Visa Pickup and Diego Rievera's Studio

Mexico City Travel Blog

 › entry 26 of 184 › view all entries
Today we went to pick up our Cuban Visas. Actually before we left we wanted to finalise our flights to Cuba since our tickets hadn't been issued due to some credit card trouble. After some calling to the TACA Toll-free line we found out that the credit card I used was somehow associated with the USA and thus could not be used to pay for flights to Cuba. I then had to rebook the flights and because it was almost noon and we needed to get to the Cuban Embassy before 14:00 I decided to put both flighs on a single booking under the multi-leg option. It turned out that this way the combined ticket was 300 USD cheaper per person, so thanks to my credit card not being accepted we saved 600 USD (payment on my other credit card went through immediately)! Lesson learned: always book all flights at the same time to get the biggest discount.

We then had to rush to the embassy and took the local underground metro for the first time. The metro actually turned out to be very simple to navigate and tickets are supercheap - a single ticket is 2 Pesos which is about 0.20 USD or 1.40 ZAR - compared to the London underground where a single sets you back 2 GBP or about 30 ZAR. We got to the embassy in time and they had our visas waiting for us. However we noticed that the visa was for flights leaving from Mexico and our flight is from Costa Rica. After some desperate attempts to communicate this in Spanish the Consul was called who kindly ammended our visas to allow for Costa Rica as well which was lucky because they also then told us that we should have usually applied for the visa in the country that we are leaving from.

We then grabbed some pizza for lunch because for some reason we are always absolutely starving here by lunch time - I don't know if it's the altitude or what. Afterwards we still had some afternoon left so we decided to seek out Frida Kahlo's house and using the Lonely Planet map tried to make our own way there with metro and bus. We managed to make our way to the colonia (suburb) of San Angel from where it was a reasonable walk. Strangely everyone we asked for directions along the way kept saying that the Frida House was in Coyoacan and not San Angel. After walking through some rather beautiful although slightly deserted streets we eventually did find the house. It turned out that this house was the studio of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Actually it's two separate houses joined by a bridge on the roof - if you saw the film Frida you will have seen it. The house was interesting to see but didn't have any of their paintings inside. It turns out that the more famous Frida Kahlo Blue House is in Coyoacan. Oh well, this one was quite interesting anyway.

After that we just caught the metro home and managed to get back to the hostel just in time for supper.
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