BajaNomad
Not logged in [Login - Register]

Go To Bottom
Printable Version  
Author: Subject: CDMX report and ramblings
Santiago
Ultra Nomad
*****




Posts: 3502
Registered: 8-27-2003
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 3-14-2023 at 02:50 PM
CDMX report and ramblings


First Trip to Mexico City

Day 1: Arrive at main airport (MEX) at 3:45pm. We booked our accommodation in Coyoacan after being warned by friends in January not to take the Fontan Reforma Hotel in the Centro Historical district. Street noise from the main drag was all night long and difficult to for them to sleep. We had booked thru Booking.com so easy to cancel and we rebooked a small hotel in Coyoacon, Casa Tuna. Maybe 12 rooms total, very good water pressure and excellent quality bedding and towels. We had booked taxis for the ride to the hotel and the return trip to the airport via Booking.com. This was not very successful. At the airport, we were told to go to Door 8 and stand in front of the KFC and our driver would be there with our name on a sign.

After 15 minutes and getting texts saying they are there waiting for us, we replied to these texts that no one was in sight, were we supposed to be inside or step outside of door 8 next to the road where the taxi would be? No response for 5 minutes then got a text saying to go door 7. Still no one and then we get a text from a local number asking to describe us so they can find us. We take a selfie and send that. We decide we should be outside where all the other people waiting for a ride are and we take a picture of the big #7 and text that to the local number. Maybe 10 minutes later a nice young woman, obviously frustrated came over to us with out name on the sign. “Why are you at #7, we said #8”; I show her the text telling us to move to #7 and she just shrugs, calls someone on the phone and soon our taxi driver showed up. So basically it took us an hour to get into our taxi with only carryon bags. Would have been much quicker to just get in the taxi line from the get-go.

Day 2: We take most people’s advice and order Uber for the 25-minute drive to the Anthro Museo. Morning rides about $10, afternoon return about $14. I can’t imagine renting a car in CDMX and trying to get around in that traffic and confusing roads and signage. You can save money by doing the busses/subways but at the expense of more stress if you are not conversant in Spanish and don’t mind crowds. Most of the buses we saw had people standing holding on to straps as all the seats were filled. All the uber rides were good, newer cars and very good drivers. All of our drivers had high ratings and over 4000 trips. Uber sends you a photo of the driver and the lic number of the car so you can check that before getting in, then you can follow the car on Uber’s map – every driver followed the route with no exception. My understanding is that they are told to do this so riders don’t feel that they may be taken somewhere they don’t want to go?

Our Uber driver let us out the main intersection at the Museo, Paseo Reforma and Grutas, a pull out for taxis. Look carefully at Google Maps and notice a large plaza on the east side of Grutas, you want to go there. We followed Grutas underneath the plaza which looked to us to be a road, came up the other side and ended walking nearly a mile circumnavigating the entire museo looking for the entrance. At 72 years of age, you don’t want to start a long walking day with a wasted mile. We prepaid our tickets online and got waved in. We spent 2 or 3 hours there, you could spend a lot more if you want to see everything. The café was very good by the way.
After leaving the Museo, we walk south across Reforma to visit the Chapultepec Castle, high on a hill overlooking the city on all four sides. It’s a 20 minute uphill walk, at least, on pavement to get to the Castle but well worth it – easily spend two hours. Our dogs were barking by this point so we Uber back.

Day 3: Uber to the Historical District and start off at the Diego Rivera Mural Museo, small but worth it, maybe 45 minutes. Strolled through the Alameda Central to the Palico de Bellas Atres, an incredible building, worth getting in just to stare at the ceiling. Lots of painting depicting various wars, struggles, martyrdom, sprinkled by young women with large breasts, always exposed. Those alone worth the price of admission. Speaking of which, being over 60 years of age, we were allowed in free to all government museos. The websites said that only nationals over 60 were free so we assumed we would pay but were always waived thru. They have an elevator with an actual real person operator to get to the 3rd floor which was helpful for us. We were still sore from Day 2.

Walked the 4 or 5 blocks to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City to see what may be the largest pipe organ on the planet. The church is ornate in the extreme, ostentatious doesn’t even come close; but will either cause you to convert or reaffirm your choice to have never done so. We are in the ladder camp and left shaking our heads. By the way, the huge plaza surrounding the church was full that day with indigenous people who were giving anyone who would pay a smoke clarification ritual. They were burning some sort of plant and rubbing their client’s hair with it.

After that went to the Templo Mayor Museo, an archaeological dig where many pyramids have been built on top of each other, most in the 1400s. A long walk, about an hour, to go thru the entire area but very interesting. Don’t miss this.
Had lunch at Café de Tacuba on Calle de Tacuba on the way back to the Alameda. This was recommended to us and we do as well.
The historical area is heavily visited, may over 2 thousand people were in the general area. However, the buildings we were in were never overcrowded inside, but the ongoing show, party, music, vendors on the outside is immense and to be honest, a bit overwhelming. We were happy to Uber back to Casa Tuba and have glass of wine in garden.

Day 4: walked to Frida Kahlo house/museo with Diego Rivera’s house next door. This is a very popular museo, you must by tickets online of a start time, one each 15 minutes from 10:00am until closing. We selected the 10:15am. There is no box office, only online and they are generally sold out for a week so don’t wait to get tickets. Get them before you leave. They turned away many people who just walked up thinking they could get in. One of the highlights of our trip, her story is incredible. Once again, a full hour at least.
Spent the rest of the day at the Vivera Coyoacan, an immense area of trees and plants with lots of jogging trails in use and in the central part of Coyoacan at the various parks and plazas, Sunday is family day so lots of people, music and food.
Day 4: Another reason not to use Booking.com for taxi to airport – our driver never showed even after multiple texts, finally she sent a message that she wasn’t going to make it. But had an Uber driver in 6 minutes and made it to the airport with 90 minutes to spare. Still waiting on the refund……

Some general thoughts and suggestions.
1. If you are gay (especially lesbian) intolerant don’t go. Openly kissing on park benches with family and kids running around. Lots of people in some level of transition. Many young men dressed in what used to be 1980-90 gay dress – Freddie Mercury style. Clearly this is tolerated and/or accepted in CDMX – or maybe just the Coyoacon area? Definitely not Baja vibe.
2. Eating out is extremely popular, there are easily 3 or 4 cafes and restaurants in each block, not to mention the food carts everywhere.
3. Get a GOOD pair of walking shoes and get them broken in – don’t forget the socks as they are equally important. You will long stop caring on how good you think you look when you get sore feet and blisters.
4. Increase you water intake and decrease your alcohol, the 7200’ elevation will wipe you out if you are not acclimated. It did me the first day. Good news is you do not have to carry water (a pint’s a pound the world around) – every corner has a drink vendor. We would just buy a small bottle every few hours and chug it. Worked wonders keeping you going.
View user's profile
soulpatch
Nomad
**




Posts: 399
Registered: 7-30-2005
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 3-14-2023 at 03:13 PM


So happy to see you enjoyed the city.
It is pretty awesome.

I loved running the tree lined streets, the vibra, the museums, Bellas Artes for certain, the live music opportunities, I could easily spend a couple of months there.

Uber is definitely the way to go there since they are readily available.
I did drive my F150 CC there quite a bit which was interesting!

I look forward to my next visit.
View user's profile
RFClark
Super Nomad
****




Posts: 2410
Registered: 8-27-2015
Member Is Offline

Mood: Looking forward to 2024

[*] posted on 3-14-2023 at 05:25 PM


I worked there for most of a year in the late -80’s. Mostly traveled by subway or in those days VW bug taxies. Neither was for the faint of heart! One taxi decided not to wait in traffic and drove 500M the wrong way in a bus only lane going the other way. Yes there were oncoming busses!

Still wasn’t enough time to see everything. Kissing your spouse or significant other under the statue of the angel on Reforma was supposed to bring good luck in marriage. I guess it worked cause we’re still together.

I’m glad you enjoyed your visit. It took me a couple weeks to adjust to the elevation there,
View user's profile
surabi
Ultra Nomad
*****




Posts: 3575
Registered: 5-6-2016
Member Is Online


[*] posted on 3-21-2023 at 08:50 PM


" If you are gay (especially lesbian) intolerant don’t go. Openly kissing on park benches with family and kids running around. Lots of people in some level of transition. Many young men dressed in what used to be 1980-90 gay dress – Freddie Mercury style. Clearly this is tolerated and/or accepted in CDMX – or maybe just the Coyoacon area? Definitely not Baja vibe."

What a weird thing to post. Mexico City is a huge cosmopolitan city, of course it isn't a Baja vibe, and of course there is a visible gay, lesbian, trans community in all big cities. People who are offended by what is none of their business shouldn't travel outside their own comfortable little world.
View user's profile
BajaBlanca
Select Nomad
*******




Posts: 13172
Registered: 10-28-2008
Location: La Bocana, BCS
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 3-22-2023 at 01:48 AM


We went to Mexico City a number of times, maybe 4 or 5? It is such an interesting place.

There is a cafe nearish to the Palacio de Bellas Artes which is a must, should you return: SANBORNS - casa de los azulejos (the tiled house)

Very traditional and even Pancho Villa ate there. There is a photo of him, the place is two stories and the servers wear beautiful traditional dresses.

We have always stayed at a small hotel called HOTEL SAN DIEGO. Reasonable prices and close to the main square, not noisy in the back rooms and an OK restaurant.





Come visit La Bocana


https://sites.google.com/view/bajabocanahotel/home

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.
View user's profile Visit user's homepage
soulpatch
Nomad
**




Posts: 399
Registered: 7-30-2005
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 3-22-2023 at 05:05 PM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaBlanca  
We went to Mexico City a number of times, maybe 4 or 5? It is such an interesting place.

There is a cafe nearish to the Palacio de Bellas Artes which is a must, should you return: SANBORNS - casa de los azulejos (the tiled house)

Very traditional and even Pancho Villa ate there. There is a photo of him, the place is two stories and the servers wear beautiful traditional dresses.

We have always stayed at a small hotel called HOTEL SAN DIEGO. Reasonable prices and close to the main square, not noisy in the back rooms and an OK restaurant.


If you're really into food there are just a million national and international choices, many of which are top tier.

I just love all the trees in the city, to run through so many parks on sidewalks that are actual sidewalks is a treat in itself.

I've been three times and I will go again.

I like it there during Spring Break since half the nation migrates to the beach at that time......that way it is only semi-crowded in the popular areas.
View user's profile
Santiago
Ultra Nomad
*****




Posts: 3502
Registered: 8-27-2003
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 3-23-2023 at 06:10 AM


Quote: Originally posted by soulpatch  

I like it there during Spring Break since half the nation migrates to the beach at that time......that way it is only semi-crowded in the popular areas.


That's a great idea.
View user's profile
elgatoloco
Ultra Nomad
*****




Posts: 4328
Registered: 11-19-2002
Location: Yes
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 3-23-2023 at 08:51 AM


Very informative report and thread thanks to all for the enlightenment. We are planning a trip for 2024 and have penciled in spring.

Someone told us that Christmas day has the best air quality in CDMX because nobody goes anywhere. :saint:

We have been to Costa Rica four times. The first time was during semana santa. We had been told to avoid the capitol city San Jose but it seemed eerily like a ghost town with a lot of places closed and streets empty. It took us a day or two to realize that EVERYONE was out of town and mostly at the beach. Kind of like Baja during that time.




MAGA
Making Attorneys Get Attorneys

View user's profile
chippy
Super Nomad
****




Posts: 1702
Registered: 2-2-2010
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 3-23-2023 at 12:26 PM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by elgatoloco  
Someone told us that Christmas day has the best air quality in CDMX because nobody goes anywhere. :saint:

Tossup; Winter in that valley can be inversion time, i.e. trapped in a stagnant pool of scarcely-breathable soup. The social vibe around Christmas is special, but you can experience that in many other less asphyxiating towns of the Bajío.

If you're considering air quality as a governing factor, summer rains tend to clean things up, and as SoulPatch notes, Easter traditionally reduces traffic substantially.


I´ve seen some of the best and worst DF air quality in dec. The best being after a storm passed thru leaving the clearest air I've ever seen there. The views of Popo with a ton of snow was priceless! The worst was during an inversion layer as mentioned by Lencho.
View user's profile
elgatoloco
Ultra Nomad
*****




Posts: 4328
Registered: 11-19-2002
Location: Yes
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 3-23-2023 at 05:21 PM


Good to know. I was born in Pasadena, CA and spent first two decades in the San Gabriel Valley where geography and weather patterns dictated whether you could go out at recess or stay in the classroom so bad air is in my blood, literally. :lol:

Spring is target for us for sure.




MAGA
Making Attorneys Get Attorneys

View user's profile
soulpatch
Nomad
**




Posts: 399
Registered: 7-30-2005
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 3-23-2023 at 08:06 PM


As Lencho states the inversion layer in the Bajio pretty much sucks.
All the air is tamped down..... summertime is the best air, of course.

Chippy got lucky with that winter rain!
Those are a real gift when they happen.

With the explosive growth of Querétaro and the other industrial cities in the Bajio air is just bad in the winter.

Winter is beach time where it is paradise and you forget all about August and September while lying to yourself that October it will cool down and be less humid!
View user's profile

  Go To Top

 






All Content Copyright 1997- Q87 International; All Rights Reserved.
Powered by XMB; XMB Forum Software © 2001-2014 The XMB Group






"If it were lush and rich, one could understand the pull, but it is fierce and hostile and sullen. The stone mountains pile up to the sky and there is little fresh water. But we know we must go back if we live, and we don't know why." - Steinbeck, Log from the Sea of Cortez

 

"People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." - Theodore Roosevelt

 

"You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them or to them." - Malcolm Forbes

 

"Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you." - Jim Rohn

 

"The best way to get the right answer on the internet is not to ask a question; it's to post the wrong answer." - Cunningham's Law







Thank you to Baja Bound Mexico Insurance Services for your long-term support of the BajaNomad.com Forums site.







Emergency Baja Contacts Include:

Desert Hawks; El Rosario-based ambulance transport; Emergency #: (616) 103-0262