My YA Experience

Mexico, meet Mum

Last week, my mum came to visit me here in Mexico City, which was amazing. As the keen-bean-gene seems to run in the family, we had an extensive, tightly-packed schedule of trips, sightseeing, and brunch dates – all while I was still working at the Anglo!

Mum arrived very early on Saturday morning (4am!), so first up on our agenda was a nap. Then I gave mum her mexico city mini-orientation, which included showing her the cineteca, coyoacan, her airbnb, how to use the metro and buses in CDMX.

We then headed to Chapultepec for the day. We wandered around the gardens and visited the castillo de chapultepec, which was a lot better this time than in my orientation as this time there were clear skies so you could see the whole city! As the castle was built and inhabited by Emperor Maximilian, an Austrian, mum was very interested (even if this is the only Austrian legacy he left behind).

On Sunday we visited the historic centre (Zócalo). We went up the roof of the cathedral, saw bellas artes, the torre latino and then we wanted to visit the museo de la ciudad but the queues were huge so we decided to head home instead. It was so hot in the centre, it was unbearable!

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On Monday I had to work in the morning, so mum made her way to the centre again to take a free walking tour. We then met for lunch in condesa (la buena tierra, so yummy), and then explored the condesa/roma area. We walked all the way to the chocolate museum which was actually really interesting, especially as we got a free tour! I find I always get so much more out of museums when someone can explain what everything is.

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On Tuesday I was working mornings again, so we met for lunch at the casa del tono in the zona rosa to try some pozole and flautas, which went down very well. We then headed back to the museo de la ciudad, and luckily there was no queue this time! This museum was really cool, mainly due to the temporary exhibition luz e imaginaciónwhich was like something out of Neon Demon. We also visited the monumento a la revolución, an arche-de-triomphe-esque monument giving good views of the city.

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On Wednesday morning we visited the trotsky museum (Mexico City has SO MANY MUSEUMS #loveit #culturevulture). Again we got a tour so we learnt lots, even if the guide had a really annoying melody to his voice (he sounded like he was selling crap on the metro). We then headed out to San Ángel for brunch at the San Ángel Inn, which looks really expensive and classy, but their breakfast/brunch menu is actually really affordable. We had some yummy enchiladas, and then headed across the road to the Diego Riviera Studios , which were not quite what I was expecting but kind of interesting nonetheless. It was mainly a museum of the buildings itself, rather than the works, which was a shame.

Anyway, we walked to the centre of San Ángel, and then carried on to the Monumento a Alváro Obregon, and then caught the metrobus up to my work, as mum would be joining me at work for the afternoon! It was nice that my students got to talk to her, even if unfortunately my lessons were a bit dull that day (running out of ideas!).

On Thursday I was working mornings again (#kmn), but got out of work early to meet mum in Coyoacán for lunch and a free walking tour. It was nice to get to know my area a bit better, and to have explanations for things. Then in the evening, my friend Cristina joined us for an Austrian dinner (Gulasch & Nockerln), which was really nice but we were all so tired!

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It didn’t help that on Friday we got up super early again (5am) to head to Teotihuacán, the archeological site just north of CDMX. We took the trolleybus up to the northern terminal, then took a bus to the site ($50 each way pp). It was good to be there early, as when the sun gets stronger it gets even harder to climb those pyramids. We splashed out on a guide (haggled him down from $600 to $300 for a tour) and again, it was good to have some explanations. He also took us up the road in his car to a souvenir shop where we got a private maguey demonstration where we learnt all about this important plant, and we also got to try some different local liquors. We bought some souvenirs, then our guide Noé took us to the pyramid of the sun and moon (in his car, saving us the 3km walk). He left us to climb them by ourselves though, although maybe it would have done him some good…

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We got back to the city at about 2pm, so grabbed some lunch in the old sanborns in the city centre. We then decided to head to the top of the torre latino, but the $100pp elevator cost put us off. However, the security guard tipped us off that we could get to the bar up top for free, so we did that instead, spending $80 on cocktails each, saving $20 to get the same view, with a cocktail! Then we headed home for an early night (literally went to bed at 7:30pm) as we’d be getting up at 2:30am to head out the next day.

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2:30am is still basically the day before, so it was weird getting up and having breakfast! But we were going to the nevado de Toluca, and the key is to get there early or they won’t let you in. We went with a tour company, viviendo mexico, which was nice but also frustrating as we were always waiting for people (we quickly grasped that “We will be leaving the volcano at 1pm, if you’re not here then we’ll leave without you” actually means “we’ll probs start gathering our things at about 2:30pm”.) The volcano was breathtaking, the views were unreal. We could see Popocatépetl in the distance, poking out above the clouds (and smog). The Nevado is 4500m high, so it was physically tough, especially for mum. We walked 6km (the scenic route) to the laguna de la luna, then carried on to the laguna del sol, and finally headed back to the meeting point the “short way”, which took us about an hour as it was so steep and tiring! Then we queued an HOUR for the toilet (singular), before walking another 6km to get a truck back down to the coaches. In the morning it had been so cold, even in my many layers, but by 1pm it was so hot I was in a t-shirt. Crazy.

We eventually got back to the city at about 7pm, and collapsed straight into bed.

But there’s no rest for the wicked, as we were off again at 5am the next morning to go to Puebla, to find the Lienzo de Quahquechollan,  which mum had studied in a future learn course. Unfortunately as sod’s law had it, it had been moved to a museum in Cholula 2 days before. So we carried on to Cholula, but alas, still no luck. We asked around but it seems we were on a wild goose chase. So we climbed the hill to the church (plz no more climbing) and visited the archaeological site. We also found out that you can get a FREE tourist train back to Puebla, but you have to book in advance online, so we got a bus instead, then headed home.

Monday was mum’s last day here in CDMX, but again i had work in the morning so we only had the afternoon together. We packed our stuff and got coffee in Coyoacán, then I accompanied mum to the airport. We said our goodbyes, but unfortunately it seems the airport has a huge planning flaw, in that it’s impossible to leave without a flight! I had to beg the security guards to let me on the train to terminal one (normally you need a boarding pass to do this), from where I could get the metro (which is not AT ALL signposted, you have to keep asking around).

It was really nice having mum here, and it made me realise how much I miss her, even if I don’t miss England all that much. Hopefully we can have another holiday together sometime soon! ❤ ❤

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