Mexico City, 2003

I spent several days in Mexico City In January of 2003 in order to break up a return flight from Cuba. I had been there for a few days in the summer of 1985 and was intrigued with it enough to want to return.

On my first trip I had stayed in an area known as the Zona Rosa. This time I found a good cheap hotel near the Zocalo, the main square of the city.

Mexico City is of course an enormous town but it has a very good subway system so getting from place to place is easy not to mention cheap. Actually Mexico City is inexpensive overall and offers great value to the traveler.

On the one hand Mexico City has a very European ambiance due to the architecture while on the other remnants of the Aztec past can still be experienced. Mexican food is one of the world’s premier cuisines and its origins lie chiefly in the native past before the arrival of the Spanish. The excellent National Museum of Anthropology is a great place to see relics of Mexico’s culturally rich, but often violent, past.

Speaking of violence, Mexico City has a reputation for dangerous criminality. On my first visit I met a guy from Denmark who had been held up on the street at gunpoint. Later when I was leaving Mexico a Dutch woman I was seated next to on the plane told me that she had also been robbed in Mexico City. It’s a shame that a city with so much history, art, wonderful architecture, and fabulous food should be plagued with crime but my experiences of Mexico City were only positive and I would return if the opportunity arose.

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