Our first foray into the city on our own was to Zocalo. We figured an accessible destination (by subway), and completely do-able in an afternoon.
It turned out to be an incredibly busy day on the metro as well as one which would turn us off riding it for a while. As we got closer to Zocalo, the number of people increased far beyond what I ever expected. The sort of thing I’ve only ever seen on TV.
[Unfortunately, I had a guy attempt to steal my phone out of my pocket; he pushed me from behind getting on to the train and then jumped off the train and disappeared when prevented him. On the way home, too, Ian was pushed to the floor while boarding. He was picked up by a couple of kind men who made lots of space for him during a very crowded ride. So far, it’s our only sour point in the city, and one which we were warned of.]
The Zocalo (properly typed Zócalo) is the city’s main square. It is (apparently) the third largest in the world after Tiananmen and Red Squares. It is, undoubtedly, huge.
Also here is Catedral Metropolitana, the largest cathedral in Latin America. It is gorgeous. It’s built on top of Aztec Tenochtitlán, and Templo Meyor (what’s been excavated and accessible) is close by.
As a result of the soft ground, and temples on which it’s built, the church is far from level. You can FEEL the tilt as you walk (I’m bringing marbles on my next visit). There is a plum hanging from the ceiling, and it’s clearly not in the middle of the aisle.
Temple Meyor is a little disappointing, sadly. It was an interesting enough walk around, some exceptional altars, but a large tour-group wearing paper “Aztec hats” was perhaps the most entertaining part of the tour.
Despite the subway antics, we’ll visit again since we didn’t get a chance to explore beyond cathedral and Templo Meyor.