Mexico 2018, Mexico city

It took us some time to plan this trip. Only a 12 day trip. This is a disadvantage of traveling not with an organized group. But it is an advantage of freedom to stay where we want and to see what we want. After 4 years of not visiting the Mexican colonial heartland- we started to miss it. Mostly the abundance of architecture and arts. So – our first two days in Mexico City. Starting from December 6th. I am not counting the previous day because it was only traveling and reaching the capital of Mexico in the dark, reaching our apartment by taxi, which is the best and inexpensive way of transportation in Mexico. This time we found an apartment through Air B&B in the skyscraper district, near Paseo Dela Reforma. The two room apartment was considered to be a quiet one, it was not facing the street, and it was spacious enough, but…it was noisy from the top for part of the night. Hard to find peace and quiet in Mexico. Funny, they decorated the apartment with London images:

Here is the street view once we get from our apartment.
A double bus runs on the Paseo, it took us to The Guadeloupe compound.

The 12th of December is when St. Mary the Mother of Christ appeared there to a Shepard boy. Long ago. So they built a complex of churches, old and new in front of a huge plaza with a miraculous hill behind them. Why miraculous- the water is running from all sides of it making it a hill with ponds and parks.

The new church with balloons rising, anticipating their big celebrations.
The new church from inside, it is like a convention center!
The thing that disappointed us a little was – there were no dancers in the plaza, the ones we saw last time 4 years ago . But it was closer to the 12th of December, and therefore there was more of the celebration going on. Note that the old church on the left is leaning like Pisa’s Tower.
The sacred waters running form the hill.
The “side” church not the main one, with its yard still closed as it was 4 years ago – because of the earthquake damage to it…
This is the crevice…

We visited all churches, there is a few, then the museum at the back of the main church. It is very worth visiting. The paintings and the rooms for high priests are fancy and impressive, of course, but the best part were the exVotos- the gallery of little primitive paintings reflecting illnesses, accidents and events that people brought to churches to be prayed for. The paintings are exquisite. So much sincerity in them with a big dose of pain.

They have crowns on their heads and they are in hell flame. Who are they?

The funny thing- such a big space there in the whole compound that even the bus runs around it so you can pick which stop is better to get out, but no places to eat…Well, maybe you can in the market close by or more exactly – down by. But we ate much further on the street, they have taco stands and even little mobile kitchens and cook a big variety of meals there. This reminded us of Thailand. Tables for customers had bouquets of spicy greens for your taste. That day we still visited the Palace of Bellas Artes, but not the museum there. With my recovering broken leg it was already too much to climb the stairs and for our minds to consume a lot of art. The building is beautiful by itself. Last time we saw the collection. This time we saved energy for a museum of design we haven’t seen before- Museo Franz Mayer. Lots of religious artifacts there, lots of golden devices that are used in Catholic services. And also some modern design pieces. But to tell the truth – I forgot all about it. Such things do not stay in the memory. An overload. The more impressive thing was a big old monastery yard with an extensive collection of theater posters on all walls. Mexico has very creative artists…

One of the posters.

The next day started with a visit to Soumaya museum in Polenco, some 40 min. Uber taxi away from where we stayed. A Mexican millionaire Carlos Slim, a telecommunications mogul who was considered the richest man in the world by Forbes in 2013 – became not the richest after he built and opened the museum (that is my joke, I have no clue of his riches relative to others). But unlike another rich man in the US – he named the building not in his name but in his wife’s who he said taught him about arts and sculpture. To emphasize his modesty -I found out his name only after we came home and looked on the internet which I highly suggest for you to look into – there is so much to see in the museum that one visit is too overwhelming and too much. The architect Fernando Romero is definitely influenced by Frank Gehry, but to me – this is a more minimalist building than Gehry’s are and it is a jewel!

Mexican architect and his group have designed the museum and the buildings surrounding it after Mr. Slim bought a yard of an old tire factory.
A view from the museum steps – the Modern Art museum is seen in front.
From floor to floor…
This is the 6th floor- 200 of Roden’s sculptures and also some paintings by other Europeans.
If I remember correctly – it is Bregel, but I am not sure…
Another Breigel’s painting, one can spend at least half hour looking at it!
White marble from Greece.
Michelangelo’s Pieta – what a good place to show it!
Roden’s Doors to Hell – it is a temporary exposition, but undisturbed by a super white wall
The museum bathroom
Couldn’t take my eyes off the building…
One of the nice houses in Polanko, of which there is a lot…
A memorial to victims of…I didn’t figure that out, but there were names, lots of them…
A girl by Casa Luisa Barragan -their most awarded and therefore outstanding architect, where we were not permitted to enter – make reservations on line!
My favourite building on Paseo dela reforma
It is especially beautiful during sunset.