Bazaar del Sabado in San Angel, then to Chapultapec Park

Mexico City Travel Blog

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Paintings on a Saturday morning at the El Bazaar Sabado

Normally I'm so well prepared for my trips that this trip was an exception, barring the Frommers book I hadn't done any kind of planning. But I did know that no day trips this time, I wanted to spend some time in the city, proper. I also considered hiring a taxi/driver with me all day so that I don't have to worry about catching a bus and going around by myself. I had a list of museos that I wanted to go to, but someone on Tripadvisor had suggested I visit San Angel's Saturday market, and in hindsight I think was a bloody brilliant idea.

Spoke to the very friendly and helpful concierge at the hotel, they got me a taxi and off I went. Mexico City is a very interesting city.

Paintings on a Saturday morning at the El Bazaar Sabado
At times, it reminds of you a small crowded overpopulated town in India. At times, it looks like any American city. At times, I see Singapore. The ride to San Angel took about 30 minutes, and when we reached, I could see why this place came recommended. It's a delight. It's all cobbled pavements with very colourful and "uneven" houses on the road. There's a big park in the centre where they sell paintings. The paintings are incredible. It's amazing how a country can have so many artists, and such talented ones at that. They insist "no photographs" so I had to either walk a few feet away and click, or just click stealthily.

I spent about 30 mins here just walking around and taking pics, and then walked up to the suprise discovery of the area, Centro Cultural Isidro Fabela.

Paintings on a Saturday morning at the El Bazaar Sabado
I would realise later that almost every other building in Mexico is a museum, but for now, was nice to know that this "house" was free of charge. The paintings on the first floor were all very average, but what blew me away were the exhibits on the ground floor. I've never seen decorations/statues done with so much colour, and such precision, and such "fineness"? I couldn't believe I was clicking away all day here. The courtyard setting also accented the artwork.

From here, walked next door to the main attraction of San Angel, namely the El Bazaar Sabado. The place by itself is this compact little market with a little mezannaine floor, but was very colourful, overly crowded, and had lots of trinkets on sale, lots of glasswork and artwork. Lunch was inside the market - white cheese quesadillas (yuck, I'm sorry), and spicy guacamole sauce, and great veg soup.

Paintings on a Saturday morning at the El Bazaar Sabado
It was already around 2pm, and was time to head to the next attraction for the day....

Chapultepec Park (Chapultapec means grasshopper) has long been another big tourist attraction. it's easy to see why. Set in a Paris avenue style of setting with lots of trees, lots of space, walking promenades and fancy street artwork, it attracts locals and tourists aplenty. And it was a Saturday to boot! It was nice getting out in proper Mexico City unlike my last trip where it was all about day trips (as I have mentioned earlier). First stop of the day was the Castle.

The Castillo de Chapultepec is located way atop a hill, and was a sacred place for Aztecs, and the buildings atop it have served several purposes during its history; including that of Military Academy, Imperial residence, Presidential home, observatory, and presently, the Museo Nacional de Historia.

Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro Fabela
It is the only castle in North America that was used to house sovereigns, the reigning Mexican Emperor Maximilian I, and his consort Empress Carlota, during the Second Mexican Empire. This is the sort of Mexico that I wasn't aware of. The walk up the hill was grand, but once you got there, it was like straight out of a European Frommer's book. You had the palace, the mandatory garden with multicoloured flowers, the fountain, the statue, the view of the erm...town.. .and this is where Mexico City charms you again because this looks directly over to the new skyscrapers. Mexico City is where the whole mural culture began, so it was expected to find them by the bucketloads in here, but I loved seeing the royal rooms (although let's be honest, I've come to expect the ghastly pink bedsheets and green curtains now from most palaces).
Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro Fabela
2 things I loved here - the lovely and bright tiles that bounce off the sunshine, but also the brilliant garden landscaping in the courtyard on the top floor complete with the Spanish courtyard verandah feel with portraits hanging on the walls. This really was NOT the Mexico I was expecting!

Anyway, a couple of hours here, and off I went to the next spot, and perhaps one of the most talked about in the travel books: The Anthropology Museum. Before this, credit must be given to the wonderful avenue with its kooky artwork on the divider. My favourite was the one of coloured pencils in all sorts of shapes, and on the Chepultapec Park wall were a bunch of pictures and paintings being commisioned. Anyway got to the museum, and  God, people weren't joking when they said spare at least 4 hours for this place.

Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro Fabela - love these decorations
It's all of 2 floors, got about a dozen rooms on each floor, and the history flow is simply incredible. It actually has a very generic Smithsonian feel initially with "how was man born?" (part of me going oh Christ, I spent 51 Mex $ for this??!) but as we went on, we are introduced to Mexican history - both the originals as well as the Spanish and European conquests. Now the sad part, I could only stay here enough to see most of the ground floor but had to give the top floor a skip as it was 6pm, closing time. But I was very impressed.

It was about 7pm when the driver took me back to the hotel, I wasn't really tired although I had walked a lot. Isn't it surprising how one complains so less whilst on holidays?! The last time around, I was more than happy to dine in the rsnt @ the hotel but I  really wanted to go out this time, well walk around the Zocalo and then dine in somewhere.

Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro Fabela
It's always nice walking on the streets of Mexico City, especially on a Saturday night. Although I've noticed lots of 2nd hand bookstores, lots of joyerias and zapaterias, but nothing for the muchachas! Dinner choice was an Italian rsnt that served very spicy pastas. I had no idea the Mexicans used red chilli for seasoning, I always thought that was an Indian thing! Anyway finished dinner, downed some tequilas (bless Antonio for the free shots) and went back to the hotel around 11pm. I did miss out on flan the last time around, so I wasn't going to this time... although I don't know why I bothered... I had something called flan metropolitana which was GASH. Sorry!

Reached the hotel room a wee bit past 11pm which wasn't really late, but seeing as I got in late the previous night, didn't sleep well and walked all day, I was all set to turn in. Been a lovely 1st day in D.F it must be said. Almost felt like a day in London!

rcpilgrim says:
Nice Blog. I enjoyed it and hope to see some of the same sites with my own eyes soon. Thanks!
Posted on: Feb 09, 2013
reikunboy says:
nice
Posted on: Jul 09, 2011
Abidos says:
Great Blog!
Posted on: Apr 29, 2011
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Paintings on a Saturday morning at…
Paintings on a Saturday morning a…
Paintings on a Saturday morning at…
Paintings on a Saturday morning a…
Paintings on a Saturday morning at…
Paintings on a Saturday morning a…
Paintings on a Saturday morning at…
Paintings on a Saturday morning a…
Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro …
Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro…
Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro …
Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro…
Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro …
Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro…
Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro …
Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro…
Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro …
Inside the Centro Cultural Isidro…
Souvenirs for sale
Souvenirs for sale
El Bazaar Sabado
El Bazaar Sabado
Inside
Inside
Loved these ashtrays and glasswork…
Loved these ashtrays and glasswor…
Colourful shoes!
Colourful shoes!
Rsnt in El Bazaar Sabado
Rsnt in El Bazaar Sabado
Lunch
Lunch
Castillo de Chapultepec
Castillo de Chapultepec
Way up the hill to Castillo de Cha…
Way up the hill to Castillo de Ch…
Anothr shot of the city from Casti…
Anothr shot of the city from Cast…
Castillo de Chapultepec
Castillo de Chapultepec
Murals murals murals...!
Murals murals murals...!
The Malachite room
The Malachite room
More murals
More murals
The gardens @ Castillo de Chapulte…
The gardens @ Castillo de Chapult…
Gardens
Gardens
Castle and gardens (Castillo de Ch…
Castle and gardens (Castillo de C…
I loved the shiny tiles
I loved the shiny tiles
Another nice set of statues
Another nice set of statues
One of my favourites...the garden …
One of my favourites...the garden…
This is cool - esp. the window tha…
This is cool - esp. the window th…
The tower
The tower
En route to the Museo Nacional de …
En route to the Museo Nacional de…
El Museo
El Museo
Inside Museo Nacional de Antropolo…
Inside Museo Nacional de Antropol…
The Statue of independence
The Statue of independence
Italian dinner
Italian dinner
And well.... tequila time!
And well.... tequila time!
Mexico City Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Fairly decent place for after dinner drinks and dessert
Now this isn't your average dining rsnt neither is it exactly easy to locate, but it's a fairly good one, and over the weekends the club comes alive w… read entire review