Cuban Embassy and City Bus Tour

Mexico City Travel Blog

 › entry 25 of 184 › view all entries
Today we did a city bus tour. The bus does a 3 hour circuit and you can get on and off at any point.

As this was going right by the Cuban Embassy we used the opportunity to apply for our Cuban visas today. The lady said that everything was fine so hopefully we can pick them up tomorrow.

Afterwards we got back onto the bus (after waiting for about an hour instead of the 20 min we were told when we were sold the tickets) and completed our tour. There is also a southern circuit which we only found out at 5pm doesn't cost anything extra. So in order to get the most out of the ticket and see more of the city we jumped onto the southern circuit bus as well. I'm really glad we did because the south of the city is quite different to what we had seen so far. There was a lot more greenery and the houses aren't as tall. To me it seemed a lot more Mexican in a way - i.e. more like what I would expect a smaller, more rural Mexican town to look like. It also made me realise that I want to get out of Mexico City and see more of the country side.

We completed the southern circuit at 20:30 and then had to hop back onto the historical circuit. This left very little time to get back to our hostel at Zocalo. Sure enough the bus stopped running at 21:00 and we were left wherever we happened to be at that point. Luckily it was in quite a metropolitan area with lots of restaurants so we dashed into the nearest one to get some food as we had by now missed the free supper at our hostel. I had an interesting dish - grilled cactus leaf with cheese and corn (the cactus leaf tasted like chewy version of a green pepper of sorts and not all bad) - and Nicole a veggie sandwich.

After the meal we faced the small problem of how to get back to the hostel as we had been warned to never get into a cab you see passing by on the street as you don't know where you might end up. We attempted to ask the head waiter at the restaurant to call us a cab - an ordeal in itself as I had the number of a taxi service stored on my cell phone which I was pointing to and which must have greatly confused the waiter as to why then I didn't just call from my cell phone. He eventually understood my sequence of nouns and infinitives and "kindly" offered to call a cab for us but whispered into the phone in such a hush way that we now felt less safe than ever and after thanking him proceeded to get out of there as quick as possible. We next tried a hotel down the street, convinced them to let us make a call to the toll free number of our hostel (although I think they understood it to be a local number) which I had just remembered at that point. However this time I couldn't work the hotel phone system. As it is a toll free number I then tried to call from a public phone on the street and although I managed to get through three times the person at the other end seemed unable to hear me, so back to the hotel to confer with Nicole. Running out of options fast we saw that the hotel was advertising an airport taxi service which we were busy considering when we spotted a taxi outside that was busy dropping off some hotel guests from the airport. This was a white taxi with yellow doors and painted on airport logo which I had read in the Lonely Planet were safe. So after a quick exchange about the cost to Zocalo we hopped in and were on our way finally. The taxi driver was very friendly and after finding out that we were from South Africa was very excited about the 2010 Soccer World Cup. This seems to have really put South Africa on the map.

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