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2002 Mexico City Vacation

Some Basics

When: Saturday, October 26, 2002 - Monday, November 4, 2002
Where: Ritz Hotel Centro Histórico, Mexico City, Mexico
How: Fly - Continental Airlines

Links to some of the Sites

Centro Histórico and Zócalo
Templo Mayor and Museo
Palacio de Bellas Artes and Alameda Central
Bosque de Chapultepec and Castillo de Chapultepec
Parque Zoológico and Museo Nacional de Antropologia
Basillica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
Dia de los Muertos, Cerro de la Estrella, and more

Some Observations and Comments

  • The streets and sidewalks in approximately a 4 by 8 block area of the Centro Historical District were under repair, which meant that no car or taxis could enter. Work went on day and night, creating lots of noise, dust and ruble, releasing gases from the sewer system, and setting of store alarms. My hotel was right in the center of this area.
  • Here at home, I am a little less than average height, but in Mexico City, the vast majority of people only came up to or below my eye level. When walking around or on the subway, I felt a little like a giant, since I could see over the top of most people's head.
  • The sidewalks along every street had at least a few people selling things, many of whom would by yelling out the price. Along some streets, for dozens of blocks, the vendors and the people completely filled the sidewalks and even spilled out into the street and blocked traffic.
  • The markets consisted of small individual stalls where each person sold his small variety of goods. One market that I went to was as big as a couple of football fields with hundreds of individual stalls.
  • In general, cars did not seem to stop at red lights until they were cut off by traffic entering from the cross street. At some crosswalks, people had to crowd out into the street until they cut off traffic and then they could cross.
  • The subway trains were crowded, but clean, quiet and smooth, and came every few minutes. At almost every stop, someone would get on, try to sell something by chanting about the product and then get off at the next stop where some else would get on.
  • On the third day of my trip, I started to come down with a bad cold, which got a little worse each day. I was forced to cut my vacation short and leave after 10 days instead of staying for 16 days. I was not able to see or do everything that I had wanted, but I was able to see most of the major sites. After I got back, it took a couple of weeks before my lungs cleared and I started to feel healthy again.
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