Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cuidad de Mexico

Just a quick post from my quick visit to Cuidad de Mexico. I arrived here yesterday to meet up with my cousin Kelley who has been living as an ex-pat here for three years. We had a lovely dinner last night in a local restaurant, although we had difficulty talking over the tremendous storm. The "rainy season" just began, which usually entails 2-3 hours of rain in the late afternoon. Last night was the storm to end all storms, beginning with a clap of thunder that nearly had me diving under the table. I swear, it sounded like a bomb had just leveled a nearby building. After the thunder, it proceeded to POUR down small hail for at least an hour. Rain was also coming down in torrents. We took our time through our meal and hung out until the rain was just a drizzle. Walking back to my cousin's place, we watched people sweeping the hail off the sidewalk.

Today, we headed to the center of town and toured the national palace, where the president still works. To celebrate Mexico's 200th year of being a country, there are several exhibits in the palace, including one on the history of the country and another which features the bones of the heroes of the revolution. Yep, we got to see bones. The bones haven't always been well taken care of, but in honor of the anniversary, they were restored as much as possible and presented to the public for viewing. Each hero is honored by a small chest which is partially open (all encased in glass). By the small opening, you can identify some bones -- in some cases, a skull, in others, a vertebrae or rib. I thought I would be weirded out, but the scientist part of me took over and just had fun identifying the bones. At one point, I said to my cousin, "here's a femur!"

The national palace is also adorned with incredible murals by Diego Rivera. I took many pictures, the best of which I'll share once I'm home. There were also different policia, army and some guys in ninja-turtle-like armor. We had to go through a cursory screening to get in (no fee), and they took away our pens. I figured it was a small price to pay for all we saw.

Tomorrow morning, we leave uber-early to the airport to fly to El Salvador and then on to Roatan, Honduras. I don't know if I'll have internet access, so the next post may be after I return home.

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