From Puebla I rode to Mexico City to take a tour with Urban Adventures.
Puebla to Mexico City
As I left Puebla I rode past the Popocatépetl volcano. It seemed to be having a bit of an explosion.
It turned out that was just the start. The next day it had a significant explosion generating a 5 km ash plume. I really liked Puebla, but I am not sure I would want to live that close to an active volcano.
I took the free road into Mexico City. It was beautiful. Lots of curves through forests and around sort of mountains. The pleasure stopped when I reached the outskirts of Mexico City. It was gridlock. Eventually I got to my Airbnb.
Tour of Mexico City
The next day I had booked a tour of Mexico City with Urban Adventures. If I am in a big city for a day or two I like to take one of the hop on hop off tour buses. However, Tripadvisor reviews said the Mexico City one wasn’t very good due to the narrow streets that the buses couldn’t go down.
The tour started at the centre of Mexico City and I was at the World Trade Center area a ways away. But it only cost me 56 pesos by taxi to get into town first thing in the morning.
There I met my tour guide Adriana. It turned out I was the only person in the tour today!
The tour was about the history of Mexico City to present.
The fist stop was the ruins of the old city. I didn’t know that the city was actually created on a lake! The lake was filled in with sand and wood and pyramids and the city was erected. These building were discovered relatively recently during an excavation.
Because the original city was built on a lake filled in by sand and wood, the ground is very unstable. The result is that the buildings in the city are sinking. You can see the building below is sinking to the right.
Apparently, the sinking depends on what is beneath in the old city. If there is a pyramid there there ground is fairly stable. Although if built on the edge of a pyramid the building shift from side to side.
For that reason there are no tall buildings in the historical center of Mexico City. They are all in the outskirts away from where thee lake use to be.
Mexico City Cathedral
After touring the ruins we went into the Mexico City Cathedral.
As expected this place is awesome.
Just like the other buildings in the area, the cathedral is moving and sinking due to the soil. They believe the cathedral was built on top of a pyramid and so moves from side to side. There is a plumb in the middle of the cathedral to measure the movement. They have marked the position of the plumb during various years.
There was one place in the cathedral I was fascinated by. And that was where there was a black Jesus.
The story according to my guide was that originally the statue was white way back when. There were two bishops in the church and the one bishop hated the other and wanted to kill him. After observing his routine he noticed the bishop kissed the feet of Jesus each day. So the Bishop put poison on the feet of Jesus. However, when the Bishop went to kiss Jesus’ feet, the foot coiled back and the statue absorbed the poison and turned black thereby saving the Bishop. After that the two Bishops became good friends.
I guess one reason I am fascinated by these stories is because of a philosophy class I had in college where we explored whether or not God exists. We looked at all the philosophers over the years and their reasoning for or against the existence of God. My professor was of the opinion that the the best way to prove the existence of God was to show that miracles existed. For this reason he was interested in the miracles articulated by the Roman Catholic Church. I suppose that all rubbed off on me and I have thought about that lots over the years. Soooo hence my fascination with the Black Jesus story. Phew …. 🙂
Our next stop was the roof of the Cathedral.
My guide was saying that the main square below always has something going on in it. The believe is that the government does this to remove it as a place for protests. Protesters have to go to smaller confined locations that are easier to control.
Below is the President’s palace.
While at the top were heard the ringing of the bells at noon. Pretty cool!!!
Markets and Theatre
From there we toured the markets where I was “forced” to eat ants that I gulped vine with. No picture :-(. And Itasted lots of Mexican products.
We walked the parks and talked about various monuments like this Juarez one.
We had a taco lunch. It was good. I wish I had someone like Adriana all the time to take me to the right places to eat.
And we had a nice coffee overlooking the national theatre.
All and all it was a nice walking tour. It took 7 hours to complete. I would have liked to have seen more of the city though.