Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mexico City: Day 1 - A Fine Start Despite the Missing Jetbridge Driver and Other Minor Inconveniences

Whenever one travels, you have to almost plan to encounter a few "Oh, darn!" moments while hoping to avoid the "Oh, damn!" and even "Oh, fuck!" variety.

Illness, injury and theft would probably find most feeling a bit damned, and I won't even surmise episodes of the even worse kind.

But things like getting somewhat lost if not desperately so, finding world-famous structures sheathed in scaffolding and discovering a museum you really wanted to visit closed for renovations are the types of things travelers can find really annoying but far from disastrous.

Five non-inflight or at-the-airport hours into my Mexico City trip, I have had one "Oh, darn!" moment and a couple of "Hmm, that's odd" ones, but really enjoyed my initial impressions nonetheless.

My flight out of O'Hare was on time and really smooth, right until we pulled up to the gate and found that there was no jet bridge waiting to allow us to deplane.

This wasn't even an "Oh, darn!" moment just a minor annoyance that turned almost comical as the pilot announced--during what became a 20-minute delay--that he could see workers on the jet bridge but was being told they had to find the guy who could drive it. I guess eventually they did.

I got through passport control with no problem but it took an oddly long time for my suitcase to come 'round the baggage carousel. But again, no real problem as was the gridlocked traffic jam my taxi became ensnarled in.

My hotel, Zocalo Central, seems perfectly situated and rather nice.

But the first thing I wanted to do in Mexico City--see Diego Rivera murals at the National Palace--became "Oh, darn," as I learned that Mexico's principal government building is now closed to the public indefinitely due to some recently rather charged protests on the Zocalo square.

I'll check if anything is different tomorrow or Monday but though I still plan on seeing many Rivera murals--at the Secretaria de Educacion Publica and elsewhere--I would somewhat rue not seeing the glorious ones that adorn the palace.

But that's life, even on vacation.

And it's not like my day was really ruined, as I really enjoyed seeing the Templo Mayor--the excavated ruins of an Aztec temple in the heart of Mexico City--and many striking artifacts in its accompanying museum.

I took a good gander--and tons photographs--within the huge old Metropolitan Cathedral that's on the Zocalo just steps from my hotel.

And after getting to the point of truly starving after having only had a croissant this morning at O'Hare, I found my way to a restaurant I had read about called Azul Historico.

It was really outstanding, and not even that expensive. I had a fish dish I can't exactly describe but it was terrific as was a preceding soup and a following chocolate tamale.

Now I'm back at my hotel, a little sheepish to be in for the night so early but feeling it probably for the best. The hotel staff has assured me this area is very safe and I should have no problem if I want to walk a few blocks to a jazz club.

Maybe tomorrow as the performers listed tonight don't seem worth getting out of bed for. And there doesn't seem much point wandering the streets aimlessly as much as I enjoy it.

So good night and I look forward to checking in again tomorrow. I did put up some pictures you can find at

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