Mexico City

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Mexico City was just the right location to finish such a spectacular holiday. It is one of the biggest cities in the world, and at an altitude over 2200 metres. The sheer scale, history and location are a real wow factor. After nearly 5 hours on the bus from Acapulco to Mexico City and a number of checkpoint stops along the way, we arrived in Mexico City and made our way to the fabulous Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, with it’s famous glass roof, not far from the main square.

Actually getting into the hotel room took some doing. There appeared to be a bit (a large bit) of an issue with the reservation system, double and triple booking some rooms. The young couple from USA who vacated our room before we seized it, had been there a number hours before us and were no nearer getting a room. The Hotel itself was a throw back to another era. The multicoloured glass of the vast roof gave a hint of it’s famous past glories.

We spent much of the time walking around near the hotel, the main Plaza de la Constitución and the Cathedral adjoining it, along with the 4-year-old pick-pockets who did there best to empty your pockets. Not far away was the Templo Mayor Museum. This gave a very informative historic guide to the city, it’s people, culture and religion. How the city was once a lake and the original location for an Aztec temple for the people of Mexico to worship at. We also had to get a view over the city, so what better place to go than Torre Latinoamericana. Mexico City’s tallest building, dating back to 1956. The pollution in the city is legendary, and so it proved with views looking out across the vast flat lakebed to the mountains only vaguely visible.

Not forgetting the Formula 1 grand prix itself.

By using a bit of public transport we managed to get to the circuit and watch the practice session on the Saturday as well as the main race on the Sunday. Won by the Williams of Riccardo Patrese with Nigel Mansell second and Ayrton Senna second.

One of the major highlights of the holiday was the trip to the temple of the sun and the moon near to the North East of the city. This well-known pyramid in the ancient city of Teotihuacan is one of the largest in the world. Even getting to the location was an event in itself. On to the Mexico City underground metro with thousands of others, followed by a bus ride to the ancient site once I found the right bus. I had never attempted such a feet and I was impressed I managed to get there under my own steam. It was a super location to end the holiday. It was fabulous to wander around the vast area of the old city, and on the pyramids, trying to take in the history and spectacle, the architecture and culture.

Looking back now, I see the visit to Teotihuacan as one of my pivotal travel events. Getting to the place on my own gave me the confidence to want to try other locations. The history and architecture, giving me encouragement to want to investigate other great historical and cultural locations. So much so, that in 1992 I ventured on my own, this time around the newly opened Eastern Europe. Since then I have never looked back. Venturing further and wider all the time. Always looking for a new location for a new adventure with all the exhilaration it provides.

It was at Teotihuacan that the some of the seeds of my “travel bug” were sown.