if only mexico city had a marina!

I guess the title says it all!  After almost a year in baja, it was a huge change to spend a week in Mexico City with our visiting family.  It reminded me why we fell in love with Mexico and wanted to come here and settle a while, start our business and get involved with the local community where ever we ended up… but plans change, and at this point our bows are pointed toward the South Pacific, but thats next year, so where was I, oh yeah, mexico city…

Aztec Sun Stone

Aztec Sun Stone

It is probably one of the most polluted and maybe overpopulated cities in the world, but still I love being there.  The history is hard to comprehend sometimes, especially for someone who comes from a country where a hundred year old building is considered old!  Before the spanish arrived in 1519, Tenochtitlan was a city unlike any other in the world.  A collection of small islands in large Lake Texcoco,  connected by a series of canals and bridges, it was more advanced than the cities the conquistadores left behind to get there on their quest for fortune and fame.  Running water, a specially designed sewer system (which judging by the smell, is still in use today!) and temples taller than the european churches, all decorated with gold, silver and gemstones.  Ok, so the Azteca  were a pretty blood thirsty lot, sacrificing prisoners of war and those unlucky enough to have been born at the wrong time to their gods, tearing still beating hearts out of the victims. But is that any worse than the catholics of their time? I think having your heart cut out or your head cut off and thrown over the side of a temple has got to be better than being burned at the stake…

the wall of skulls, Templo Mayor

the wall of skulls, Templo Mayor

Anyways, the Azteca ruled with a heavy hand, demanding taxes and tribute from the tribes they subdued through war, and this is probably what let Cortez and his cronies get as far as they did.  When the god botherer’s arrived, they would put on their heavy armour, and fire their cannons and guns around, making a hell of a racket and scaring the locals into admitting that may this jesus guy had something on their gods… I mean, their gods hadn’t given them fire sticks, wine or small pox, so maybe it was a good idea to help the hairy smelly spaniards get to Tenochtitlan and get rid of Moctezuma and the Azteca once and for all…

a model of Tenochtitilan

a model of Tenochtitilan

So the various tribes from along the eastern side of modern Mexcio joined the handful of Spanish and fought their way into the centre of the country, they didn’t really have to fight too hard, the Aztecs and their neighbours couldn’t agree whether this motley mob of whitey’s coming towards them were the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy or not, and besides, Cortez was sending the standard “we come in peace” type messages ahead of them, when obviously all he wanted was the gold!

They made it to the capital, and set about making themselves at home… taking over the main palace and essentially taking Moctezuma hostage in his own house.  eventually the Azteca fought back, chasing the spaniards out of the city, but after a small-pox outbreak wiped out a large number of mexica, and a drawn out seige, the spanish won out

Teotehuacan, Temple of the Sun

Teotehuacan, Temple of the Sun

Fast forward 500 years, and now instead of the towering temples of the Azteca to admire, we get to wonder what the hell cortez was thinking when he systematically destroyed the entire azteca empire, using the stones from the temples to fill in the canals and build more boring catholic churches, not to mention the torture and erasure of almost all the accumulated knowledge of the locals.

model of Templo Mayor

model of Templo Mayor

It wasn’t until early in the 20th century the ruins of Templo Mayor were found just behind the main cathedral, but still they didn’t start digging there until 1978 when the electric company were digging over the site and hit a 2m diameter monolith.fter that the government took over and now the previous grandeur of the templo mayor includes a large museum housing sculptures and offerings excavated from the site, and a look at the seven layers of the temple as they appear now.

Templo Mayor ruins

Templo Mayor ruins

Catholic cathedral, with Templo Mayor ruins in the foreground

Catholic cathedral, with Templo Mayor ruins in the foreground

Enough of the history lesson, the week was busy of course, with only 6 days to catch as many of the sights as possible and with 9 people to co-ordinate, there was a lot of racing around, but I think we pulled it off pretty well!

From the floating markets of Xochimilco

From the floating markets of Xochimilco

Frieda Kahlo and Diego Riviera's kitchen

Frieda Kahlo and Diego Riviera’s kitchen

Between us we covered most of the city, taking in the ruins, churches, markets and many of the cities finest bathrooms along the way, yup, Montezuma had his revenge alright!

Angel de la Reforma

Angel de la Reforma

After we bid the hard beds and bad breakfasts of our B&B behind, we all headed to La Paz, for a much needed break aboard Sea Raven..

Graffiti near Tlatelolcol

Graffiti near Tlatelolcol

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3 responses to “if only mexico city had a marina!

  1. Pingback: weekly photo challenge: pattern | searavensailing·

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