North America · 131 Days · 312 Moments · September 2015

Another Trip to My Mexico

27 January 2016

Home again! & snow!
And Kushok came to pick us up!
Grand Canyon & then almost in Edmonton!
This image is a screen shot of the Health app dashboard. The first image shows steps walked for the year. It is NOT entirely counts slow car rides as walking! The 2nd image shows flights of stairs climbed. Also not entirely true. But what it DOES show is the spikes in my activity when traveling! The spike at the beginning of last year is India, & the spike this year is Mexico! My hope is that NEXT year, I can have 2 spikes: Bodh Gaya, India in January (?) for a little Buddhist pilgrimage & Mexico in April &/or May to visit all my new friends & friends I've reconnected with!
More over DF
In the air over Mexico City
Views before take-off from Benito Juarez Internacional Aeropuerto.
A cool shot on the airplane.
A last view of Mexico, the airport & its planters that look like styrofoam cups.

26 January 2016

Our last supper in Mexico. Sigh! Cafe El Popular is right next door to our hotel in DF. El Popular has been in operation since the 1800s. There are photos from the Revolution (1910 or so) which show Pancho Villa riding past! It is open 24 hours.
This is Miguel Hernandez. He has a shop in Mercado Artesanía in DF. He specializes in 2 forms of Huichol art: A kind of "painting" made with thread. The thread is wound into shapes on a flat surface. The 2nd uses beads adhered to a form. The beads are arranged in beautiful patterns, often with symbolic meaning. He has what I think is the best selection of high quality Huichol art.
A very interesting buliding from the 1800s. Like many buildings in Mexico, it is decorated with beautiful handmade tiles.
This is a bust of Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec king & the son of Moctézuma. When the Spaniards could find no more gold, they tortured Cuauhtémoc & his wife. They did this by binding them & putting their feet in a fire. There was no more gold for the Spaniards.
This morning, the Xocalo was occupied by bomberos (firemen) of DF. There are 2 "ladder" trucks to ride up! The smaller one has a long boom arm that extends out. The taller one has a fully extended boom which you ride up on a fenced platform. It takes 40 seconds to ride to the top & 45 seconds to come down.

25 January 2016

Part of my seed collection from Xilitla.
Environmentally sound transport in DF: Electric taxis & bicycles for rent!
Night views of Templo Mayor & the street behind the Cathedral.
& more DF views
Views around DF
Views from our room at Hotel Washington!
3 more blocks! And a very good shot of Torre Latinoamericano!
Almost to Hotel Washington!...We can see the Torre Latinoamericano (the pointy skyscraper)!
More taxi trip. In the last 2 pics is a yellow object. It is very large yellow metal abstract horse called the caballito (the little horse).
Taking a taxi to our "home" in DF...
The bus station in DF
Entering DF
Almost at DF!
Here are some pics of the bus seats. They have leg rests! They also show movies & provide an internet connection! The last pic shows the cool socks Susie received from Ken & Doris, my brother & his wife.
More on the road to DF (lol, it will always DF to me!)
Some scenery on the trip from Querétaro to Ciudad de Mexico. When we last visited MX, the capital was: Mexico City, Federal District (Ciudad de Mexico, Distrito Federal). So, Chilangos (Mexico City residents) refer to it as DF. Now it is officially just Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico).
The beginning of the day in Centro Histórico, Querètaro.

24 January 2016

A pretty window at night.
This cathedral is across the street from a lovely little park with fountains. On certain nights, the fountains dance to music, with an accompanying light show!
The child's car in the pic is remotely controlled by kid's dad!
There was a change in plan... I had 2 al pastor, 1 lengua, & 1 cabeza (the meat from a cow's head!). Lengua is very rich & tastes like ultra-beef. Cabeza is also quite rich but with a more refined beef flavour. With apologies to my friend Norgyun, I really enjoyed cabeza!
Today I had tacos from a taqueria rather than a restaurant. They were sooo much better! In fact, so good I forgot to get a picture! Later, I'm getting more!! 2 al Pastor, 1 chorizo, & 1 legua! (Pork cooked on shwarma (donair) grill with pineapple; spicy pork sausage; & lastly, tongue!) Report to follow!
Today we visited Querétaro's Alameda. It is close to the same size as Mexico City's Alameda. It also contains a labeled botanical garden. The labels give the Mexican common names & the Latin name in both script & braille. The 1st pic is a jasmine, with an interesting flower form. The last pic shows one side of a piece of art in the park. It is formed & painted concrete on a cement panel.
A pretty pigeon.
The street cleaners. This is a common sight in Mexico. They work very hard a keeping everywhere clean. Basically, they sweep the towns & cities clean EVERY day! And they do so with pride. Mexico is generally cleaner than Canada or the USA.

23 January 2016

A very beautiful & unique door knocker at Hotel Acueducto, a very beautiful, classy, tranquil, & understated hotel in Centro Historico, Querétaro. It is owned & operated by the same wonderful people who own & operate Meson Acueducto. Mesons & posadas are budget accomodations.
Querétaro. The brightly coloured buildings are one community in Q. Q is a modern city with some very interesting housing developments.
On the road to Querétaro.
The morning from the rooftop of the hostel in SLP. Today we head to Querétaro to visit our friend, Edward. Edward is a very interesting & intelligent fellow we meet on our last trip to Querétaro. His family & he manage Méson Acueducto, our favorite hotel in the Centro Histórico of Querétaro. They are very kind & caring.

22 January 2016

More sights at night in SLP
Sights at night in SLP
For supper, we went back to Cafe Corta'u. We forgot to take pics of our food before we gobbled it up! It was very very good! I had "jarochas de barbacoa y chorizo" (wheat tortillas with cheese & barbacoa (meat that is roasted with spices in banana leaves, it is very tender & flavourful) or chorizo (a sausage of pork & spices. It is also very delicious). Paul had "molletes de barbacoa" (open faced sandwiches with refried beans, cheese & barbacoa). Paul loved 'em. And Sue had "torta de bacalau" ( a sandwich of dried salt cod (soaked, then gently squeezed to remove moisture. It is cooked with onions, potatoes, & olives) & then Paul & Sue had "pay de queso" (cheese pie with a chocolate cookie crust. The cheese was flavoured with almonds & coffee. It is NOT the cheese cake we are used too!) The last pic shows the a great condiment: sesame seed, garlic & arbol chiles toasted then baked in oil!)
This is the dorm we are staying in while in SLP
More sights around San Luis Potosi.
This is the Museum de Arte Contemporáneo (Museum of Contemporary Art). The museum building is in a very classical style but the others around it are newer. It almost looks like everything was shoved out of the way & the museum dropped in!
This is a pic of some modern sculpture outside a museum. The dark sculpture is an interpretation of the stages of growth of a cactus. We couldn't read most of the sign, but it was clear that the museum was hosting a show with the theme of "Cactus's".
Jonathan playing with Victoria! Jonathon is a very cool. & he is a tattoo artist. Victoria is a English Sheep dog. She's very playful & likes scratches behind the ear!
And here's a few more from the mask museum. Drums! These made me think of my baby brother!
Some of the exhibits at the mask museum. Pic 4 is NOT wallpaper. The patterns are raised gesso that was then painted.
Some of the sights in San Luis Potosi
Our breakfast at Cafe Corta'u.
Susan & Monica, our host at Hikuri Hostel
Our host, Monica & la perro, Victoria.
A view from the roof of Hikuri Hostel in San Luis Potosi. Hikuri is in a very comfortable old building.

21 January 2016

The bus station in Ciudad Villes, where we change buses. The birds are all grackles.
A living fence. The post are live wood & will root & continue growing into trees!
One last view of Xilitla from the bus
We are preparing to leave Las Posas & Casa Caracol. Sigh We will most definitely be back! On to San Luis Potosi!
Daybreak on our final morning at Casa Caracol

20 January 2016

One last night pic at Casa Caracol
The vines at Casa Caracol at night.
Notice the foot pedal operated flush at the bottom right!
The last supper at Cafe Jardin.
Rodo & Paulinas marvelous "Fred Flinstone" kitchen.
Paul trying to drag me from Las Posas!! Lol!
Our last views of Las Posas
Today, we gained access to Edward James original Mexican home. When he first came to this valley, he had a coffee plantation. The open plaza in the pics is for drying coffee beans. The tree laying in the plaza was not there when Paul was here, 3 years ago.
The flowers of what we call Split Leaf Philodendron, but what is actually a breadfruit relative.
Some of the last views of Las Pisas.
Our last meal at the Las Posas Cafe: for Sue, Pastel de chocolate; for Brad, Quinoa with vegies; & for Paul, Quiche. The 2nd last is pic is condiments, salt, cane sugar, & soy sauce with jalapenos! The last pic, Susie in the cafe.
A floor mosaic at Casa Caracol

19 January 2016

Another vehicle of interest
Paul & a friendly cat
A couple more views
A mosaic of a flower
Las Posas views
This is a sign for the "building" called "the House of 3 floors that could be 5"
Even more Las Posas
On the left side of the path, there is a mahogany tree with tall but narrow roots
More views in Las Posas
Cafe Cayo, our lunch restaurant. Very good food, reasonable prices.
Las Posas this morning

18 January 2016

Supper tonight: Fresh shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico (it's 50 miles away, I'm told)1/breaded 2/fried with garlic 3/cooked in spicy tomato chili sauce
This is for Paema & Brodie: This is our host at Casa Caracol & the fellow who has been taking us on excursions. It turns out, the 2 fellows responsible for the decor & lighting at Astral Harvest are his very good friends!
It was fantastic landscape!
Todays excursion: A gorgeous river by canoe, a cascade whose source is a cave, & a beautiful waterfall! The cascade & cave was quite...primal. On one side of the rockfall blocking the cave mouth, you have a perfectly clear cave pool & on the other these powerful cascades. The pool was frightening in its stillness. It made me feel like I would be sucked down if I so much as touched the surface! Oh yeah! What looks like a tree trunk in front of the cave, is actually roots from a tree way, way up the cliff face!!
Where we had breakfast today. I had steak & onions (bistec encebollado) with arroz mexicana (rice with tomato juice) & frijoles (amazingly delicious black beans). The restaurant also had a mexican buffet.

17 January 2016

From our local bar: A really good burger & milanesa chicken
A Las Posas column
A croton & a weed
A tree with papery bark. When it is not shedding, the trunk is incredibly smooth. I believe this is to prevent opportunistic plants & insects from getting a foothold.
Treehouse & view from treehouse at Casa Caracol
Brad relaxing...maybe too relaxed
More views and interesting plants (zoom in)
A pretty flower
A road in Xilitla that appears to be at 30 degrees. It isn't considered steep...if it was it would have stairs!
A couple of pamoche trees
A roadside quarry
A view
The closet thing to an Indian tuktuk that I have found in Mexico
Pretty red flowered trees
Interesting detail in the sidewalks of Xilitla.
Wild opportunistic begonia!!!
A shrine to the Virgin
Dancing at the Sunday market, Xilitla. The music is Mexican country & western. The dancing is so restrained it's humorous! The ladies definitely want to let loose but the guys are NOT going to embarrass themselves!
This vehicle is labeled Dodge Ram but Paul says he thinks it is a rebranded Subaru!
I believe this is the mature form of the leaves of a local oxalis variety
A view from Cafe Cayo, Xilitla
An eagle over Xilitla. There were about 11 of these birds flying over us.
An interesting sign. The covered bit of text reads: "Todo más barato" (Literally: "everything more cheap")
A opportunistic fern grow under the concrete overhang of the storefronts in Xilitla
This is pamoche. It is the flowers & fruit of a tree. They take the red fingers, chop them up, & add to meat dishes. Apparently its flavour is hard to describe. It is used to promote sleep...
Sunday market, Xilitla
Strawberries at the Sunday market in Xilitla.
A group tour at Las Posas....and a view of the front building at Las Posas.
And here is our houseplant that I think is considered a bad weed here!
You know the arrowhead plant we grow as a houseplant? Here it is in its natural habit, trailing from a big tree!
A Mexican brand of motorcycle
Notice the blue bottle cemented to the top of the teepee?
In the centre is a brown & yellow "smudge"...its an odd bird. It's odd because its song is a series of gobble gobble followed by a screech! When it finishes the gobble series it tips over, head first, on the branch with its wings spread, then it rights itself while screeching!

16 January 2016

Warming the chilled night air (it's only 18 degrees tonight)
This evening we got to watch a performance by a butoh dance group, lead by maestro Luis Brusca. I have only heard of butoh before tonight. I found it to be a very interesting experience. It is quite different from my experiences with Formolo Dance, Brian Webb Dance, & Alberta Dance Theatre. But I enjoyed it quite a bit. Very expressive & skilled dancers. I was also pleased that they used Pink Floyds " Several species of small furried animals gathered together in a cave & grooving with a Pict"!
Supper at the bar cafe. 1st dish is pescado al a plancha (pan fried fish), 2nd pollo milanesa (breaded chicken cutlet), & last, a hamburger. The burgers are VERY good.
In the Las Posas valley, there is also a large maze being built. The maze, when finished, will have mirrors & plants to further enhance the confusion! There are also a couple of zip lines, but I am not sure if they are functional.
The children of the cafe staff.

15 January 2016

Art at night in Casa Caracol
A bit more Las Posas at night
Las Posas at night
More... Another mind blowing detail: the trees are dripping with bromeliads (ie relatives of pineapple), orchids, & lianas (split leaf philodendron {which is a breadfruit & not a philodendron}, philodendrons {real ones}!!! There are long roots coming from plants 50 feet in the air!!!
More amazing Las Posas... I am overwhelm by Las Posas. There is sooo much detail & beautiful views! & to top it off, the rainforest is explosively fecund! THIS IS WINTER HERE!!! That is, the forest is even greener & MORE lush the rest of the year! Of course, it will also be hotter & wetter the rest of the year! Oh yeah! The weed equivalent of our dandelion is a plant we like as a house plant!! Lol!
& Las Posas again. The hands in the 7th pic were modeled from the hands of Plutarcho Gastelum, the Mexican who Edward James employed as the project manager. Essentially, Edward had a dream & Plutarcho & the local Mexican workers made it real. Of further interest, when Edward went back to his home in England for a visit, he want to recreate some of the elements of Las Posas there, the English tradesman & workers told him it was IMPOSSIBLE, & couldn't possibly be built! Hmmm, that seems to fly in face of our vision of European culture being sooo progressive & advanced! I wonder why...
Las Posas again
& Las Posas again. Please note that any coloured concrete is NOT paint, it is concrete that is coloured & applied as coat of .125" - .25". The 9th pic is a balcony made from wood.
& more Las Posas
More Las Posas. Look carefully at the plants. Many of the plants we grow indoors are here (but they are a bit bigger! Lol!)!
A Las Posas worker cleaning a statue of the Virgin
Some views of Las Posas
A map of the Las Posas site.
Breakfast at Las Posas. I had really good fried rice & Sue & Paul had eggs. Very good food!
Dinosaur in the concrete!
The weather yesterday & today is soooo lovely! The temperature now is 16 degrees C! By 2pm it will be 29 degrees! And so much sunshine! Hi, Edmonton! 😜

14 January 2016

A Casa Caracol cabin at night
Sculpture at night in Casa Caracol
The childs chair at the restaurant
Dessert! Sweet crepes! It had a lovely mound of whipped cream & a cherry...then sweet little Nara reached in and squished it! Lol!
The wood fired stove on which our lunch was cooked. There was a shotgun stashed behind the wood pile!
Scary cable bridge!
Lunchtime! Rodo & Paulina took us to a cool little seafood restaurant. There is a small fish farm here as well as a lichee orchard. Oh yeah! There is also a scary cable bridge! #1: Salsa! #2: totopos, nopalitas, chili salsa, & mayonaisa #3: Cerveza #4: Michelada (beer with salsa!) #5: camarón tostada #6: filete a la plancha (even without butter it was sweet & buttery!) #7: Bagre frito (Bagre is a fish they farm) #8: camarón in cillantro cream sauce & I cannot remember what the last 2 dishes were!
More around the cave river.
A river ( I'll find out the name later) which originates in the cave! During the rainy season the flow is much highr.
Nara is too cute! She reminds me of my little Paema!
Todays adventure: an excursion with Rodo, Paulina & Nara. First stop, a plant shop!
More of Catacol.
More wildlife at Caracol! The dog belongs to a staff member at Caracol, & the cats to Rudolpho (Rodo), Paulina & Nara.
A 5 foot marigold!
An interesting piece of art
Breakfast this morning was courtesy of an interesting man originally from Egypt, lately from Holland.
The Casa Caracol reception bell
Orchids & ferns
Views around Casa Caracol this morning.

13 January 2016

Some views around Xilitla.
The of home Plutarcho Gastalum, the gentleman who worked with Edward James to build Las Posas.
A bit of a monastery fortress built in 1556. (Sorry there aren't more, my iPhone ran out of space!)
Garlic soup at Cafe Cayu
Some more of Casa Caracol. The pink spots in the 3rd pic are lichens. Pic 6 shows a bromeliad on a tree trunk. Pic 8 shows a papaya.

12 January 2016

ONE of the waterfalls at Las Posas.
More Las Posas.
Las Posas & Paul, our very good friend & godfather to our beautiful children! Paul introduced us to Mexico. He is retired & so spends 3-4 months each year in MX. He finds the cool stuff for us!
Going to Las Posas! The tall thing in tge 1st pic is a concrete lamp standard by Edward James , the creator of Las Posas.
Random weedy banana plant. They are like the orange trees, they are everywhere! You can buy a bag of 100 large ripe oranges for 70 pesos ($5.60).
More Casa Caracol. This is a rainforest. The trees are communities NOT solitary organisms. Trees here are loaded with bromeliads, lianas, & orchids. Some of the bromeliads are finishing blooming, & the orchids are waiting for the rainy season. Bromeliads in rainforests are very special. The larger ones are able to retain a great deal of water in amongst their leaves. Within the water, life gathers! Some bromeliads are homes to tree frogs; & the frogs never venture beyond their home!
Views of Casa Caracol. The beautiful child is Nara, daughter of Rudolpho & Paulina, the incredible people who run Casa Caracol.
This is the shared kitchen/hang out place (the palapa). Casa Caracol is more camping than hotel. They provide shelter, beds, bedding, a kitchen with the basics (plates, cookware, etc). You provide food, towels, & anything else. There is a bar/cafe up the road, and there is also a cafe at Las Posas.
Some views at Casa Caracol!
We have found Eden & it is here! All the plants we grow as houseplants are here! Except most of them are MASSIVE compared to ours! Farming in the area is also fascinating. It appears to be less about planting & more about hacking out what you don't want to grow and leaving what you do!
Panoramas! We have arrived Los Posas & Casa Caracol! (The Pools & Snail House)
Some random pics before we arrive in Las Posas.
Pavo! (Turkey)
This is where the bus stopped to report the incident
On the bus trip from Jalpan to Xilitla, a rock came through the window! At first the shattered windowed held together, but when we continued the trip after stopping for the driver to report the incident, it fell out in a couple of kilometers. Luckily, they have curtains which ride on heavy cords at the top & bottom, so we were able to mostly cover the window!
Our first cloudy day. We felt a couple of rain drops!
A rooster, a dog & a rock dove!

11 January 2016

More Jalpan at night. The 2nd image is a nativity scene in a private home, but it is setup for public display! I have 3 of these so far. Christmas is a very big event for Mexico! December til January! And the commercialization is not as overwhelming as it is in Canada & USA. The 3rd image is a flower bed filled with what we consider house plants!
Here is an aloe being grown as a bedding plant. The building this was attached to had 3 little concrete planters with aloes!
More of Jalpan at night.
During our night walk, we met a very interesting man: Jeronimo Mar Mendoza. He is a retired caballero (cowboy) & local politician. He makes interesting outsider art now. The 2nd image is a toucan "sculpture" & the 3rd image is a man grabbing his crotch "sculpture"!
Night views of Jalpan.
I just heard about the passing of David Bowie. This marks the end of a legend. His music & endeavors have been inspiring to many.
Here's a very interesting plant. They are all over the power lines! It is an epiphyte. It lives off the moisture in the air & rain. Mexico (part of North America), Central & South America are home to most of the epiphytes in the world. Bromeliads are the most common & familiar. Pineapple is a bromeliad. It is native to Mexico, NOT HAWAI!
More views of Jalpan. The 5th image is the Jalpan City Hall. The 10th image is a new building but arranged traditionally: they have an open courtyard in the middle of the building.
Very cool church from the 1700s. (I'll get more info)
The garden of the hotel courtyard, its fruits & interesting bits. The last image is of a wood fired hot water tank.
The room & its views (including a panoramic shot)
We've made it to Jalpan !(pronounced Halpan)
Almost at Jalpan & its bus staion (actually there are a few from Jalpan itself).
More views on the Jalpan road...
More sights on the road to Jalpan.
Leaving Querétaro, heading to Jalpan.
More Querétaro Transit buses.
A cool car in the bus station parking lot.
Cool trees
Querétaro Transit Bus
Another shrine to the Virgin in the Querétaro bus station.
Getting bus tickets for Jalpan.
The front door of Mesón Aquaducto.
The Mesón Aquaducto @ #64 Juárez is a marvelous hotel! Comfortable, clean and inexpensive. Located in the historic centre of Querétaro, there are many sights worth seeing. As well the staff are friendly and accommodating. I highly recommend at trip to Querétaro!
Views of our Querétaro hotel. 1st: main lobby 2nd: view from inner courtyard looking toward front desk 3rd: the courtyard 4th: view of 2nd floor from courtyard
Coffee with Sue!

10 January 2016

Our Querétaro hotel, Mason Aqueducto, at night.
Late night stroll pics!
Obligatory roach pic!
Something you don't see in Canada: Ballgowns!
I have finally seen a bullfight (on tv). I don't get the point. The bulls appear to be trained to attack the cape. They show no interest in the people! So I don't think the participants are in any danger unless they endanger themselves! And the matadors final action is to kill the bull with a sword. Or two. I just don't get it...
And more Querétaro.
More sights, including Navidad decorations!
Some sights in Querétaro.
Waiting for a taxi outside the Querétaro Bus Station.
This is an example of the bus we traveled in
And the buses from another company. Kinda makes Greyhound & Red Arrow look impoverished.
A Shrine to the Virgin
On the way to Querétaro...
An interesting factory...
A giant Jesus overlooking a cemetery.
Oh yeah! The buses here have leg rests, really comfy seats, tv, internet, & a free lunch (sandwich, cookie, & a drink)! It's a 2.5 hour trip. It cost $28CDN.
A selfie on the bus!
A view & the bus
The bus station! From here we are heading for Querétaro.
A sign of rules for hotels.
The lobby of our hotel in DF
A common feature on older (1800s) buildings are tiles. All the tiles were decorated by hand.

9 January 2016

A long line of police cars on Palma street. Don't know what was happening but it looked interesting!
This truck is delivering drinkable water to the Monte de Piedad. Water is Mexico City's biggest problem (kinda funny considering that Mexico City was originally an island in a very large lake. The lake was drained so they could build a European style city. Thanks Spain!). The water supplied through the taps is contaminated. You drink it, you live on the toilet. The other "water problem" is how dry the earth beneath DF (the short name for Mexico City - means Distrito Federal [Federal District]) has become. Due to the loss of its water table, the earth is very porous & fluffy. In earthquakes it becomes liquid-like. This is why earthquakes here can be so devastating.
We saw the Azteca dancers again!
The Pirate Burger building at night.
The 3 mascots! There were also three odd mascots - they were kinda Santa like but no beard. Their costumes were very Santa like except for the blue Santa (his costume is blue!) or the elf Santa (he was dressed like an elf!)
Madero on a Saturday night.
The Coca-cola Store. They sell only Coke products.
A really bad selfie of us eating ice cream!
Ice cream! From the top: Wine Tiramisu Pistacheo
If you park illegally, you get the boot!
A giant lego character!
A very good band playing on the street. They were playing surfer music!
The of the Javier images! (These pics are incorrectly timestamped. They should appear right after the other Javier pics)
Torre Latinoamerica, the first major skyscraper built on highly active seismic soil.
Some views of Casa Azuzuela (House of Blue Tiles)
An old church. The last photo depicts 2 nuns selling nun-made cookies! Always the best cookies in the world!
Javier (2nd last)
Javier again!
More Javier
More Javier Marin
Today we went to see the work of Javier Marin, an extraordinary Mexican sculptor, at the Palacio de Cultura Banamex (Palacio de Iturbide). Here is small selection, more to follow.
Okay, I found out from Paul about the Snow Parade. Over about 2 blocks of the walking street Madero they installed snow machines (see pics)! So the people of Mexico got a bit of a white christmas!
Susie the Banker
My favorite sign! The first instruction: "Conserve la calma" (Keep calm!)
There was something called the "Snow Parade" on Calle Madero during Navidad (Xmas). Here is Susie posing in the photo op!
The bane of tourists in Mexico City, the organ grinder! There is at least 1 on every block of Centro Historico. The organs were all made around the turn of the century (1900) in Germany...they have apparently not been tuned since then! Most of songs coming out of the organs are out of tune, and worse, the grinders don't turn the handle evenly or at the right speed. They are looking for donations, a few pesos or so. And they can be aggressive! Similar to the begging women in India. This particular grinder was playing well and not particularly aggressive! BTW many Mexicans consider them to be an important part of their cultural history & hold them in high regard.
This is our hotel.

8 January 2016

Azteca dancers!
Susan & Paul in front of a giant Mexico logo.
A panorama of the north end of the rinks.
The Christmas decorations, in the Zocalo, at night! The first pic shows the projections being done on the Cathedral. There is also large panel of LEDs which were used to generate lovely Christmas greetings & images.
The Christmas tree & piñata in the Zocalo.
A wonky panorama of the Zocalo.
A couple of views of the tube slides AND 2 Mexican fire trucks!
These ladies sold Susie a lovely hat. The woman on the left is an Otomi; the women on the right is Tarascan. The Otomi & Tarascan's are 2 of the original Nations of North America. Tarascan's are note worthy as they were the only native Nation the Spanish could not defeat alone. It required the cooperation of the other native Nations to subjugate the Tarascan's.
The Templo Mayor ruins. These are the remains of the central pyramid from Tenochitlan, the original island city the Azteca built. The temple was torn down by the Spanish after they destroyed the original culture.
A 17th century building with traditional window coverings.
Giant bronze heads beside the Cathedral (& Paul, in the 1st pic).
An interesting bit of architecture.
Beautiful tile work just off the street of making stuff (there are stationers & craft shops galore. But they are only sort of like Canadian stores. There are shops that sell NOTHING but coloured construction paper. Finding styrofoam shapes of every size is easy. You want fabric? There is an endless variety that may rival India's selection!)
Me, in my new sombrero. Sombrero just means hat. The "sombrero" that we associate with Mexico has a more specific name that I do not know.
The 1st pic is just an interesting view. The 2nd pic is a massive rubber tree.
An open doorway led us to this gorgeous courtyard in a building in Centro Historico. There is a second courtyard, just barely viewable in a doorway at the back.
A tiled mural on the side of a 17th century church. The mural is new.
Some of Christmas decorations around the Zocalo. Notice the glittery giant piñata in the lower left.
This is one of 7 tile panels on the exterior of the original city hall. This panel commemorates the founding of Mexico City. The others celebrate significant people. They were made in the early 1800s.