Mexico City: Part Two
What do you do the day before you plan on walking up and down the ruins of Teotihuacan? Apparently walk to nearly every landmark within the Mexico City limits is not the correct answer. Since our first day in the city was dedicated to becoming a bit more acclimated to our surroundings, the layout of the city, and the altitude, we were a bit too eager to see everything the city had to offer. Since we only had 5 days in one of the world’s largest cities, we decided to pack as much into our second day as possible.
Let’s talk about the elevation change for a second. It’s no joke. The first few days, the flight of stairs to our apartment would make you feel like you just ran up the Art Museum stairs with a gut packed full of cheese whiz. Walking down the street a few blocks could make you winded. Maybe we don’t have the best cardiovascular strength, but going from 200 feet above sea level to over 7000 feet definitely played a part. Despite this, we decided to spend almost every minute of the next ten hours on our feet.
The morning started off with an Uber ride over to the Zocalo ($5.05), where we hunted down some tamales ($1.61) and sat watching the city awaken and soaked in the views of the amazing architecture. From there we set out to punish our feet and lungs.
The first stop was the Palacio Nacional, home to some important Mexican government offices, a museum, and the iconic Diego Rivera murals. We’re not big on museums, but the entrance was free, (despite what the sketchy tour guide outside tried to convince us) and we had to see the murals and check out the building itself. Neither disappointed.
Next was Templo Mayor, the ruins of a historic Mexican temple located right next to the Zocalo. Most of the ruins are visible from the street level without entrance, and we both regretted paying the entrance fee ($7.49) to walk throughout the ruins. However, it was still pretty cool to see the ancient ruins located right in the heart of the city.
Having put our feet through a few hours of walking already, it was time to stop for lunch. We headed to Alameda Central, a park a handful of blocks away from the Zocalo. Bet you can’t guess what we ate. Yep, this time 7 between the two of us (plus a bottle of soda, $8.03). Some steak, some longaniza (a sausage similar to chorizo). We sat and ate at a folding table covered in cilantro with mortars full of chilis. We finished the meal off with some mamey (Andy’s absolute favorite fruit) ice cream ($1.61), while resting and giving our feet a bit of a break in the park.
We knew the next move was to stop briefly at El Angel de la Independencia, on our way to Chapultepec. The question was whether to grab an Uber for a few bucks or walk until our calves looked like Dwayne Johnson’s biceps. Since we’re trying to make our money last as long as possible, we opted for the three mile walk.
Upon arriving at Chapultepec, one of the world’s largest city parks, our feet and legs were done. Known as “Mexico City’s lungs,” the park includes a castle, a zoo, two small lakes, multiple museums, and hundreds of vendors, all of which we were too tired to bother with. Instead, we laid in front of the monument to the Niños Héroes, vowing to return to this behemoth of greenery.
We had to, however, punish our bodies for two more miles. Well, we could’ve taken an Uber, but that would mean one less taco or beer. Plus, knowing you’re walking towards food makes that feeling of your foot bones being crushed in a vice grip hurt just a little less.
Dinner this night was tortas from Tortas al Fuego in the beautiful neighborhood of Condesa. We went with one milanesa and one cochinita and grabbed two for lunch the next day ($11.77 for all 4 tortas, 2 waters, and a juice). After all our bodies had been through, Felicia needed some therapy. An order of freshly fried churros covered in cinnamon (4 huge churros for $1.07) from El Moro, one of Mexico City’s famous churreria, and a front row view of dogs playing in Parque Mexico.
Cochinita torta (left) and El Moro Churreria (right)
All that was left was the three mile walk back to the apartment...
F that. We went with the Uber this time ($3.50).