15 August, 2012

Day 41, 1km: Mexico City, Chapultepec

Today, 1km! 
Mexico will certainly not rank in the countries with the highest distance averaged daily in my trip, that's for sure. But its nice staying at my brother's place and getting some rest.

Plus yesterday was day 40.  There were famous forties: 40 days in the desert, 40 days of rain, 40 days on the mount Sinai, 40 days of fasting. 
Apparently the number symbolizes the challenge preparing us to meet God himself.

So it being day 41, I have passed that landmark!

Well I can say that I haven't met God yesterday. No tablets of law, no landing my ark on a sacred hill. 
Sorry, just good tacos. Does it qualify? Opinions from experts in messiah-logy are welcome.

The closest I've seen yet to a CBD
 Today still had modest objectives, visiting the city in the Chapultepec area, or rather as its called here, the Bosque de Chapultepec. The largest city park in South America, says Wikipedia. Its centered on a large hill where the colonial Chapultepec Castle stands, overlooking the city.

Weird monument on the way to the park
 I'm not entirely sure what the monument above is or symbolizes, it was rather obscure. Apparently its mostly remembered for being a notorious case of corruption in public investments. To me it looks like a gigantic pair of UHF antennas. Most of us will remember these as they used to decorate every single house's roofs for a very long time, although now they've been replaced by satellite dishes.

View from Chapultepec Castle hill
 The hill offered a nice view of the surroundings. I could really feel the altitude, going up there. I didn't want to give the impression that it was difficult for me so I kept going up without stopping. Once I reached the castle, I stopped for "pictures" and tried hiding as best I could that I was catching my breath.

I was there just before closing time (an habit now when visiting museums since Los Angeles) so instead I joined my brother at the nearby anthropological museum.

Chapultepec, another nice district
That was a nice walk going there across the park. Lots of tourists as well in that area, which is filled with various museums.

The place had an incredibly large collection of ancient items
 The museum is simply too vast and the history it describes too complex for me to explain it properly, so I'd rather refer the curious to wikipedia.
The exhibits were all from the pre-Colombian period, ranging (what I've seen) between 200BC and 1500AD.

Below are a few shots of pieces that struck me. The place is very much worth a visit. Although most of what is below are small pieces there were also massive items, such as the Piedra del Sol a 24 tons, 4m monolith which original purpose is still a topic of debate.

That's a really strange shape
 The above is possibly an example of artificial cranial deformation. There were no explanations for it and I had no guide so it's opened to any interpretation.

Doesn't look at all like your typical aztec/maya/inca statue
So people looked angry at that time?
Bling was strong at that time
 The above is a relic of one of the first gangsta rapers. Instead of simply getting some bling on his teeth, the guy over did it slightly and went for a full face job. Legend has it his name was Joselito Starr and he was always high chewing coca leaves.
His legendary titles such as "Cruisin' on my golden lama", "Bitches go crazy when I'm in the pyramid" as well as "Go sacrifice yourself flat-head" served as an inspiration for many musicians that would follow, including today's top pop stars.

A reconstitution of how much detailed the ancient pyramids were
A 5cm high statue
 The level of detail on the statue above was impressive considering it was just 5cm high. Not sure what is symbolized here. Again, no explanation on the exhibit. I guess most of the significance and culture of these ancient civilizations has been lost or that not enough work is being done to decipher the vast quantities of artifacts that are still being found to this day.
The fact that the languages used are still being deciphered doesn't help either, I assume.

Yes, its standing solely on the central column
So that was a nice visit. Came back to Erwan's place and had dinner in the shared kitchen of the place (an old Hotel Particulier). I was interesting talking to people living in the same building. Whether you live in Bangkok, Paris, New York, California or Mexico every young person is facing the same issues. Costs of accommodation, education and setting foot in the employment sector. Seems that the educated and relatively wealthy families are living a similar life, wherever they are!

So that was it for the day.
Tomorrow, last day of visit of Mexico City!

Cheers everyone,
Guillaume

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