Zocalo on a typical Monday
Mexico City Travel Blog› entry 5 of 7 › view all entries
February 18th, 2008 – by: jenn79
Sybil and I discovered that the metro on weekdays is QUITE different from taking the metro on weekends when there are less people and things are much more relaxed. Today, we were caught in the torrent of people trying to get to work and were shoved, squeezed and crowded out of many a train. It was quite tough, even by international standards. I imagine the only place worse may be Tokyo subways! We were very glad that Zocalo was only a few stops away as the atmosphere was much different today than we had experienced the last few.. we were just trying to hang on for dear life today instead of enjoying our breezy ride to and fro.
We visited the cathedral in the middle of the square and spent what has to be the most memorable time I've ever had at a church. The interior was lovely, a pendulum hung from the roof, and just as we were about to head out, Sybil spotted a tour for 12 pesos. I thought to myself "what sort of tour can you possibly get for $1.20?! I said what the heck and sat down to wait for the group to gather. While waiting, I saw a group enter the church and a teenager no older than 17 stood a head above the rest of his family. There's something singularly charming about a handsome, lanky boy who lopes into a cathedral, falls into a bow while making the sign of the cross and eagerly begins searching the large basin for holy water. This would be the same kind of young boy that takes pictures of his mother like she is the most beautiful thing in the world.
So the tour of the cathedral started off walking up about 110 stairs. Stupid me being the first person through the door into the stairwell, therefore setting the pace for the rest of our tour group and I didn't want to slow them down. So I walked up all the stairs in what felt like one breath and was absolutely GASPING for air by the time we reached the eave. We then climbed through the window onto - get this - the ROOF of the church, and this is no normal roof, this is an UNDULATING roof at some pretty steep angles that we had to clamber over like children. It was great =)
There are some views from this rooftop that you just can't get anywhere else due to its location.
After the cathedral, Sybil and I walked through the narrow streets of Zocalo that were undergoing construction.
The sun was really hot today and after a bit more wandering around and Sybil attempting to charm her way into seeing the closed Plaza Mayor excavations, we decided to approach the large nomadic art museum to see what that was all about.
The phorographer/videographer seemed to go all over the world to photograph and film exotic places and people with an emphasis on animals such as leopards, hyenas, manatees and elephants interacting with tibetan children, kenyan families and beautiful women. My favorite video was of the water ballets in the ocean alongside whales and manatees. I'm not quite sure how they shot these films as the dancers were moving in such amazing shapes and never seemed to come up for air! Often they would manage to touch the animals or lay their heads down as if to sleep on some part of the animal, and I can't imagine how they were able to manage this underwater.
But the images were stunning, evocative and beautiful, but came off somewhat pretentious. It was very hot inside this mobile museum and the soothing music caused Sybil and I to nod off occasionally during the films. Large tapestries of some of the more stunning images were on display and outside they were selling postcards and prints of some of these glamorous shots.
When we exited, the gates around the plaza were being taken down, telling us that the Queen of Denmark had already departed.
I definitely want to go back and see some of the things we missed, primarily Chapultapec park and more of the state buildings at Zocalo. But I would definitely bring some bagged lunch as there is very little to eat except streetside tacos!
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