Last week seemed to have it all, so there was a lot of pressure on this week to compete.
After leaving the waterfall, we headed towards Xilitla. To give a little bit of a back story, Xilitla was a place that Meg found on the internet a year or so ago. It’s starting to become a little more known - basically, it has found its way onto Atlas Obscura, but when Meg discovered it, it was a ‘we’re getting married there’ demand. It is a kind of semi-finished sculpture park set amongst the jungle (called Las Pozas). Unsurprisingly, it was an eccentric British artist/poet who built the place, originally as an Orchid playground in the 1940s. But, when they all died one winter, he decided to build concrete structures instead (it is like a skeletal version of Portmeirion - still one of my favourite places in the world).
If there was ever a place of High Hopes, Low Expectations, then this was it!
We arrived in the afternoon, and the place was closed, so we drove to a campsite (well, paying for the privilege of parking in someone’s driveway). As we got married in San Francisco instead (for ease & admin reasons) we had planned to keep some wedding attire with us, and at least get some photos done in Las Pozas. So the next morning I donned a suit & Meg her wedding evening dress, and we spent a good few hours wandering around taking a tonne of photos. It really was an amazing place, with narrow pathways, all leading to some other bizarre structure. You never knew what would be around the corner, with the main prize being a waterfall surrounded by all these stone & concrete walls and half buildings. It was great, and I really hope the photos do it justice?
The next couple of days were spent driving towards Mexico City. We hadn’t really ever planned on visiting the city, as we just had this vision of a mass of people & cars (I think it is still one of the biggest cities in the world), but we couldn’t really avoid it, so why not. Conveniently, there was an Aztec Pyramid an hour outside, so we headed for that as a place to camp up (well, Mesoamerican – is that not Aztec? Showing my complete ignorance here).
The 2 pyramids of Teotihuacan were part of some massive city in the 1st century AD. Who knew? Anyway, they were pyramids, and I’m guessing pretty impressive. It was nice to visit, but we did struggle to eek out more than a couple of hours. Heathens I think is the word…
At the end of the week, we took the bus into Mexico City. As we had some airmiles points that were expiring, we decided to treat ourselves to a hotel for a couple of nights (Chaya B&B by the way – great place, great location). For our first day, we wandered the streets to just get a feel for the place. We visited the Zocalo & took in the main sites off & near it; the palace of fine arts (fancy building & theatre), the Metropolitan Cathedral (big church), the National Palace (another Diego Rivera mural. That man got everywhere), Templo Mayor (a relatively recently discovered pyramid. Didn’t bother walking round it), and most importantly the hotel (the Gran Hotel) that James Bond walked into during Spectre - that was all I cared about, making Meg film & take photos of me in the hotel lobby. Even though Spectre was a pretty poor Bond film, I was more than in my element.
Apparently we walked 22,000 steps in that first day, so we took in a lot in. I must admit, on first impressions, a most impressive city, and definitely glad we visited…