Aztec culture, art and museums
17.04.2007 - 19.04.2007 28 °C
On tuesday, we went to Mexico City's huge park - Bosque de Chapultepec. It was established originally by the aztecs. Today it contains various museums, a lake and lots of food stalls, balloon sellers, face painting stalls, cotton candy and other entertainment. We visited the National Anthropology Museum, which has some great exhibitions on the Aztecz, the Mayans, the Olmecs, and various other ancient Mexican cultures. Very interesting.
Apparantly, the site where Mexico City's Centro Historico is today, (and where our hotel is located), used to be a huge Aztec city, on an island in a lake that has since dried up. In fact, the cathedral on the central square here, is built on top of an Aztec pyramid. The Spanish conquistadores tore the whole city down, to make space for their capital of Nueva Espana.
The Aztecs were, like apparantly most ancient cultures in Central America, a warring culture, who were constantly in conflict with other groups, and who sacrificed humans to apeace their gods, and preserve the world - they believed that the world would otherwise seize to exist.
On wednesday, we moved out of Hostal Moneda, which is way overpriced and has shitty service. Instead we moved into Hotel Buenos Aires, which is the same standard, but at half the price. Then, we went back out to Coyoacan, and visited Frida Kahlo´s house, which is now a museum.
Today, thursday, we visited the Aztec Templo Mayor in the center of town - really gives you an idea of how much more Aztec stuff must be buried underneath Mexico City`s colonial and moderne architecture. We also went to see Diego Rivera`s murals in varous places in town. One of them was originally started in Rockefeller Center in New York, but the Rockefeller family disliked the anticapitalist theme, and had it destroyed. Rivera remade it in the Palacio de Bellas Artes here in town.
Other than that, we are getting a bit tired of the City, as we wait for the tattoo to heal - we are ready to get out of here now. The city has the worst air in the world, and the pollution is really giving me a sore throat. Alan too is getting antsy, and paces round the room in the evening - he just wants to go diving. The city, as any large city, is crowded and busy. Street vendors, musicians, Aztec dancers, police officers on foot and on horseback, goth teenagers, men in suits, traditional peasants, shoeshiners, food vendors - all swarm around you. Traffic, smelly sewers, pollution, dirty alleyways and worn-down sidewalks, mix with churches, museums, colonial architeture, leafy parks and wide boulevards. Its got everything you could want, and yet its not exactly the kind of place you fall in love with and want to stay in. Anyway, we will have to kill a few more days here - should be manageable.
Look at www.flickr.com/photos/divingdog5 for more of our pictures of this chaotic city.