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Three Days In Mexico City

Finding ourselves unexpectedly in Puebla for a couple of months had us thinking about how to make the most of being here. Puebla is just a couple of hours from Mexico City, a place neither of us had been before. How could we be so close and not visit? Of course the answer is that we couldn't miss the opportunity to spend some time in one of the largest and most intriguing cities in the world.

As we found on previous visits to the country, buses in Mexico are an excellent way to travel between major metropolitan areas. If bus travel isn't something you would normally consider maybe you haven't been on some of Mexico's luxury buses. Think swanky not skanky! We paid 192 Pesos (about 11 US Dollars) for a luxury class ticket on an Estrella Roja bus for a journey that lasted a couple of hours. Luxury class includes large leather reclining seats, refreshments, on-board WiFi, movies and restrooms on board. If you want to save a few bucks there are lower classes of ticket on less fancy buses but we decided to splash out!.

Once in Mexico City we got around mostly on the Metro. It's very easy to navigate if a little hot and crowded at times but at only 5 Pesos for any length of journey it's a steal. We reserved a room at the Room Mate Valentina, a modern and clean boutique hotel located in the colorful Zona Rosa district. This neighborhood was perfect for us as it was lively, with bars, restaurants and coffee shops. It is the LGBT neighborhood of the city and we had heard it was quite the party place, but really it wasn't that loud. It was also centrally located to everywhere we planned to visit, close to Centro Historico and the other city neighborhoods we intended to explore.

We stayed for 3 nights giving us just a couple of days to explore the city but we got enough of a flavor to know we will return and the next time for months not days. We briefly went to the Centro Historico to see the incredible Palacio de Bellas Artes, one of the most magnificent buildings we have ever seen. But after swinging by the cathedral we decided to skip the center of the city in favor of some of the leafy neighborhoods. Mexico City has some fantastic museums and landmarks, but with our limited time we prioritized and decided they could wait for another visit.

The Incredible Palacio de Bellas Artes
Very busy - Centro Historico
On our first day we explored Coyoacán and San Ángel and we did pay one tourist attraction a visit. The Frida Kahlo Museum provided a wonderful insight into how she and Diego Rivera lived and how she expressed her pain and optimism through her art. Coyoacán is very pretty with cobbled streets, a lively market and large public gardens.

Plaza in Coayacan
The next day, after our brief trip to Centro we headed for La Condesa, another leafy middle class neighborhood with wonderful parks filled with people walking their dogs, feeding the geese, playing football, kick boxing, dancing and hula hooping. The parks in the city seem very well utilized by all! In the evening we went to what turned out to be our favorite neighborhood Roma Norte. We didn't get time to explore by day (next time) but the bar and restaurant scene were wonderful. I will write another post on what we ate while in Mexico City (Spoiler Alert! It was all good).

The antidote to Centro Historico - La Condesa

Just one of the activities we saw in the busy parks
We came away with a wonderful impression of Mexico City. Of course there are lots of less fortunate people living in neighborhoods that have extreme poverty. We passed by some of them on the way into the city but the central district neighborhoods we strolled were vibrant, young and progressive with broad boulevards, neighborhood parks and a cafe culture that gave it a distinctly European feel. Just a few days was all we needed to decide that spending several months here would be part of our future travel plans.

For more pictures take a look at our Facebook Photo Album.

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