle: window washers swinging in the air, suspended on harnesses.


And that is a fitting end to our trip - an image of the precarious beauty of Mexico City. We even managed to experience an earthquake while we were here. Not really - the quake was 230 miles away in Veracruz and we felt nothing, but it was strong enough to sound the alarms here. Yesterday morning, we heard sirens and a loudspeaker that kept repeating, " Alerte Sismo. Alerte Sismo"

We looked out our windows to see people gathering on the street below and within minutes our host contacted us to let us know everything was alright. Apparently these Alerts are common - they give residents one minute to prepare before a tremor may occur.

Thank you to Mexico and to the many wonderful Mexicans we met. Thank you for distracting us from ugly winter weather, from Covid numbers, from political mayhem, from the trucker protest and now from Russia's attack on the Ukraine. We appreciated the break and are ready to come home.

Posted by millerburr 22:22 Archived in Mexico Tagged mexico_city salvador_dali zocolo augustu_rodin museo_jumex museo_soumaya polanco palacio_post_office citibanamex porrua palacio_de_bellas_artes

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents


Great photos and information. Sad your trip in Mexico has come to an end. How do they enforce keeping the streets so clean ??? We need to take a lesson from them. Safe travels home and keep in touch. Lyn Morris, Langley, B.C.

by Lyn Morris

What a beautiful and impressive city! Thanks for sharing your adventures, and happy, safe travels home. A sunny weekend to return home to!

by Sue Custance

It might be your last post, but it certainly is fabulous. You could sell some of those on tires, Ginny. Beautiful. We leave in a couple of weeks but I don't th8nk it will be quite the trip yours was. However, we need to get away from all the things you missed! We have had a snow storm every week or in this week, every three days. So DONE! I just hope we get our vacation in before Putin ruins it. The last time we went to Mexico, it was a stressful trip home on the last flight to Canada. Safe trip! You made some wonderful memories!

by Joan Fisher

Thank you, thank you Ginny for sharing your wanderings & wonderings through Mexico. It is a joy & inspiration to experience travel through you! We are happy to back on Canadian soil ourselves now, but after enjoying your blogs we are already putting a return trip to Mexico high on our list of winter getaways.

by Kris McDonald

You’re going to miss Mexico City and your readers are going to miss reading about your travels! As always, it has been a delight travelling along with you on your journey. Thanks so much for taking us along.

by Heather Scott

Thank you so much for sharing! Enjoyed immensely !

by Ed McHugh

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.