Mexico 2016

Mexico City

Like São Paulo the airport is in the centre of the city and you fly in over a vast megacity stretching into the haze. Much of the central city is on an old lake bed, making the earthquake hazard worse, but there’s a sense of hills surrounding it.

The metro system is cheap and vast. The population using it is noticeably darker and poorer than the city as a whole. The middle clases seem to avoid it.

The Templo Mayor, the old central temple was a fairly recent discovery. It was assumed that it lay beneath the cathedral. A C19th sewer cutting went straight through it and nobody noticed and it was’t excavated until the late 1970s when a huge stone carving was found by a utility company. The Spanish had flattened the pyramid but the successive stages of construction are still clear. The museum next to it is an amazing collection.

We queued 90 minutes to get into the Casa Azul; Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s studio. Not much of their art but  impressive for its interior design, the relics of Frida’s clothing and the bohemian history of the building.

The queues weren’t there for Trotsky’s house nearby. A fortified enclosure after an early attempt on his life. Gun turrets, bricked up windows and steel doors. It’s been left just as it was when he was murdered by Stalin’s agent.

Visited the Sunday market, including antiques, in Lagunilla. The hotel manager looked horrified said he was mugged last time he was there. (But then one of the Mexican artists in Oaxaca was rather concerned about the area in Mexico City we were staying in.) The locals seem more concerned than the tourists.



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