Mexico city

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al-and-tom

Clos … I like to give it a slightly Germanic drawl so it sounds like house. We first heard about Concha Y Toro wines from Luisa, a retired dancer from New York, who put us up in Mexico City – ‘you can get a decent bottle of red for six bucks’.

Living by the beach and watching our budget at Bob’s place in Costa Rica we found the Concha Y Toro line again, this time as Clos de Pirque and in a one-litre tetra pack … travel friendly! Clos also made a solid showing in Mancora, Peru when we hung out with Al for a few days waiting for the swell.

Al did get in touch with us after we left Mancora…  “By the way I met a German guy who told me Clos in German is slang for toilet (bog, shitter, dunnie) you get the picture. Still enjoying the odd glass though.” And while it’s not winning any wine awards it has to be said that Clos is a real backpacker favorite, this resealable, nonbreakable and fairly drinkable gem will only set you back about 3 dollars.

While we were in Mexico city we were lucky enough to spend some time with Fabi, a great gal who just happens to work in PR for one of Mexico’s up and coming designers (yes, I know how amazing is that!).

One of the first things I noticed was Fabi’s really awesome ring…I was in love with it the moment I saw it and, lucky for me, it happened to be designed by Paola Hernadez, the designer she works for. Fabi invited us to the showroom which was pretty cool and it was there, in the actual showroom, that I bought the amazing black rose ring.

The ring comes in a few other colours but since black goes with everything I figured that was the best choice. It is pretty comfy to wear, though having a ring sit on two fingers does take a little getting used to, and it is very cool to have such and unusual ring by a Mexican designer!

Mexico City is amazing…

I almost think that is all I need to write about La Cuidad de Mexico. Sure parts of it are unsafe and dangerous but it is like that in any city anywhere. But we did not encounter any problems at all while we were there…in fact people were extremely friendly and helpful.

After driving in from Cuernavaca which is an hour away from Mexico City we managed, with some very good directions (thanks Luisa), to find our way relatively quickly to our bed and breakfast. Our accommodation was a small home tucked away on a back street in the bohemian neighbourhood of La Condesa. Casalula Condesa is an absolutely great place to stay. Luisa, the owner, knows the city well and can easily recommend dozens of fabulous, yet reasonably priced, places to eat as well as interesting things to do. She really is the master of giving directions as we did not get lost once while we were there! Her sister Dani owns a cool shop worth checking out in the Condesa area as well.

After managing to converse in Spanish with the people taking care of the home we managed to fit Marlin into the teeny tiny garage, brought in our things and sat back to enjoy a beer with another girl, Fabiola, staying in the house.

It was an action packed week with lots of art, culture, shopping and really, really nice people.

Since there was so much crammed into one week I am breaking it down in a list…

We spent 4 hours wandering through the massive Museum of Anthropology which consists of 12 massive rooms all dedicated to the people both pre-hispanic and hispanic in Mexico. To give you and idea we could only manage 4 rooms…that is how gigantic the rooms are and they are filled to the hilt with artifacts. And, since it was Sunday which means the museum is free for nationals (but of course not us) the museum was crammed full of people. Note: Maybe Sunday is not the best day to go.

El Grito, the most famous speech in Mexican history, occurs annually on Sept 15 at 11pm to celebrate El Dia de Independencia. We managed convinced the gals who live at the house to join us. We left the house early and had drinks and chicharrones which are sort of fluffy chips things (think pork rinds but made of flour) with salsa and lime. They are my absolute fave snack here…Anyway we made it to the Zocalo (city centre) after getting sprayed with shaving cream and trying not to lose each other then we listened to the speech, enjoyed the festivities and were treated to the biggest fireworks show I have ever seen.

We chilled out in Frida and Diego’s neighbourhoods — Coyocan and San Angel.

Ate deep-friend quesadillas with Luisa and her grandmother and then topped that off with churros and hot chocolate.

Walked the streets of La Roma and La Condesa and shopped for trinkets. Tom took a bazillion photos of all the old architecture. And we mused over the fact that most of Mexico city is sinking…

Sinking or not we will be back!