Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Visit Day 4: Chapultepec Park

Even though we were all weary from the pyramids yesterday, I cracked the whip and said "Onward!" to a full day in Chapultepec Park. After another delicious breakfast at Maque, we walked over to the entrance to the park. Since is was only about 9:00 am, we were the only ones there, which was unlike any other time that I've gone when it is usually a complete madhouse with face painting, thousands of kids and hundreds of stalls selling everything from cotton candy to baby leashes. This morning, however, it was very peaceful and we had it virtually all to ourselves.

After walking around Lago Mayor and Casa del Lago, we hopped on the train up to the top of Chapultepec hill to tour Chapultepec Castle. For all you history buffs, this was the former palace of the French Emperor Maximilian / former fort / former president's house / current museum (among many other things). Anyway, it's half reconstructed mansion and half history museum. Today we toured the mansion and pretty much skipped the museum side. Once we were done admiring the great views and opulence, it was time for lunch!

We descended the hill and crossed out of the park to downtown where we were meeting Autumn at the Casa de las Enchiladas (a hot tip we got from Rick Bayless's show on PBS!). After mixing and matching our toritillas, fillings and toppings, we headed back to work for a quick tour of our office, and then it was onto more sightseeing at the Museum of Anthropology. We stopped for a quick break before heading in to see the Voladores from Veracruz doing their upside-down-spinning-rain-dance-flute-and-drum-show.

I think we were on tourist overload, because the museum trip seems like a blur to me, but it was huge, and amazing, and chock-full of the best stuff from all the archaeological sites in Mexico. The weirdest this I learned all day was that the infamous "Aztec Calendar" that is available for sale everywhere in Mexico as a clock, a coaster, a tablecloth, a wall hanging, and just about everything else you can think of was actually...a "large gladiatorial sacrificial altar," according to the sign.

If that weren't enough, we grabbed tacos al pastor from Taco Inn (aka the best street tacos available, but with running water!) before we jumped into taxis to head over to Arena Mexico for Lucha Libre. After much drama with the evil, world dominating ticket-monopoly TICKETMASTER at the will call booth which even included calling them...in SPANISH!...and then calling the AGAIN! for some other helpless foreigners (read Australians), we finally got in and enjoyed the show. A few beers later and a quick ride home on the subway, we all crashed back at the apartment after a very busy day.

The only ones up before noon!

 Views of Chapultepec
The lake, mom with a recycled garbage can and hod dogs, 3 for 15 pesos! 
(I've learned the hard way that spelling is very important when eating here!)

 Mom and me atop Chapultepec hill

 Views of the castle

Ruth and Chris

 Ruth's panoramas with her iPhone 4...jealous!

 Mom, Rich and Torre Mayor

 Los Niños Heroes

 Group photo!

Stained glass babes!

 Inside Maximilian's palace

  Los Niños Heroes, again

 Torre Mayor, El Angel and some new-fangled art installation that closed down the bridge into the park for more than a year!

 Los Voladores calling down some rain...it really appears to be working!

Heading into the Anthropology Museum

 Oooh! Cantilevering in action!

 The alleged Aztec Calendar....of death!

 We found the hidden jungle temple! IN the museum!

Lucha Libre wrestling fun with masks!

One the way home in El Metro.

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