A Bit of Fun in Mexico

Hello again.  I know it has been ages.  As with all of us, life has filled up so quickly and time has flown by.  My bucket has been filled with a bit of fun and lots of studying.  I have been taking two, 4 credit graduate classes this winter term (online) along with working full time and I have to say, I do NOT recommend it.  One class ok, not two.  But then again, they are done and spring break is next week!  So enough about that and on to the ‘bit of fun’ part.

I truly haven’t done much for the last three months, besides work and then come home and study.  So last weekend when I finally turned in my final projects I had a glorious, entire day to do, well, anything but be on my computer.  So I left my apartment.  It was big.  I almost felt tentative.  I’m serious.  But by the first step beyond the threshold I was in heaven.  It has been interesting weather here: rain, big thunder, sun, clouds and then start all over again.  But last weekend it was perfect.  Just because I had finished my classes. :-).

Since I hadn’t known I would be done and have a whole day to be frivolous with, I didn’t have any plans. Not that you really need them here, there is so much going on.  So I started walking.  And walking.  After an hour I ended up in the zocalo (Plaza de la Constitucion) – the big, huge plaza in front of a big, huge ornate cathedral.  The zocalo or parque central is found in all Mexican (and I can vouch for Guatemala too) villages on up to metropolises. Most, if not all are anchored by a church and usually government buildings.  Some are stunning with beautiful gardens within.  Mexico City’s zocalo is all stone and it is gigantic.  This is where many of the protests assemble as it fits thousands of people.

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Yes, I know. You are wondering why I didn’t just simply step two feet to the right to get the darn flag pole to the left of the church. Well, I was maneuvering through traffic and decided impromptu to take this and didn’t position well. Sorry.

IMG_3347_2 The flag was huge and the wind was perfect to just keep it flapping gracefully.

The cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana), built in 1573 has had numerous face lifts and is quite impressive to wander through.

ChurchThen after a bite of lunch over looking the square, I wandered down the side streets.  I found the tourists.  Wow.  Packed.  Lots of local music, large costumed, animated characters, vendors etc.  But it was so lovely out and everyone seemed in the stroll mode, so it was actually pleasant.

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This was a church along one of the streets. I like all the tile work.

After an ice cream, I began wandering back towards my part of town.  This took me by the Palacio de Belles Artes building which unfortunately wasn’t open.  But apparently is filled with tributes to famous musicians.  The building itself is gorgeous.

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I made it home about an hour later and I was pooped.  My body is used to sitting in a chair looking at a computer screen.  What a great change.

This last weekend I had another couple mini-outings.  Nothing spectacular, but it has been fun to explore what is within walking distance.

Saturday I walked through a neighborhood that I usually just walk straight through to, to get to the big Chapultepec park.  But this time I turned left.  I wandered the vast neighborhood of San Miguel for two hours.  The streets were small and full of flowers.  The Jacaranda (vibrant, purple trees), Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, in all its array of colors… are in full bloom right now.  The hummingbirds are going crazy!  I see them everywhere.

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IMG_3415A dreamy walk.  I had my headphones one.  I usually do not do that as I like to hear the sounds of the city, the people, the birds.  But I wanted to be in my own world and just see.  Of course I was playing Latin jazz, so I was at least appropriate.

Sunday I jumped on a “free” (you pay $35 for the year) ecobici bike and followed the flow of thousands. Every Sunday since 2007, Mexico City has closed its main arteries and allowed only bicycles (and runners, roller-bladers, strollers).  Its heaven.  Well, the roads are still rough and pot-holed, but there aren’t any cars and you can ride on these small, quaint streets and large boulevards for miles and miles.  There are two loops; 20 miles – open once a month and 14 miles all the other Sundays.  It was great.  Me and my three speed went the distance.  Weaving in and out of children on tricycles, dogs running by their humans, runners, walkers… in the main downtown and then all the way out to where only the serious bikers go (yep, that’s me) and back again.  I saw so much of the city in all its various forms.  Really felt freeing.  I didn’t take any photos – but here is one I took when I first arrived of the bikes and some riders near my apartment:

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So I’ll leave you with these last photos of fun art I have come across in my walks.

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This is an office building. There are offices inside the artwork as well.

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It has been truly lovely here.  I have to say I haven’t felt such a calm for a long time.  Have a great week.

~ Gretchen

PS. All photos taken with my iPhone 6.  Not all great, especially when you zoom in as far as it will let you – but not bad.

 

 

 

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Filed under Adventure, Mexico, Photography, Writing

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