Mexico City – The jewel of Latin America

The two day journey from Rwanda to Mexico cost a hefty $3,679.On my flight using KLM Royal Dutch Airline, my first stop was at Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, where I spent close to seven hours before getting a flight to Mexico city.
Zocalo square , section of the Presidential Palace.
Zocalo square , section of the Presidential Palace.

The two day journey from Rwanda to Mexico cost a hefty $3,679.

On my flight using KLM Royal Dutch Airline, my first stop was at Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, where I spent close to seven hours before getting a flight to Mexico city. It is roughly eleven hours to get to Mexico from Amsterdam.

Once I got to Benito Juarez International Airport the most hilarious thing was that on the list of foreigners coming into the country, Africans are not listed - something that confused me at first though I later realised they don’t frequently receive people from Africa.

The airport offers licensed and secure taxi services and it cost me about 300 pesos (USD30 dollars) to go to the Four Points Sheraton Hotel. This costs 125 dollars a night.

The Mexico City metropolitan area is considered one of the world’s largest cities with an estimated population of 20 million people.

The city is graced with historical treasures that can be traced back to the 1500’s.

My first stop in Mexico was the Metropolitan Cathedral.  Standing close to the Templo Mayor on the northern side of the of the Presidential palace downtown Mexico City, the cathedral was built in sections from 1573 to 1813.

There are many historic colonial landmarks here including the famous Aztec Templo Mayor with pyramids, serpent carvings, and shrines that were dedicated to the god of war and the god of rain.

Archaeologists first excavated the ruins in 1978 and found thousands of objects that they believed were offerings. Most of these objects are kept in the Templo Mayor Museum and include clay pots, masks, skulls, knives and a giant sculpture of the goddess of the moon.

At the centre of it all is the Zocalo Square which is considered the largest square in Latin America and the third largest in the world.

However, while touring these places; you need an interpreter as Mexicans only speak Spanish. Inside the museums, there is a provision of recorded material explaining the different objects and their historical backgrounds in English and they cost 40 pesos (USD3.13). The entrance fee to Mexican Museums costs 57pesos (USD4.47).

Some museums, like the Museum of National History in the Chapultepec, charge an extra fee for those with video cameras and in all the museums, flash photography is not permitted.

The National Museum of Anthropology, which contains one of the world’s largest collections of archaeological and anthropological artefacts from Mayan civilisations to the Spanish conquest, is located in Chapultepec Park.

Other activities that take place in this park include Mexican bungee jumping.  The bungee jumpers collect money from people sitting around the park before showcasing their skills. The four participants dress colourfully and jump while playing a flute and a small drum that gives the stunt a melodic touch.

There are several monuments in Mexico City each with their own significance. For instance, the Angel de la Independencia was built to celebrate Mexico’s independence centenary.

A few blocks from the Zocalo square near Alameda Central Park sits the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Bellas Artes Palace); apparently it hosts many art exhibitions and theatrical performances. Nearby is a subway. The subway is the most used means of transport in Mexico. The first ride is nothing short of thrilling. Private taxis (taxi de sitio) cost 100 to 150 peso.

In regards to the night life, there is a massive selection of venues ranging from clubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes. If it’s not a small band playing within the bar, dancing salsa, it is a band of three singers seated outside the restaurant.

I also discovered that most Mexican meals contain pork. Mexican dishes include tacos, burritos, papas (potatoes), Frijoles pintos (pinto beans) and many more.

Standing on the street while eating is normal and actually cheaper.  Mexico is famously known for tequila, an alcoholic drink- there is one which contains a worm and is called Mezcal, also served in tots.

It costs about 100 to 200 pesos (USD10 to 20) on meals and public transport per day. 

The one noticeable thing while walking on the streets of Mexico is the public display of affection (PDA).

In a day, I spotted 10 couples kissing for not less than 5minutes each!

 

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