Centro Historico: Bellas Artes, Mural Museo Diego Rivera and around the Zocalo

Mexico City Travel Blog

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Outside Bellas Artes

My 2nd day in Mexico City was a lot quieter than the first and very relaxed. One advantage of not planning too much was that this holiday would do what a holiday is supposed to do - make you RELAX! I woke up around 8am and wanted to be the first to have b'fast (b'fast is free/included). the b'fast by itself has improved vastly from 2008, it's now buffet style with diff types of bread, cereal, fruits, really can't complain if you're veg. As their scrambled egg is mixed with ham, they'd make separate scrambled egg and tomato for me.

Plan for the day was to visit lots of museums, first around the area and then perhaps the Frida Kahlo and Trosky museums, but the day had other plans in store for me! I finished b'fast,  returned to the room and actually slept for another hour (yes I DID).

Inside...more murals! This city loves its murals!
And headed out again at 11am.  The nicest part about today was that it was a Sunday, lots of people outside and I swear some of the roads around Zocalo would not look mismatched in Paris. Everyone talks about the Spanish culture in Mexico, no one ever seems to remember that the French came here first. I loved seeing the roadside cafes, the walkers, cyclists and joggers, very very Euro.

The first call of the day was Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes. I had only passed through this on my last trip and frankly, who isn't impressed by it's towering structure including the very vibrant yellow coloured dome? It stands out, and even though it seems modern doesn't come across as too tacky or desparate, but can hold its own against more older domes, if you get my drift.

More murals...help!
Now, on to the "bad" news... the experience inside was very boring. I think the biggest problem I had is that inside, it sort of looks like a 5 star hotel or a fancy mall, the counters are all over the place, you have to buy a ticket to take pictures, and the opportunities to take pictures themselves are very scarce. There are a bunch of murals (all Diego Rivera's, bless him) and hi-fi halls with art collections. I went to a French woman's, and the paintings were all very boring. I was out of the place in less than 2 hours, a lot lesser than I had earmarked.

But with the bad comes the good... this gave me ample time to walk around the park Alameda Central with the Sunday market, tons of stalls and tons of people. The road (Avenida Juarez) was blocked off for cars and converted into a bikers and skaters' lane only.

These are paintings submitted by kids
I then made my way to the Museo Mural Diego Rivera which again, was free entry but you had to pay for the use of camera.

The interesting thing I'm noticing about Mexico City is that every other building is a museum, and at times you almost think that all you need is a dozen portraits or less,  a house,  et voila - open up a museum! The Diego Rivera museum was good, but a lot of non-Rivera portraits and I got done fairly soon, in about 30 minutes. Lunch was at another italian rsnt nearby (Avenida Hidalgo), this time it was awful pizza (and I mean awful) but fairly good minestrone soup. It was already around 3pm, and I started evaluating if I want to catch the Kahlo and Trosky museums after all... plus, it was getting fairly cloudy and I didn't want to get stuck back in the rain.

The Correo building across the road

Walked back to the Zocalo, and my friend from California who was also travelling with me had found out that they have a trip up the top of the Catedral Metropolitana at 4pm. So paid about 15 Mex$ for that. I would say that it was fairly a waste. The beauty of Mexico City can also be its biggest problem, in that, from atop, the place looks about very "average" to put it mildly. The skyscrapers kind of get in the way and it almost looks, dare I say it - American. Thankfully it only lasted for about 30 minutes with the climax being ringing the bell for us to hear (dumb idea) after prattling on about the history that none of us really cared for.

The rest of the evening was actually very pleasant - the weather was brilliant, and I went for a walk around the Zocalo.

Street vendors opposite the palace
Was very nice indeed. I spent an hour or so walking and headed back to the hotel around 6pm. They have a lovely terrace (shame the lift wasn't working). I ordered myself some tea and did my favourite job - planespotting. The hotel is part of the flightpath before the plane lands. After sunset, went for a walk around town  trying to find a veg resnt for my friend. The problem with Mexico City is the absolute lack of veg food. The place to avoid are Chinese rsnts as all they serve is chicken and beef! I was so hungry I got myself some fries from McDs (God bless those spicy jalapeno sauces), and settled on a really plush coffee shop where I had brilliant food (forgot what it's called, it was like nachos in a spicy tomato sauce), and got back to the hotel to eat a chocolate cake of tres leches, which was also very good. Set off to bed around 11pm...

So day 2 of Mexico city done, and another very relaxing one. I think today the pulse of this pretty big town just "clicked" and I never felt more comfy. Plus, I noticed my Spanish was markedly improving. So it was all good!

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Outside Bellas Artes
Outside Bellas Artes
Inside...more murals! This city lo…
Inside...more murals! This city l…
More murals...help!
More murals...help!
These are paintings submitted by k…
These are paintings submitted by …
The Correo building across the road
The Correo building across the road
Street vendors opposite the palace
Street vendors opposite the palace
Yes, even Mexico has pirated DVDs.…
Yes, even Mexico has pirated DVDs…
Colourful vendor/goods
Colourful vendor/goods
Colourful arrangement of veggies
Colourful arrangement of veggies
Outside the Diego Rivera Mural Mus…
Outside the Diego Rivera Mural Mu…
Inside the Diego Rivera museum
Inside the Diego Rivera museum
Inside the Diego Rivera Museum
Inside the Diego Rivera Museum
Inside the Diego Rivera Museum
Inside the Diego Rivera Museum
Inside Cathedral Metropolitana
Inside Cathedral Metropolitana
Atop... although the view of the c…
Atop... although the view of the …
The belltower @ the Cathedral
The belltower @ the Cathedral
View of the Zocalo from atop the C…
View of the Zocalo from atop the …
Some exhibitions were going on wit…
Some exhibitions were going on wi…
Random shot of a street, Im losin…
Random shot of a street, I'm losi…
I love it! I just wouldnt sit in …
I love it! I just wouldn't sit in…
Random shot of a street and kids p…
Random shot of a street and kids …
Another random shot... loved it fo…
Another random shot... loved it f…
Hello Victorias Secret! Buy em o…
Hello Victoria's Secret! Buy 'em …
My favourite hobby is planespottin…
My favourite hobby is planespotti…
And Air Frances jumbo arriving fr…
And Air France's jumbo arriving f…
KLMs daily trip from Amsterdam...…
KLM's daily trip from Amsterdam..…
Zocolo... always a treat for the e…
Zocolo... always a treat for the …
Dinner
Dinner
and dessert - chocolate tres leches
and dessert - chocolate tres leches