Pirámides de Teotihuacan, Basilica de Guadeloupe and other stuff, March 17, 2018
I decided to take a tour to see a few places because it just seemed too difficult to go 50 km northeast of the city via public transport. Our first stop was at Plaza de las Tres Culturas, which is an archaeological site in Mexico City. During the conquest (1519) the Spaniards convinced some of the Indigenous people that their lives would be much better if they supported Spain - the Aztecs were taxing them too high and life wasn't so rosy. So that's how the colonists got the locals to work with them and take their own buildings apart to build Catholic churches-
Plaza de las Tres Culturas is also where 400 Mexican university protesters were slaughtered October 2, 1968, just days before the Olympic Games. According to George, our guide, the world reacted in a sort of ho hum way - they were communists demanding better working and living conditions so..... The games went ahead as planned and were very successful-
After about an hour's drive in traffic, we came to a tourist trap kind of mall to learn about maguey. It's a plant that looks a lot like agave-
But in its center it has a liquid that it produces for only 6 months. It's ladled out twice a day but after the 6 month period, the plant dries up and dies-
Fibres are taken from inside the leaves and used to make blankets and tablecloths-
We had a tequila and mezcal tasting. I really liked Don Leander tequila. It was smooth and didn't burn my insides out. It cost more than $60 for a 26 ounce bottle-
The Sun Temple was finished by 150 AD and is the world's third largest pyramid. Its base is 222 m on each side and it is 70m high. 3 million tons of stone make it and there are no tunnels inside-
The weekend is not an ideal time to visit-
but today you visit only along the Calzada de Los Muertos, the Street of the Dead. The Aztecs named the buildings and streets because there is nothing known about the civilization that lived here first-
The Calzada de Los Muertos is 2 km long-
you walk uphill towards the altar. It was closed for 5 years in the 70s while the city decided what to do about it. People protested in the square and finally it was decided to build a new church. There were over 200 buildings in the area that were sinking so the city put hydraulics underneath ALL of them to prevent them from sinking any more. They haven't been moved back to their original positions because they are afraid they will tumble.
Building the new church took only 2 years-
The altar is enormous-
It's so big it's hard to see the couple in the bottom left corner getting married. The priest is standing to the left of the cross in the bottom middle-
It's a huge tourist attraction and I'm surprised they don't charge to go in. They've also smartened up and moved the candles to the outside, preventing the mess the black smoke creates on the ceiling and walls-
Many people light candles and bring flowers asking for favours and praying for the dead-
I had a good day but it was very tiring. Our guide talked on and on and on in weird English so that made it hard to concentrate on what he was saying. Oh well. Soon I'll be back in the snow!
Tomorrow I'm going on another tour to Xochimilco and other exciting places!