“slept in” until 8:15am – 9:15am Dallas time. Just came back from a very, very full day. I managed to have an entire four-bed room to myself last night. That was peaceful.
Woke up this morning, headed for Chapultepec Hill, what started off as a military camp, then a military fort, then a “Castle”, later a military academy, and now a museum of the Mexican Revolution. Grabbed a coffee, hopped down to the metro (subway), headed for Cuauhtemoc station, couldn’t figure out why I was in a meat market, or why there wasn’t a park nearby. After determining what direction I needed to go, I walked about 12 city blocks before I got to an intersection on the map I recognized. It wasn’t until 8 hours later I realized I needed to go to Chapultepec station instead. Who would have guessed there are two stations on the same line within two stops of eachother that start with a C and end with a C. Oops. So I ended up walking 12 additional blocks west, and probably 2 extra south. Crossed over a highway overpass not designed for pedestrians, hopped a fence and made it into the park.
Chapultepec Castle is beautiful. It sits on top of a hill (accessed by a half mile steep sloped path that spirals up the hill) near the center of the city, and you have a view in 360 degrees of the entire city for as far as the eye can see (which is about 5 miles due to smog). It’s still very impressive to look in all directions and see nothing but urban landscape. The whole thing is polished marble and filled with enormous wall murals (the ceilings on the bottom floor are 20′ easily). The second floor boasts even better views (not obscured by trees) and the third/roof floor has private apartments and a rooftop garden.
At my guidebook’s suggestion I hopped over to the Museum of Anthropology. They weren’t kidding when they said it was a 2 day affair. The museum boasts almost a quarter million square feet of space of display area, and double that in outdoor spaces. It’s huge. Between what’s written in english (in a spanish speaking museum, is a lot, really) and the walking audio tour, there’s enough to fill a freshman college course on the subject of mexican american people.The museum is laid out in a U shape, with an enormous fountain in the middle, and also a turtle pond in the other end. outside of the U is a series of lifesize recreations of temples of the various periods and locations of early Mexican civilizations, which really help mentally place all these stone relics on pedestals where they might have actually gone. Amazingly, whenever there was a major crypt found, instead of showing it off at ground level, they make you walk down steps into an underground chamber similar to where the crypt was originally found. Its a very impressive museum that is quite worthy of the “world class” title it gets from everyone else. The Kimball Art Museum in Dallas is a pale comparison in terms of quality, and particularly depth and breadth.
Walked about a mile to the nearest metro station “Auditorium”, took that north and switched over to the blue line back home. Finally ran into my roomie he’s a law student with some internet startup business. Time to zone out for a bit – I’ve been on my feet walking continuously since 9am now (11 hrs). My feet hurt. But my second impression of Mexico City is much better than the first.