A castle, a dance, wrestling and soccer
Here's a look at some of the places we have been exploring! Who knew that I would go to a soccer game and a wresting match in two days!
Chapultepec Park--Museums and Ballet Folklorico
Chapultepec means the hill of the grasshoppers (BTW the link has great pics). The metro identifies it by an image of a grasshopper, of course. You could spend a couple of days there and we have. On our first trip, we were a bit overwhelmed, so we did the tourist thing when we arrived. We took the tiny train to see an overview. The commentary was probably great, but I couldn't hear and translate because the train was so squeaky...
We headed to the only castle in the Americas that actually hosted a monarch in residence, when Mexico was under the French Flag. The Castillo was constructed as a summer home for the Spanish Viceroys ruling Mexico and reflects a Spanish design, open, airy and cool at the top of a hill. Previously, the Aztecs and other indigenous people had summered here as well. The building hosts a museum that chronographs the history of rulers and the military school that made its home there. The residence of Maximilian and his Spanish wife Carlota has been recreated. After the liberal forward thinking ruler, put on the throne by the French, was deposed and killed, the rulers' belongings went into storage. When the Mexicans took their country back, the castle transitioned into a military academy. It was the last stronghold to fall during the Mexican/American war, when the US, promoting the doctrine of manifest destiny, invaded Mexico. The Boy Heroes (Ninos Heroes) of the academy, teenagers, chose to stay and perish defending the castle. This piece of history is a great source of pride for the Mexican people. We spent a couple of hours there, enjoying the exhibits, the tributes, the Diego Rivera murals and the cool air in the castle on the hill. Also, I must mention that the best public restrooms in Mexico City are found in the castle.
In the last pic, check out the guy in the middle of 8 lane traffic on the top left side selling stuff during rush hour. jWish I had a better pic -- it was fascinating.
Needing refreshment, i.e., cerveza, we found a little restaurant by the lakes, good food and inexpensive, great people watching of the waitstaff. Next a visit to the Rufino Tamayo Museum. Tamayo was a muralist, but also a great abstract artist of both sculpture and painting. He and his wife were great patrons of the arts.
Paul is checking out a contemporary piece created from car parts.
On another day. we explored one of the best archaeological museum in the world. The Museo Nacional de Arqueologia houses some of the greatest findings of the Aztec, Maya and other indigenous people of pre-Columbian Mexico. One could spend a day or two there, but we only explored the first floor. The exhibits are laid out beautifully and shows off the great mastery of sculpture, pottery, jewelry masks and more of the pre-Hispanic people. We were off to see the famous Ballet Folklorico, back in the aforementioned castle at night. The show was spectacular, although it reminded us a bit of Riverdance and Stomp. Lots of flamenco, terrific costumes and a Mexican tribute finale. I had wanted to see it in the Bellas Artes auditorium, but of course, that is closed as it is under renovation.
Wrestling--La Lucha Libre
I have never been to a US wresting match, but love the Netflix show Glow. Mexican wrestling features wrestlers in masks and great costumes. Bought our tickets on Ticketmaster for way too much, except that we ended up in box seats with a buffet and drink service. Sadly, no pics of the match as I had to leave my camera at the door. The fight was amazing, the athleticism of the fighters was incredible. When I asked "Do they practice this?" Paul actually laughed at me. It was a learning experience, one unique to all of my previous visits to Mexico. A few pics of masks and vendors outside the venue.
Futbol--soccer match at Aztec Stadium
Another Ticketmaster mistake, as our tickets were not there...Anyway, we purchased new tickets and watched a club match featuring female teams. The stadium was the largest stadium in the world when it was built for the 68 Olympics. It is still a huge place, and these ladies had center stage. Good match, lots of parents cheering, but the most interesting thing was the vendors who were constantly hawking drinks, popcorn, donuts (evidently a Mexico favorite), pizza, sweets and tacos. We tried the cerveza and basket tacos, which were great stadium food. Happy we went