Sights I've Seen in México
I've visited México several times since my childhood, and I like to recall some of the many fascinating sights I saw there. One of the most memorable spots is Teotihuacán, a pre-Columbian city about 25 miles northeast of México City. Who built Teotihuacán and when it was built have not been settled definitively. The name Teotihuacán was given to the city by the Aztecs, who were not the builders, centuries after it had been abandoned by the original inhabitants, whoever they were. There are stairs leading to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, which can be seen on the left in the picture below, but they are very steep and narrow, so you have to be careful, as there are no railings. These pyramids are more impressive than the pyramids of Egypt, at least in their present condition, as the Egyptian pyramids are devoid of any kind of ornamentation, whereas the Mexican pyramids feature stone carvings around the base. The Mexican pyramids are somewhat smaller, however:
Teotihuacán, with the Pyramid of the Sun
In 2004, when I traveled from Los Angeles to Lima and back by bus, except for the Darién Gap in Panamá and Colombia, I passed by Iztaccíhuatl, also spelled Ixtaccíhuatl, near Puebla, south of México City. This is the third tallest mountain in México, at 17,158 feet, taller than any peak in the lower 48 states of the U. S. In June, Iztaccíhuatl was covered with snow. I don't know whether it is snow-capped all year long. It was a stunning sight, seeming to rise all alone from the plain, but I didn't get any closer than a few miles.
Iztaccíhuatl (Ixtaccíhuatl) near Puebla, México
A moving sight in México City was the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe. This was built in the 16th century to commemorate the legendary apparition of the Virgin Mary before Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. Pilgrims come crawling on their knees to worship and pay homage at the basilica. Monks' cells, carved in caves, are preserved there. The picture below shows the Old Basilica, which was on the verge of collapse when the New Basilica was built in the 1970's:
The Old Basilica of Guadalupe
El Paseo de la Reforma is the main street of México City. It is a very fashionable street, with stylish shops, fine hotels and sidewalks cloisonné in some places. On one of my visits I stayed on the Paseo, near the Avenida de los Insurgentes, another famous street in the capital. Below is the Paseo:
El Paseo de la Reforma, México City
The main square of México City is called El Zócalo, or La Plaza de la Constitución. The Cathedral of México and the National Palace, both shown below, as well as a number of other important buildings, stand opposite the plaza.
The Cathedral of México
El Palacio Nacional, México City
One of the most charming towns that I can recall having seen in the 51 countries that I have visited is Taxco, Guerrero, México. Note that Taxco is pronounced Tasco, not Taksco, and that Gue- is pronounced Ge- (as in get), not Gwe-. Guerrero is a state. Taxco is about 100 miles south of México City. I went there by bus and cab. Beautiful little stuccoed white houses with terra cotta tile roofs are spattered on the side of a green, green mountain. You have to ascend to the plaza on steep trails and staircases of stone. Taxco was once the center of silver mining activities, but the lode was exhausted some years ago. Still imported silver and gold are worked extensively there, and the shops on the plaza are full of dinnerware, jewelry, figurines and other objets d'art wrought in these precious metals. There is a large church on the central plaza, with bells that toll the hours.
Taxco, Guerrero, México
Many years ago, I visited the city of Morelia, the capital of the Mexican state of Michoacán, west of México City. I'll never forget the kind people of that city, who received me as a friend and a guest, though I was just an impecunious vagabond. Not only that, but Morelia is full of handsome buildings from colonial times, a fortress, a palace, an aqueduct, armories, a cathedral and others. Below is the Cathedral of Morelia.
Cathedral of Morelia, in Morelia, Michoacán
Map of México
Flag of México:
Teotihuacán, with the Pyramid of the Sun:
Iztaccíhuatl (Ixtaccíhuatl) near Puebla, México:
The Old Basilica of Guadalupe:
El Paseo de la Reforma, México City:
The Cathedral of México:
El Palacio Nacional, México City:
Taxco, Guerrero, México:
Cathedral of Morelia, in Morelia, Michoacán:
Map of México: