Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019

By Ali Karim

Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019

After our long trip through Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbeksitan) in Sept-Oct 2019, we decided to spend 2019-2020 New Year’s eve timeframe to explore Mexico City. We stayed initially at the Intercontinental Hotel in the Polanco area; which was a nice, upscale, area.

Mexico City is the capital and largest city of Mexico, as well as the most populous city in North America. It is located in the Valley of Mexico (Valle de México), a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 7,350 ft. The population of Greater Mexico City is approx. 22 million, which makes it the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the world, the second-largest urban agglomeration in the Western Hemisphere (behind São Paulo, Brazil), and the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.

Mexico’s capital is both the oldest capital city in the Americas and one of two founded by indigenous people. The city was originally built on a group of islands in Lake Texcoco by the Mexica (Azteca) in 1325 as Tenochtitlan. It was almost completely destroyed in the 1521 Siege of Tenochtitlan and subsequently redesigned and rebuilt in accordance with the Spanish urban standards. In 1524, the municipality of Mexico City was established. Mexico City was the political, administrative, and financial center of a major part of the Spanish colonial empire. After independence from Spain was achieved, the Mexico City federal district was created in 1824. On 29 January 2016, it ceased to be the Federal District (D.F.) and is now officially known as Ciudad de México (or CDMX)

Some images of parts of Mexico City we visited are below

Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, The Polanco area; very gentrified and clean, with parks, theatres etc
The Polanco area; very gentrified and clean, with parks, theatres etc
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Nice clean outdoor café’s everywhere
Nice clean outdoor café’s everywhere
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Polanco area
Polanco area
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, City center street food stands
City center street food stands
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, The Soumaya Museum in the city center; interesting building design. It had one floor on Khalil Gibran, the Lebanese poet/writer, whose museum we had visited during our trip to Lebanon
The Soumaya Museum in the city center; interesting building design. It had one floor on Khalil Gibran, the Lebanese poet/writer, whose museum we had visited during our trip to Lebanon
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Image to get an idea of the size of the Soumaya Museum building
Image to get an idea of the size of the Soumaya Museum building
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, One happy camper enjoying the sun on the steps to the Soumaya Museum
One happy camper enjoying the sun on the steps to the Soumaya Museum
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Street food taco’s where we were helped by a family to decide on what to order
Street food taco’s; where we were helped by a nearby family to decide on what to order
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Tacos were served on plates covered in a thin clear plastic bag; the salsa's were quite spicy
Tacos were served on plates covered in a thin clear plastic bag; the salsa’s were quite spicy

After a couple of days, we decided to move closer to the happening area, so we moved to the Marriott hotel on the Paseo de la Reforma which is a very wide boulevard running from the city center to the outskirts. And right outside our hotel, on the large roundabout, there was a big stage being built and the main streets cordoned off; we assumed for New Year’s celebration.

Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Getting ready for 2020
Getting ready for 2020

From here, we were able to take the local bus or subway or taxi’s/Uber to get around easily. Some places we visited are below

Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Busy pedestrian street leading to the Plaza de la Constitución (or Zocalo)
Busy pedestrian street leading to the Plaza de la Constitución (or Zocalo)
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, We met up with some Dallas friends at a nearby café; obligatory photo in front of the famous Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de la Santísima Virgen María a los cielos)
We met up with some Dallas friends at a nearby café; obligatory photo in front of the famous Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de la Santísima Virgen María a los cielos)
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, The Metropolitan Cathedral inside is very large and very ornately decorated
The Metropolitan Cathedral inside is very large and very ornately decorated
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Impressive church organ
Impressive church organ
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Intricate carvings on the Metropolitan Cathedral entrance
Intricate carvings on the Metropolitan Cathedral entrance
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Street entertainment by the indigenous tribes selling shamanic ailment cures in the Zocalo
Street entertainment by the indigenous tribes selling shamanic ailment cures in the Zocalo
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Ancient Mayan temple (The ceremonial center of Aztec Tenochtitlán, known as the Teocalli) excavated right in the Zocalo square outside the Metropolitan Cathedral
Ancient Mayan temple (The ceremonial center of Aztec Tenochtitlán, known as the Teocalli) excavated right in the Zocalo square outside the Metropolitan Cathedral
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Waited in line for Taco’s at this popular place in the city center not far from the Cathedral
Waited in line for Taco’s at this popular place in the city center not far from the Cathedral
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, The tacos were worth waiting for; seating was at communal tables, with condiments in the center containers
The tacos were worth waiting for; seating was at communal tables, with condiments in the center containers
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Nativity scenes like these were popular
Nativity scenes like these were popular
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Loaded cake shop nearby
Loaded cake shop nearby
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Impressive Palacio De Bellas Artes in the Centro Historico; nice artwork on display inside
Impressive Palacio De Bellas Artes in the Centro Historico; nice artwork on display inside
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Parks were clean, large, and well frequented
Parks were clean, large, and well frequented

Celebrating the end of 2020

Good times outside our hotel

Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Happy New Year :)
Happy New Year 🙂

The next day, we decided to go to Xochomilco (pronounced so-cho-mil-ko), which is the last remnants of a vast water transport system built by the Aztecs, just outside Mexico City. To get there, we should have only had to take the subway and train, but since there was some maintenance issue, we ended up having to take the subway, bus and train to get there. Some scenes on the way and at Xochomilco.

Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Interesting artwork at the subway station near our hotel
Interesting artwork at the subway station near our hotel
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Xochomilco at last
Xochomilco at last

Once at Xochomilco, we found a gondola to take us around, and boarded with other passengers. Some gondolas had sitting on the edges and others had tables and chairs on them. Some scenes below

Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Friendly locals on neighboring boats
Friendly locals on neighboring boats
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Vendor boats plied the waterways selling everything from cerveza to all kinds of foods, fruits, flowers, trinkets etc
Vendor boats plied the waterways selling everything from cerveza to all kinds of foods, fruits, flowers, trinkets etc
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Families enjoying
Families enjoying
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Traffic jams
Traffic jams

Live music was a must

After this festive day on the water, we went back to Centro Historico area the next day to the Torre Latino tower to get a bird’s eye type of view of Mexico City. This tower is 43 stories high, and the top 2 floors (1 is enclosed, the other is open) provide panoramic views of Mexico City

Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, We were lucky to have bright clear sunny days
We were lucky to have bright clear sunny days
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, It’s not all concrete
It’s not all concrete

Then, we met up with our friends Martha & Ricardo who we had met during our trip to Aruba, and their kids at the Anthropology Museum, which was very interesting learning about the history of Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, An intro to the Mayan civilization & culture; which was very advanced centuries before European history.
An intro to the Mayan civilization & culture; which was very advanced centuries before European history.
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, With our friends at the Museum (left to right) Martha, Catarina, Sofia, Andy and Ricardo
With our friends at the Museum (left to right) Dilshad, Martha, Catarina, Sofia, Andy and Ricardo

After the Museum, we went for a short visit to the zoo opposite, and then Martha & Ricardo took us out for a very nice meal and ice cream with the family, a most enjoyable time. Thanks to Martha & Ricardo.

We finished off our trip with a visit to the Mercado de San Juan…

Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Lots of greens
Lots of greens
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Scorpions?
Scorpions?
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Fried something
Fried something
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, More fried insects
More fried insects
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Fruits
Fruits
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Any idea what this dark green vegetable is towards the bottom of the image?
Any idea what this dark green vegetable is towards the bottom of the image?
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, These salsa’s looked inviting & dangerous at the same time
These salsa’s looked inviting & dangerous at the same time
Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019, Habaneros anyone? I love the colors..
Habaneros anyone? I love the colors..

And so ended our trip to beautiful Mexico City. We felt very safe in Mexico City, and never felt unsafe or threatened. All the people we came across were friendly and helpful at helping us or directing us to where we wanted to go. Everywhere we went was always clean and sanitary; bathrooms everywhere were clean & functional.  Taxis and Ubers were cheap and easy to get around, as was the public transportation of busses, trams, subways and trains. All in all, a great time and we need to remember that their civilization started way before the Spaniards ever set foot in the Americas.

This entry was posted in Mexico, Mexico City 2019, North America

4 thoughts on “Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 2019

  • Ken January 18, 2022 at 8:48 pm Reply

    Thank you for including me! Your information and pictures are outstanding. Much appreciated!

    • Ali Karim January 19, 2022 at 4:57 pm Reply

      Thank you Ken; so glad you are enjoying traveling with us 🙂
      Appreciate the nice feedback

  • Nailla January 12, 2022 at 2:58 pm Reply

    Excellent pics

    • Ali Karim January 13, 2022 at 5:58 pm Reply

      Thanks Nailla

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *