The Endless City: Mexico City
I am convinced that you could walk forever in Mexico City and never reach the end of the city. It is huge! We devoted a lot of time to just wandering aimlessly around the city. We were walking and we randomly came across Palacio de la Autonomia. It is a beautiful building and the courtyard is gorgeous. Inside, you will find very creepy things like life size versions of monsters and other fantasy figures. You are not supposed to take any photos inside the museum but I was able to take one before I was informed by the staff. After we finished at that museum, they were holding a free art exhibit next door so we checked that out.
After strolling a bit further, the streets began to become packed. I swear, the streets randomly get smaller there but maybe there is just so many people that it feels that way. Suddenly, we were in a much different part of the city than near the Zocalo. This was shopping central! Everyone was yelling from their stalls toward the crowd. There was food, music, toys and people everywhere. The city changes so drastically every few blocks you walk. This area is just past the Templo Mayor. Keep walking! I really admired the street art in Mexico City. Living in Los Angeles, street art is very looked down upon but I love to see it everywhere when I travel.
Our real destination of the day was San Juan Mercado. It was extremely difficult to find the entrance of this marketplace. We circled the building a few times before assuming we were in the right place. Once inside, you are greeted with a dimly lit labyrinth of stalls selling clothes, souvenirs and art. We strolled for a bit of time until I started to become very dizzy. We quickly made our way outside and I relished in the fresh air. I still don’t know why I became lightheaded but there wasn’t much to see inside anyways. It wasn’t quite what we were imagining for a “mercado” so we walked around a bit more before finding another marketplace. This time, it specialized in meat, dairy and fruit. It was unlike anything I have ever seen. There were dead animals everywhere. Seriously, a man was walking around with a cut open goat. The goats intestines were hanging out; I weirdly couldn’t look away. Andrew wanted to eat in the market and after some deep breathes, I agreed to it. It wasn’t that the stalls were dirty but it freaked me out to be eating in the same large marketplace as many dead animals! I sucked it up and enjoyed a quesadilla.
After a short coffee break, we worked up the energy to walk to Plaza Garibaldi. Andrew suggested we visit the Plaza at nighttime to listen to the mariachi bands that play. We began walking there as the sun was setting. This Plaza is far away from most tourist sights so the area begins to look a bit more rural. As we were walking there, it was getting really dark. I mentioned to Andrew that maybe we should turn back but we were already so close and we knew there would be restaurants in the plaza. I am so glad we kept walking because it ended up being one of my favorite nights during the trip. The plaza is beautiful and there are many different mariachi bands that play in the center and in the restaurants. After a walk through the marketplace at the plaza, we settled on a restaurant and we were serenaded by a lovely mariachi band. This was one of the best moments of my life. After dinner, we walked back to our hotel in a delicious food coma.