We had a lazy start to the day as we were not meeting the group until 9am for our orientation walk. So a leisurely breakfast in the hotel and then we met the group.
We took the metro to zocolo square again. We walked from the metro station into the square which brought us right outside the Palacio Nationale.
Our guide took us inside and far from being pretty but austere outside, inside it was light and airy. There were some cactus plants in a courtyard area:
Inside there was an amazing courtyard with murals on the upper level depicting old Aztec and Mayan life. The last mural was a reminder of what happened when the Europeans arrived!
here were also reminders of the fact that Mexico City is sinking by about 10cm per year!
Next we walked along to the ruins of the old temple in Mexico City, passing some ‘native’ dancers in the way:
The ruins were not that impressive, but the models alongside have a taste of what we are going to see at Teotihuacan tomorrow.
Next we headed inside the cathedral. Add there was a service going on we couldn’t see the whole building, but we got a pretty good idea of how impressive it is inside as well as outside!
Our orientation walk ended here are 6 of is decided to head off to Xochimilco to see the canals which are dubbed the little Venice of Mexico! Xochimilco is about 30km south of the main city and so after a taxi ride with us all squashed into a small car we arrived. There was a bit of bartering with the boatman before we agreed a price for two hours. At £45 for all six of us we thought it pretty reasonable (and definitely better than the first quote of over £130!). We also purchased some beers to help us on our way!
The boats, of which there are about 1200 in total are all brightly coloured. As it was a Sunday afternoon the were lots of locals and tourists alike and the waterway was very crowded in places.
Dolls and toys attached to trees on the canal side!
There were also smaller boats selling food, drinks and various tatt, along with others with mariachi bands offering their services!
We eventually arrived back at the starting point and disembarked. The whole trip was a fun but surreal experience!
We managed to get another taxi back to our hotel (thanks Uber!) and as it was now mid afternoon we found a place on the street close by she we had our first tacos of the trip (I just know what mum is thinking now – they were definitely better than the ones we had in California)… And very tasty they were too.
We headed back to our room for a shower and freshen up and then were leaving the hotel to grab a drink when we bumped into others from our group. The result was that we all ended up going to a place called the garden bar. While we were there it got dark and then the heavens opened and the was a fairly long thunderstorm with some flashes of lightening. Fortunately by the time the bar was shutting at 8pm it had more or less stopped so we didn’t get too wet on the way back. We passed what appeared to be an old aqueduct in the middle of the road.
Back at our hotel and four of us went for a final drink at a local bar before calling it an early night in anticipation of the early start on the morning!