I feel like I’ve been starting every post with this, but jeez, I haven’t put up anything in so long. It’s not that I haven’t been taking photos, I’ve just been building my portrait portfolio and waiting to post those somewhere else.
I also haven’t been travelling much this fall and that’s because I was saving all my vacation days to go on a 3 week holiday to Mexico. You’re probably assuming that I was lounging on the beach and visiting pyramids the whole time, but no. I’m still so pale that everyone had a hard time believing that I actually went on vacation. We mostly stayed in Mexico City to visit family but we also visited a few pyramids We also took a small break in the nearby towns of Queretaro and Tequisquiapan.
It was my first time in Mexico but I had heard a lot about it, since my favourite travel buddy is from there. I wasn’t quite sure to expect since we were going to be staying in one of the biggest cities in the world (20 million!!) The odd thing is that it doesn’t really feel like a big city – except for the big boulevards in the city center, most of the buildings are under 4 stories high. What gives it that “big city” feel is highway on top of a highway (that’s on top of a regular road). The “second floor” is paid and gives an amazing view of the city, while allowing you to avoid spending your life in traffic.
My travel buddy took me around to many regions in the city, from the really modern ones to the colonial/historical and even to the slums (the highway goes through there to get out of the city, but that’s another story). Mexico City actually reminded me a little of Montreal. It’s a mix of old and new and it’s always trying to do something creative – with architecture, statues, art, and events.
A few days after we recovered from our jet lag, we headed 3 hours east to Queretaro and stayed in an amazing historical hotel that was right in the city center. This hotel was built by a marques during the 18th century and each room is named after an important figure from the Mexican revolution. We also went for a quick lunch (it was pouring rain after lunch) in the nearby historical town of Tequisquiapan.
When most people think of Mexican pyramids, they automatically think of Chichenitza in the Yucatan peninsula. As it turns out, there are a lot of pyramids sprinkled throughout the country from peoples, not just the Aztecs. We visited Teotihuacan, only an hour’s drive from Mexico City. It was peak tourist season so it took us quite a while to climb up the pyramid, but the view was totally worth it.
Some people just couldn’t take the wait and decided to climb up the sides of the pyramid, ignoring the steep slope and the jagged rocks that were sticking out everywhere.
In the end, I never went to the beach, but who cares? I met my travel buddy’s amazing (gigantic) family, shared some difficult but beautiful family moments with them, and discovered all the facets of this interesting and complex country. The sequel to this trip (Mexico: The Return) is coming this summer and I’m so excited! We’ll be going to a city that I haven’t seen yet, and this time for my brother-in-law’s giant Mexican wedding!!!! Ahhh! I can’t wait.
Oops! I almost forgot one of my favourite parts of the trip – the food! I always thought that Mexican food was super spicy and inedible, but holy moly! Real Mexican food is actually amazing!