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A Trip to Mexico City

A Trip to Mexico City

I was recently back in Mexico City.  Being the largest Spanish speaking city in the world, the city is always full of surprises.

One of the most exciting things about the trip was I got to use my APEC card for the first time.  The long queues at immigration control were never my favorite thing about traveling. This time I was able to bypass a large line at immigration but unfortunately waiting an hour for my suitcase made me realize I didn’t actually save any time.

I stayed at a new, really nice hotel called Krystal Grand Suites. The hotel is based in one of Mexico City’s most innovative neighbourhoods. It is famous for hosting high-class social celebrations, company meetings, weddings, training days or large professional events.

Early on Saturday morning, I took an Uber to Coyoacán, a municipality of Mexico City. Uber is common and easy to use in Mexico City.  Coyoacán was close to my hotel so it only took me a few minutes to get there. The name Coyoacán means ’place of coyotes.’ It is borrowed from the Aztec language.  It was a settlement on the shores of Lake Texcoco and was populated even before the pre-Hispanic age.

The Spaniards then made Coyoacán their headquarters after the conquest. It hosts some of the oldest Spanish buildings. It was an independent city for a very long time until in the mid-twentieth century when it was absorbed into Mexico City. As I strolled between the old structures, I quickly felt the colonial charm, and I almost forgot that I was within the megalopolis of Mexico City. I visited several places in the city including museums, bookstores where books containing the rich history of the town are kept, cafes, and markets where many cultural items are sold.

One of the museums that caught my eye was the Frida Kahlo museum popularly known as the “Blue House.”. The house was converted into a museum in 1958. The blue house was a private universe for Latin America’s most celebrated painter, Frida Khalo. It was here that she was born and later died. Frida lived between 1907 and 1954.

Through her life, Frida suffered a lot both in sickness and accidents which made her undergo a total of 32 operations in her short life. She did a lot of paintings while lying in the bed with most of the drawings portraying her personal experiences. She got married to Diego Rivera, a famous painter in Mexico who was her mentor. She died of pulmonary embolism.

I took my lunch at Saks, a casual but fine restaurant in the Polanco area of Mexico City.   Having had a busy morning at Coyoacan, Saks offered a wonderful environment for rejuvenating as I figured out my next destination. After relaxing for about an hour, I headed for Zócalo. The name originates from Italian Zoccolo, meaning pedestal. The term El Zocalo which refers to the main plaza of a Mexican or Spanish city.

In the 19th century, in the centre of the Mexico city’s main square, a pedestal was set up as a base for a statue to commemorate the Mexican independence. However, the monument was never erected, and people started calling the square itself Zocalo.

As evening fell, I visited the Cantina La Reforma Uno for dinner. I had previously heard of it from a Facebook friend. The restaurant was nothing short of my expectations. From appearances, you may misjudge it. But after being served a great dinner with the traditional Mexican food.

The meal was sumptuous. Having had a busy day, I joined the Terraza Catedral for a drink as I caught a glimpse of the city at night. I sat on a beautiful patio overlooking the artists selling their work outside while enjoying live music and entertainment from inside. Being the Christmas season, Christmas lights were up creating a stunning scenario.

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