A “Stranger” in a Familiar Land

I wanted to start out saying that it is funny how great it is in Mexico with location, discovery, and culture.  You think you know the layout and you never, ever quite do.  Yet, I think the same thing could be said of areas I am familiar with, Takoma Park, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania.  Finding treasures that have been there and you have been unaware about for periods of time, amazing.

The GREAT thing about allowing yourself time to explore what you take for granted and finding the unknown, is having someone help you remember and lead you to such places.  Such was the case this past Saturday, with Azteca Travel.  I had no idea what to meant, where it was, but we were headed to the Delagacion of Iztapalapa,  IMG_1290, the nature and  archaeological site of Cerro de la Estrella, the Fuego Nuevo Museum, and a hike, with a view, that we’d never forget.

Yes, I was still EXHAUSTED from an “snow” flight and escaping the northern storms, however, somehow when I woke up in the middle of the night, and saw the chance to attend this trip, something seemed right about the whole thing despite the state of my sleep deprivation.  I luckily was the last person accepted out of 26 people, and once I found out that morning I was able to go, accepted, I rushed to walk the dogs, ran to the metro, and made my way south on the Green line 2 from the very end, watching my watch the whole time and making it with exactly 5 minutes to spare

(this brought back flashbacks of me in the airport a few days ago).

I was excited to see a colleague from ASF as well as some friends I had been lucky enough to meet along the way, and what a DAY!  I mean, the chilliness we had been subjected to (Mexican style, not northern) was clear, the sun was out, and it was actually HOT!   This was a perfect day for this trip!

We walked about 30 minutes and then came upon the area that no joke, for Easter and the reenactment of the crucifixion and the cross, over a MILLION people came to this spot to see this famous reenactment! IMG_1389 A million!   That is like, me getting on the metro in the morning! (Not really)  To imagine a million people and then the importance of this reenactment was amazing to be able to be there (without the million people of course).

The walk turned into a scenic hike IMG_1293 as we began to see the city of Mexico as we made our way up higher and higher, and I mean HIGHER.  For some odd reason, I was not winded, I made the trek without pause and kept on hauling, until, as we passed a museum IMG_1324 that was a little less than a halfway point, not open yet, we began again, I realized, wow, I am in okay shape!   We kept on going higher, higher, steps then…

Whoa.  A pyramid.  IMG_1311  This is the one thing that never fails to amaze me.  In the middle of Mexico City, you can go into a National Park and be surrounded by so much nature, so much native culture, history, and powerful sites, it is breathtaking.  IMG_1316 Here we were at the top of a pyramid that seriously looked all over Mexico City, and you could see the amazing patches of green the city had to offer, and you just had to sit and take it all in.  Yet, the beauty at the top was not all.  IMG_1333

As we made our way to the museum, we happened on traditional dancers at the door and found out, this was the inauguration of the museum!  IMG_1346  Talk about timing!  We saw a representative of UNUM discussing the importance of this museum, and then we were witnessing the ribbon-cutting ceremony – time was definitely on our side today.  Going in we saw the IMG_1353  commemoration of Jesus and his walk with the cross IMG_1358that was enacted in this area.  Also, the paintings that were exhibited in the other gallery were symbols of the pain and tragedy that had been occurring with the lost 43 students in the past year.  

IMG_1371    IMG_1372     IMG_1373 IMG_1374     IMG_1375         IMG_1377 IMG_1378       IMG_1380         IMG_1381

The paintings certainly held a powerful hold once you took them all in.

Looking back on this amazing day, it is totally true to say Mexico is still only BEGINNING to awe me with so many unseen and powerful geographic locations – culturally charged areas – and breathtaking views in and out of the city.  This happen chance onto the inauguration of the museum, was one of many feelings you felt as you left a day filled with so much heritage to this area.

This also is the fastest growing area in Mexico, and yet many are wary of this area due to crime.  However, it was absolutely a pleasure to see one of many areas in Mexico not even known, let alone aware of its beauty.  Snow might be beautiful where I left from the northern part of the United States on vacation, but, the constant opportunities of historical culture, beautiful surroundings, and priceless people you get to know and learn more about Mexico with is something that lingers with you always no matter where you go within Mexico.

What is exciting is that there are individuals willing to take the time to show you something new, something original, and in our backyard like Azteca Travel, every day CAN be a new adventure and this certainly was.  If you take in the irony of being in the right place, at the right time, the inauguration of the museum, the amazing day, great guides and information full of mystique and beauty, how ELSE could you imagine spending a Saturday morning – Hard to imagine a better way.

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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