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Mexico 2009
Week 1

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The Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral) on the northern border of the Zocalo.

The Palacio National (National Palace) on the eastern edge of the Zocalo.

The Mexico City Hostel., my lodging for seven nights in Mexico City.

Inside the Mexico City Hostel

A Mariachi band playing inside Cafe de Tecuba, where I ate dinner.

A Native Indian drum circle I stumbled upon, just outside of Templo Mayor, on my first night.

The Zocalo, the heart of Mexico City, one of the world's largest city squares.

The entrance to the Palacio National is heavily guarded, but which soldier wants to play tag?

The Diego Rivera mural inside the National Palace, illustrating the history of Mexico.

An important-looking room inside the National Palace.

Backpacking Dave standing near the Zocalo, with the giant Mexican flag in the background.

The Catedral Metropolitana, a cathedral, the construction of which began in 1573.

Inside the Metropolitan Cathedral.

The Templo Mayor, the remains of an Aztec pyramid discovered in 1978, during construction.

A model of what Templo Mayor looked like, revealing the seven stages of enlargement in the cut-away.

The stone-disc carving of the Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui, illuminated with colored lights.

A chac-mool, or reclining figure from Mayan days.

The white-marble Palacio de Bellas Artes, a concert hall and art center.

A close-up of the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

A famous Diego Rivera mural, called El Hombre En El Cruce de Caminos (Man at the Crossroads), at the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

A fountain in the park of Alameda Central.

The Hemiciclo a Benito Juarez, a large white marble monument in the park of Alameda Central.

My dinner that night - Chiles en Nogada - cooked ground beef inside a large green chile covered with a cold, sweet white sauce and pomegranate seeds.

The Castillo de Chapultepec, a castle used by Emperor Maximilian in 1864 and Mexican presidents until 1939, when it was turned into a museum.

That's me enjoying the view from Castillo de Chapultepec, which sits on a hill overlooking the rest of Mexico City.

A mural painted by Juan O'Gorman, depicting Father Hidalgo and the Mexican Revolution.

A garden on top of the Castillo de Chapultepec.

The Jardin Botanico, or the Botanical Garden, also in the Bosque de Chapultepec.

The Museo Nacional de Antropologia, or the National Anthropology Museum.

A feathered serpent inside the National Anthropology Museum.

A stone carving of a jaguar.

The Sun Stone, the most famous exhibit inside the National Anthropology Museum.

That's me standing next to a collosal head from the ancient Olmec culture.

A view of contempory Native Indians, as represented on the second floor of the National Anthropology Museum.

A view of the insanely crowded Metro of Mexico City.

The site of Tlatelolco, showing the remains of a pyramid.

Our tour guide explaining the history of the site.

A church built by the Spanish using the stones from the pyramid.

The crowd of dutiful followers at the Basilica de Guadalupe.

The old Basilica de Guadalupe plus the mob in front.

A view of the Basilica de Guadalupe from the top of the hill.

The flavelas, or houses on the outskirts of town. They remain unpainted, because painted houes require taxes to be collected.

A short lesson on the agave plant.

From left to right, mini-shots of pulque, tequila with almond, and mezcal.

Enjoying a lunch at a little cafe outside of Teotihucan.

Our tour guide joined in on the conga drum of this band. Then he let me bang the drum for a song.

Standing in front of the Pyramid of the Moon at Teotihuacan.

The steep steps up the Pyramid of the Moon.

The Pyramid of the Sun, which stand 65 meters high.

Vendors on the Avenue of the Dead, trying to sell obsidian carvings to tourists.

The Temple to Quetzalcoatal.

The Terminal de Autobuses del Notre, or the Northern Bus Terminal in Mexico City.

A bus at the bus station - not too bad.

Cacti along the path at the Zona Archeologica in Tula.

A ball court at the Zona Archeologica in Tula.

Workers were working on the pyramid at Tula.

Pyramid B at Tula, also known as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl.

The four basalt warrior columns, also known as atlantes, on top of the Pyramid B at Tula.

That's me standing next to a warrior column, which stands 4.6 m (15 feet) high.

Pyramid C is the tallest in Tula but is in poor condition and may once have held warrior columns and a temple on top. (Oddly, there was no Pyramid A.)

An artistic shot of the sun behind a warrior column. The warrior's skirt is held together with a sun disk over his rear. (Seriously.)

Mariachi band members waiting for gigs at Garibaldi Plaza.

Food market at  Xochimilcho.

The Museo Dolores Olmedo Patiño near Xochimilcho, which features artwork by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.

Peacocks at the Museo Dolores Olmedo Patiño.

Standing by the head of Diego River with an umbrella (courtesy of the museum).

Precolumbian menu items at Los Girusoles restaurant in Mexico City.

My entree of ant eggs fried in butter and eaten with avocado on a tortilla.

Weekend at the Zocolo - during some kind of convention of boy scouts and girl scouts.

Scores of vendors selling their wares next to the Catedral Metropolitana.

Security officers are positioned on every Metro platform.

Iglesia de Santa Carina in the Coyoacan district.

A really old building that is in bad need of a makeover - I thought it looked cool.

Parroquia de San Juan Bautista at Plaza Hidalgo in the Coyoacan district.

The Blue House, the former residence of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, now the Mueseo Frida Kahlo

Spanish colonial architecture in the Coyoacan district (also where I had lunch).

The Museo Leon Trotsky, the former residence of Leon Trotsky, who was expelled from the Soviet Union and later killed in this house.

The tomb containing the ashes of Leon Trotsky and his wife Natalia.

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Site created 1 May 2004
Page last updated 17 Mar 2009
Email dave at backpackingdave.com