MEXICO CITY -- As I climbed aboard the TWA flight, I wondered why I
was going to Mexico City. But now I'm back, and I wonder no more.
In the one day we were there, I found plenty of reasons that a
vacation to Mexico City is not crazy, including a convenient
three-hour flight from St. Louis.
To be sure, there are negatives. It is disconcerting, for
example, to see a beautifully preserved, centuries-old building
next to a half-constructed, abandoned parking ramp or a glitzy
hotel next to an empty slum building.
Also, I think language can be a problem. Although I studied
Spanish, I can understand it only in a language lab, with someone
speaking very slowly into my headphones. And a tour guide at
Dolores Olmedo Patino Museum spoke English only haltingly.
That notwithstanding, the city's history is intoxicating, with
attractions such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, begun in 1572 and
completed more than 200 years later; Templo Mayor, which contains
the main pyramid of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan; the 17th
century National Palace, and the murals of San Ildefonso
During the day, we spent more time than needed with the Diego
Rivera collection at the Dolores Olmedo Patino Museum. There also
was a trip through the canals of the floating gardens of Xochimilco
and an unguided tour and walk in Xochimilco's ecological park.
Before we left the city, we were given folders brimming with
pamphlets explaining much of what we'd seen during our brief visit.
Looking these over, I know I'll be going back.