Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ciudad de Mexico

Well, our day started early. I had expected to sleep really long well into the morning, but for some reason it was impossible to get some good sleep. The hotel does offer a great breakfast here in Santa Fé. It's mostly suited for business people. Santa Fé is quite new in Mexico City and is hosting a couple of high-rise buildings to support the high-tech companies that are setting up shop here. Very close by, there's the largest shopping center in MC right now, Centro de Santa Fé. It has a couple of very fashionable and expensive shops around there, e.g. a boutique of Ermenegildo Zegna, Armani, just to name a few. Anyway, after breakfast, we managed to get a taxi sorted and drove through MC on the avenue of Reforma to get to the city centre. Reforma and just before Polanco, the area in the city with fancy restaurants, expensive clubs, etc., is also the avenue with a lot of houses for government officials, embassies, you name it. So the expensive house or two can be seen on the left and right. Just after this area is the park with an auditorium and Chapultepec. Due to time constraints, we haven't been able to visit that. We arrived soon on Zolaco. It's a large plaza in the middle of the city with already some of the most well known buildings around. So take out your camera and shoot. The golden hour had just passed sadly, so lighting was already creating some difficult situations. Right on the Zocalo is the Catedral Metropolitana, the oldest cathedral of the Americas:

It's impressive. The glass in the windows is not leaded or coloured, which is a bit of a shame, otherwise it'd be great to bring a tripod next time for an High Dynamic Range session. The altar and other views are equally amazing.

The other buildings around the square are very old, this area of the city is very appealing and certainly to be recommended. You do get the occasional nagger for taxis or other tourist stuff and possibly there is some pickpocketing going on, but I don't get the idea the area is unsafe. Matter of fact, you do see a plenty of mexicans, other tourists walking with their camera in full view, walking around this area of town. Police is also in abundance.

Well, taking a little stroll from the plaza towards the west, we're passing some very old houses and streets. A tower called Torre LatinoAmericana is in the city, which goes up to 43 floors or so, built in 1957. It isn't the prettiest tower in the world :) (don't mention this blog whilst I'm up here), but it provides a superb view of the city. This also shows the immense size of it. Wherever you look, the faintest houses in the distance fade into the horizon mist. Mexico City is huge and the metropolitan region is roughly the same size of that in Sao Paulo.

And standing on top of that tower, we spotted another beautiful building just next to us, the palace of fine arts, an opera house. A place of great architecture, something to definitely see in more detail. Since we're trying to see as much as we can, we've decided to come back another era.
So we moved on through the park towards other places. I've enjoyed that little walk. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and things on the sides to grab some water or some food. Other than that, it's quite stereotypical, although I found this park to be nicer than many other parks I've seen in other metropoles/cities.

At the other end of the park was a taxi stand and since we needed to prepare for the rest of our journey, we decided to check out the shopping center in Santa Fé. This is the largest in the city now and very well developed. There are three floors spanning the entire area with everything you'd generally expect in a mall, so I won't digress too much.

We'll be travelling out to Cancun tomorrow, which I think is a bit of a shame. This city offers so much to visit and see. And if you visit the really interesting villages and temples around Mexico City as well, I'm sure it's possible to stay for at least a month. Anyway, not to worry. Can't complain about Can Cun, Can you?

No comments: