Getting To Mexico City

Once you are Mexico, flying to Mexico city is probably the easiest thing to do, since every single city in Mexico has a direct flight path back to the capital.

Furthermore, the main airport is practically in center of the city, so once you arrive it's a simple uber to your next destination.

What was really interesting upon arrival, was seeing 20+ people waiting outside the airport arrivals, holding out their phones, waiting for an Uber.

Where is Mexico City?

A Brief Mexico City History

Quick note: The history of Mexico City is so rich and deep, that my brief summary won't do much justice to the city. So if you are interested in learning more, please visit the History of Mexico in Wikipedia, or watch a few Youtube videos to understand how a relatively small Pre-colombian city in the middle of a lake evolved into a 21st century city of 21 million people, with no lake in sight.

The Aztecs or Mexica (‘Meh-shee-kak') originally founded the city of ‘Tenochtitlan' in about 1325, and by 1430, it became the center of the Aztec Empire. At its peak, about 200,000 people inhabiting the ancient city of Tenochtitlan.

Aerial map of Tenochtitlan

Once the Spanish Conquest of the city was over, Hernan Cortez ordered that the entire city of Tenochtitlan be destroyed, and a new city be built on top.

All of the materials from the previous temples and ceremonial centers were used to build new buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral.

A full scale view of the Metropolitan Cathedral that was built on top of the old Tenochtitlan Plaza and temples

Eventually, Tenochtitlan was renamed to Ciudad De Mexico (Meh-hee-Coh) (Mexico City) because it was easier to pronounce for the arriving Spanish.

From 1521 to 1821, Mexico City was the social, economic, and religious capital of Mexico, while the elites and Spanish crown continued sucking every bit of wealth and resource, and viciously exploiting the people.

All native Mexicans were relegated to the outskirts of the city, while those of Spanish heritage (born in Spain, or of Spanish decent in Mexico) were located in Palaces in the center of the city.

Walking down Moneda Street in Mexico City

After the War of Independence that brought independence from the Spanish crown, Mexico City was captured by the Americans in the Mexican-American War, and then saw extensive violence in the Reform Wars between Liberals and Conservatives, and then was captured by the French Army during both French Interventions, and saw major violence during the Mexican Revolution.

By the beginning of the 1900's, the population of Mexico City was about 500,000, yet by 2018, it stands at almost 21 million!

As a result of this explosive growth, the city has problems with regular protests, pollution, transportation, providing basic services like electricity and water, and heavy corruption among government officials, including police.

A comfortable couch is being used by 2 homeless men on the center of Mexico City

Mexico City Photo Album

Like many other parts in the world, Mexico city is investing heavily into public bike transportation

Monte De Piedad: Mount of Piety building in Mexico City, with the Mexican flag on top

In memory of the Illustrious cosmographer, Enrico Martinez (died in 1632). Cosmographer for the Spanish King, and interpreter for the Spanish Inquisition

The towers of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City

The exterior of the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

The grand golden interior of the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

Each carving above the cross, indicate someone of importance who lived in Mexico City. Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

Believers lighting candles for their prayers in the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

Prayers inside the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

The massive musical organ inside the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

The buildings surrounding the ‘Zocalo' (main plaza) in Mexico City

The right-side entrance of the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

Facing the Torre Latinoamericana in Mexico City

The Mexican Flag

A large Mexican Flag adorns a building with a washroom sign, and a man sitting in front.

An absolutely delicious snack that you can buy at the side of the road. Mango with papaya, with granola, honey and nuts. So good!

Dozens of signs selling tacos, hotdogs, water, and other foods

Tortillas readily made in a shop. You can order anything you wish to eat here.

A very contemporary statue of Jesus overlooks the street with the Church of the Holy Trinity (Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad) in the background.

The Church of the Holy Trinity (Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad) in Mexico City, completed in 1783.

A closeup of the Church of the Holy Trinity (Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad) in Mexico City

Another statue of Jesus overlooking the busy streets of Mexico City

Locals shop around for goods for their homes in central Mexico City

Obesity is a major problem in Mexico. A mother feeds her daughter in the streets of Mexico

Locals boarding a bus in Mexico City

The eagle catching a snake is the national Mexican emblem, and is associated with pre-colombian symbolism and history.

Perhaps someone important, but he was not near anything important or busy in Mexico City.

A boy preparing Mangos in Mexico City

Looks like community housing, surrounded by barbed wire in the center of Mexico City.

Poverty is visible in every area of Mexico city. These 2 are sitting in front of a church waiting for something to happen.

Delicious churros in Mexico City. They are crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside, and covered in sugar.

Peeking inside a quadrant of the city that is being torn down and reconstructed

Pants for sale on the left, while locals go about their day in Mexico City

Santa Teresa la Nueva Plaza in Mexico City. Built in 1616 and rebuilt in 1684

The tower of the Santa Teresa la Nueva in Mexico City

An older gentleman takes his food and broom somewhere in Mexico City

An academy that has ceased to exist in Mexico City. Dedicated to the education of something at some point in history.

Walking through the central streets of Mexico City

Facing the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral from the Aztec ruins next to it

A Google maps view of the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral beside the location of the Grand Aztec Temple (Templo Mayor) that was destroyed upon the invasion of the Spanish.

A side view of the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

The streets of Mexico City are overflowing with people, cars, and shops

Large bronze sculpture built in 1802 depicting King Charles IV of Spain on horseback in Mexico City. He was born in Italy, and was considered ‘friendly but simple-minded'.

‘El Templo de San Hipólito y Casiano' (Church of San Hipolito and Casiano). Built in 1521, with an extensively deep history.

Moving further away from the center, down the Paseo De Las Palmas. On the left is a giant contemporary statue of a yellow dog, with large business buildings around it.

The dome of for the ‘Monument for the Revolution' (Monumento A La Revolucion) in Mexico City

Monumento a Colón (Monument to Colombus) in Mexico City along the Paseo De La Reforma (Reform Pass/road)

Cuauhtemoc Monument was the last Aztec emperor before being killed by the Spanish invaders.

Approaching the Angel of Independence (El Ángel de la Independencia)

The Angel of Independence fell at one point after an earthquake

A closeup of Miguel Hidalgo, leading Mexico to independence from the oppressive Spanish empire (1810 to 1821)

Diana the Huntress Fountain (Fuente de La Diana Cazadora) in Mexico City

The ‘Palacio De Hierro Polanco' (Iron Palace) in Polanco (region of Mexico city)

An artistically designed museum in Mexico City. El Museu Soumaya

A heavily stylized car driving around the streets of Mexico City

Driving along the highway in Mexico city, looking at the central business district

A transit police officer makes sure things are going fine in Mexico City

Back in the very central streets of Mexico City

The dome of a church in Mexico City

The Zara shopping center in the very downtown core of Mexico City

The beautiful clock tower of the Zara shopping center in central Mexico City

Walking down the Francisco Madero pathway in downtown Mexico city. This path is strictly dedicated to foot traffic only.

A young man promotes an event or store in native-styled Mexican attire, in downtown Mexico City

A shoe-shinning service awaits his next customer in Mexico City, in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral

Police officers keep watch for anything suspicious or too exciting in central Mexico City

A statue dedicated to the privatization of Mexican oil to American companies

The international airport for Mexico City is located just 15 minutes from the central core, so the planes fly overhead at a relatively very close proximity

Another area of Mexico that is rapidly being upgraded into an upper-class district

Large areas of land will be converted into shopping malls, condos and other gentrified projects, in Mexico City

An artistic head statue with condominiums located on reinforced cliffs in the background, in Mexico City

This is considered an upper-class district in Mexico City, and is relatively far from the city center

An architect designed a simple cascading glass pyramid, with a giant laundry-like structure on the right side in the upper-class district of Mexico City

Despite insane amounts of traffic, Mexico city continues to built out its highway system. In this case, it's tiered in 3 levels.

The new condominium developments in the far back, are foreshadowed by people who live in the middle to lower classes of Mexico City

‘Fuente De Cibeles' (Fountain of Cibeles), is a direct copy the statue located in Madrid, Spain. In this case it's in bronze, instead of marble. Cibeles is a roman godess.

CDMX stands for Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City)

The frontal exterior of the ‘Palacio De Bellas Artes' (Palace of Fine Arts), is one of the most important landmarks in Mexico City

The Palacio De Bellas Artes was built to commemorate the Mexican Independence from the Spanish Empire

El Torre LatinoAmerica right beside the Palacio De Bellas Artes

A protest downtown, along the Avenida Hidalgo, protesting womens rights/equality in Mexico City

Mexican women in Mexico City show up to demand equal rights in a protest. I don't think anything was accomplished.

There are a lot of purples, pinks, and reds, representing women.

A very indigenous woman carries a flag for women equality in Mexico City during the protest

Mexican woman line up, awaiting the order to continue their protest for Womens rights. There is a protest in Mexico city, almost every other day about something.

A performer prepares his native Aztec-like costume on a Sunday

An older man wearing an aztec costume answers a question in Mexico City

A performer in Mexico City, wearing traditional aztec-like clothing, while dancing away

A performer in Mexico City, wearing traditional aztec-like clothing, while dancing away

A little girl, wearing a more conservative, contemporary version of a traditional aztec dress

A performer dressed up as an Aztec, with a colonial Spanish hat, and some kind of green liquid

A performer dressed up as an Aztec, with a colonial Spanish hat, and some kind of green liquid

Preparing for his performance, a Mexican man puts on makeup

Cowboys and Indians in Mexico City

A man in full Aztec attire stands in front of the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

Playing the drums during an Aztec-inspired ceremony in Mexico City

Performing a dance that could potentially resemble a native Aztec empire ritual in Mexico City

Performing a dance that could potentially resemble a native Aztec empire ritual in Mexico City

Performing a dance that could potentially resemble a native Aztec empire ritual in Mexico City

When you've hunted more than enough Big Macs and Large Cokes, and it's time to take a break. Mexico City

The entire group of dancers performing an Aztec-inspired ritualistic dance. I doubt that women were involved in this dance during the pre-Colombian period.

The entire group of dancers performing an Aztec-inspired ritualistic dance. I doubt that women were involved in this dance during the pre-Colombian period.

Looking at the exterior of the National Palace in Mexico City

National Museum of Cultures with Latin written below it. This is the tourist entrance to the National Palace in Mexico City.

A statue commemorating someone politically involved in a military event in Mexican history, around 1880. Inside the National Palace in Mexico City

The cactus gardens inside the National Palace in Mexico City

There is a species of almost every cactus on display inside the National Palace in Mexico City

A cat takes a nap next to an Agave cactus in the National Palace in Mexico City

Keeping a lookout in the National Palace in Mexico City

An artistic statue inside the National Palace in Mexico City

The garden complex continues inside the National Palace in Mexico City

The columns inside the National Palace in Mexico City

A contemporary representation of important caricatures and people in Mexican history, in the Zocalo in Mexico City

Another chamber inside the National Palace in Mexico City

A large pegasus statue and fountain inside the National Palace in Mexico City

A Mexican military guard tells a story to his colleague inside the National Palace in Mexico City

A large group perform a semi-indigenous dance, while exercising at the same time in Mexico City. Almost like Zumba

A woman leads the large group to perform a semi-indigenous dance, while exercising at the same time in Mexico City. Almost like Zumba

A large group perform a semi-indigenous dance, while exercising at the same time in Mexico City

A large group perform a semi-indigenous dance, while exercising at the same time in Mexico City

A view of the Torre LatinoAmerica from one corner in Mexico City's center

Mexico City at night, from the Torre LatinoAmerica

Mexico City at night, from the Torre LatinoAmerica

Mexico City saw a massive influx of investments from foreign governments, resulting in large business buildings to showcase their wealth

The Palacio De Bellas Artes at night from the Torre LatinoAmerica

The Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City

Coyoacan, Mexico City

One of 16 historic boroughs (neighborhoods) in Mexico City, named in the language of ‘Nahuatl' for the ‘place of coyotes' (although there is little evidence of ever having coyotes).

When Mexico City was still largely a lake, this Coyoacan was on the southern shore of that lake.

Eventually, as the city of Mexico overgrew its lake, it swallowed up all towns and cities around it.

The ‘Parroquia San Juan Bautista' in Coyoacan, Mexico City. Built 1522-1552.

The side of the the ‘Parroquia San Juan Bautista' in Coyoacan, Mexico City. Built 1522-1552.

Miguel Hidalgo Y Costilla, the man who freed the slaves, and brought independence to Mexico

Miguel Hidalgo Y Costilla, the man who freed the slaves, and brought independence to Mexico

And old fountain in the borough of Coyoacan

The entrance to the Arts and Crafts marketplace in Coyoacan

Coyoacan translates to ‘place of Coyotes' in Nahuatl, despite not having any evidence of coyotes

Baby coyote statues in Coyoacan

Adult coyote statues in Coyoacan

The main ‘Jardin Centenario' in Coyoacan

Tepoztlan, Mexico

After walking around Coyoacan for a mere 1 hour, I decided to venture further south outside of Mexico city, and drive down to Tepoztlan. The town of Tepoztlan is known for the birth of the god ‘Quetzalcoatl'.

It also features a famous aztec pyramid on top of the mountain, that is only accessible until 4pm. Unfortunately, I arrived late, and could not enter to climb to see the pyramids and ruins.

Driving to Tepotzlan

The town of Tepotzlan decends downwards, while the mountains around it shoot up into the sky

Delicious vegan lasagna in Tepotzlan. There was no dairy, or egg or any meat product in this delicious lasagna 🙂

Graffiti of an Aztec god, potentially Quezatlcoatl, in Tepotzlan, Mexico

The mountains surrounding the town of Tepotzlan, Mexico

A contemporary version of the activities available in Tepotzlan, Mexico

Traditional clothing, post Spanish Conquest, in Tepotzlan, Mexico

The main cathedral ‘Parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Natividad' (Our Lady of the Nativity Parish) in Tepotzlan

Downtown Tepotzlan

More of the traditional style costume representations on the right side (the mask), in Tepotzlan, with a direct view of where the ancient pyramid would be on the mountain

A local man in Tepotzlan sits around in his house

An old car, probably still in use, sits outside of a house in Tepotzlan, Mexico

A little shrine to the Virgin Mary is cut into the wall of a home in Tepotzlan, Mexico

Tepotzlan, from the cliff tops

A little boy wearing a batman hat looks at my car in Mexico

Back To Mexico City

There are almost 2-3 protests in central Mexico City every week. Mexico still faces many issues, such as police killing innocent civilians, violence against women, government officials stealing funds from the city, narcotics warfare, water shortages, privatization of utilities , etc

A police sergeant or captain stands watch for any incoming protests

‘Not One More' Over 50,000 women have been brutally killed in Mexico since 1985. The safety of women is a national crisis in Mexico

A regiment of female police is used today, due to the nature of the protests (womens rights)

Celebrating her ‘Quinceañera' or becoming 15 years old, and hence a girl socially transitioning into a woman.

A girl poses on her ‘Quinceañera' in Mexico City

A strange statue watches over ‘Paseo De La Reforma' in downtown Mexico City

Commemorating police brutality and murders of protesters.

An artwork commemorating the murder of innocent protesters by Mexican police

It's still a pain in the ass to do many things in Mexico, such as getting paid, paying a bill, or simply putting money into your bank account. Many banks, and some stores have long lines of people, sometimes spending hours just to put their money somewhere, or take a few dollars out.

Mexico had an inconsistent time with communism, but like many parts of the world some people idealize this form of government, despite its historical habit of purging humans.

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