February 16th, 2008 – by: jenn79
Pyramid of the Sun!
We got up at 7am today to head out to the Pyramids! This was both our first metro trip as well as our first bus trip to this area approximately 1 hour outside Mexico City
. A lot of things strike me about Mexico City, and the first one is how kind and helpful people are. A nice young man helped us find our way from the subway to the bus station walking us the entire way, which was a bit of a ways, and made sure we got on the correct bus. Then he walked back to where he neede dto go. This didn't take more than 10 minutes, but this was 10 minutes that your average American probably wouldn't choose to spend helping tourists out.
Everywhere we go there are people helping you out, giving you advice, making sure you are going to the right place.
view from 1st tier of pyramid of the moon
Another of my countless examples of this is when we exited the University metro stop and couldn't figure out how to get to a certain part of the enormous campus. We approached a shuttle driver who told us where to go. Somehow we managed to misunderstand the directions, and as this other shuttle was pulling away, he got out, ran and whistled for ths shuttle to stop so that we could get on it. Mind you he got out of his bus, went about 50 feet and discovered we were standing at this stop while the bus we were supposed to get on pulling away and felt compelled to right this wrong! =)
Ok so back to my day that would not end. We spent a seriously exhausting morning at the pyramids. And by exhausting I mean 90 degrees of full impact sun, no shade, and a 2+ mile walk in either direction to get to the pyramids.
Can you spot Sybil? =)
My goodness these people really loved their stairs! It's like they discovered how to make stairs, thought they were so pretty and so decided to put them EVERYWHERE! Sybil and I would shimmy around the side of some of the structures so that we didn't have to go down each rock-framed plot of land just to go back up it on the other side to the next plot of land. I will never look at stairs the same way again... Sybil climbed up and down everything while I watched from the bottom and was accosted by nice but multiple vendors, and I painstakingly scaled up the 1st tier of the Pyramid of the Moon at the very end of the Avenue of the dead - using the rope to haul myself up. But the views were worth it! On the way down I had to stare at the person in front of me for fear of dizziness.
Sybil hanging off the Temple off the Moon
A word about the vendors.. they are really sweet, some of them really persistent because well, this is their living! But they won't bother you too much, it just gets annoying having to face 20+ of them each way up the avenue to the Pyramids and back down. They sell mostly bracelets, obsidian masks (heavy! no way I'm carrying that down the avenue!) and handmade pipes that they will play sorrowful 3-note tunes out of. There are many other things, but the ones I mentioned are the prettiest. My advice is to have a heart and buy something for someone, they're happy to bargain a little bit and you can usually walk away with a handful of little things or a couple of bracelets for under $10 usd.
By the end of the day my feet were swollen and in pain, as I have very little feet and definitely weigh a few pounds more than I should.
Instead of resting like normal people we decided to go see the famed Casa Azul, which was unfortunately another mile walk away from the subway station. But it was so pretty - I was missing Andi very much when we approached this building! Many of her works and self portraits were here, as well as the furnishings from their time together. Frida's medical corsets were also saved, which looked so painful you just have to appreciate modern medicine and moden therapy where treatment and comfort are both taken into account. This house made me wonder about Frida and Diego's life together. It's really very whimsical and strong at the same time. Unfortunately my feet would take me no further and that was all we were able to see of Coyoacan
, which is a nice bohemian-feeling part of town.
inner courtyard of Casa Azul
I believe after this we went to the end of the blue line to UNAM, a huge University (which is untravel-able by foot it's so large). After having the shuttle drivers decipher some pretty difficult directions (after all it's inside a campus, so there are no street intersections to go by), we ended up at this restaurant that Sybil was dying to go to called Azul Y Oro. If you're looking for a real restaurant, this probably wouldn't register high, but if this were a restaurant cooperative (which is kind of what it felt like), it was definitely a cool attempt at a collective enterprise (such as the Pantry in downtown LA).
By this time, I was probably in so much pain that I wanted to kill myself or amputate my feet or something like that. But it was definitely cool seeing the UNAM campus. We got a pretty full tour of Mexico City on our first day, and Sybil met another traveler and went to a local bar afterwards, which I was SO happy about because I knew she wanted to see the local nightlife and I could not oblige her no matter how sweetly and persistently she asked. I happily crawled into bed and finally got some rest after a day that felt like it would never end.