Monday, December 21, 2009

City Touring

WOW. If I thought time flew by fast leading up to the wedding - the three weeks post-wedding have just disappeared into thin air. Any R&R I thought I was going to get after tying the knot was really just wishful thinking on my part...I'll start with week one:

When we lived in China, we had lots of friends and family from around the world come to visit. Seriously, every other month we had someone looking to discover Shanghai - this of course meant us putting on our tour guide caps. There were occasions where we needed a little more motivation to get off the couch to go see something we had seen before, but at the end of the day, we were always surprised. There was always something waiting to be discovered in Shanghai - seeing a new art exhibit, eating at a fantastic restaurant, walking down a charming street...

One of our metas (goals) was to see something new about Mexico City every month. We didn't count on the fact that moving here, creating a home, a new job, and wedding plans would consume every waking moment of our existence. So when I had the chance to play amateur tour guide for my Mom, we decided to hop on the Mexico City Turibus. I may be biased because this is my second time on board, but - it does happen to be a pretty decent way to get a feel for the city. Especially when you get lucky with beautiful weather.

Remember how I was saying that there is always something waiting to be discovered in each city? This time for me it was another reminder of how close Mexico and the Philippines are intertwined.

We capped up the day at the Castillo de Chapultepec, right in the heart of Bosque de Chapultepec - kind of like Mexico City's version of Central Park. Not many people know that there is an actual castle in Mexico City - but yup - and it was the humble home (ahem! imperial palace) of Hapsburg Archduke Maximilian in 1864 - Emperor of Mexico. That's just a little tidbit from its vast history. Appropriately, the castle is now home to the Museo Nacional de Historia.

Of the many exhibitions throughout the museum, I spent most of my time admiring all the remaining artifacts from the Manila-Acapulco Galleons.

The trade between Mexico and the Philippines started in 1565 and continued until 1815, thus explaining so much of the similarity seen within both cultures. If you didn't get a chance to read one of my first posts, check out some of what I'm talking about here.

To really immerse yourself and get the best experience possible out of any place, whether you live there or are just visiting, you must learn its history. I've had so many Aha! moments since visiting the castillo. This is definitely one part of the city I would mind being a tour guide to again and again.

Castillo de Chapultepec
Primera Sección del Bosque de Chapultepec
Tuesday - Sunday, 9:00-17;00
$51 pesos, Sunday free
Metro: Auditorio y Chapultepec

Monday, December 7, 2009