Days 29 & 30: back to Mexico CityMarch 6 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C
Leaving Tlaxcala takes a climb up a flight of 200 steps so I need to get my breath back before arranging the next and final leg. The bus to the nation's capital takes an easy 2 hours to the eastern terminal. The metro to Sevilla station is anything but easy however; due to delays it's a 15-minute wait to get on the train and the nine stops take a further 45 as more and more people try to pile in. Never again!
It's a relief to make the short walk from Sevilla back to Any's. Sadly I don't get one of the rooms in the old block but the bonus is that Alfonso the proprietor is back from a business trip. He offers a wealth of information on things to see in this Roma district. And it's not hard to find quirky sights such as this charming statue amid the urban bustle, and how they advertise a burger joint while the lights are red.
With my final full day in Mexico City, I'm headed for the Mercado Merced, a covered market three times the size of a football pitch. Everything imaginable is available here and the sweet tooth is indulged with a honey stall and sweets sold in 100 gram measures. I can't resist the chocolate---after all, it was first cultivated in Mexico by the Aztecs as "xocoatl". Everything is arranged with meticulous precision. And three football pitches aren't large enough to accommodate it all, spilling out into the surrounding streets all the 15 blocks to the Zocalo.
After an enquiry of Alfonso about Mexican female singers, he has recommended six, some no longer with us but others very much so. None of his names coincide with another six singers listed in the Rough Guide, so entering a record shop on the pedestrianised Avenida Madero, I am in a quandary. After an hour I find a double CD of a concert performance by three of them (Tania Libertad and Guadalupe Pineda (Alfonso's list) and Eugenia Leon (mine). AND it includes a feature-length DVD. Perfect!
On the final day I walk to another of Alfonso's suggestions, the Mercado Medellin, less frenetic than the Merced but with a local neighbourhood flavour. After lunch at a Sanborn's in the city centre, I hike down Reforma, a multi-lane avenue shaded by trees and punctuated by pompous statues and monuments. At the last one I run into an all-female demonstration and remember that it's International Women's Day.
It's a pity to be leaving Mexico City but it's been a hugely satisfying trip. What would be the high spot? Maybe the Oaxaca carnival but there would be many other candidates. The overnight flight to Heathrow isn't the most comfortable and I'm relieved to get home. Waiting for me is a postcard from my brother of the Yucatan site of Chichen Itza, but it's probably only because he posted it from the USA that it's got here. My own postcards sent from Mexico City at the start of the trip still have nearly a month to go!Read more