I spent this past January in Mexico, first visiting my friend Noah in Guadalajara, then traveling with Noah and his girlfriend to Mexico City, where our friend Lauren now lives. This was my second visit to Mexico, but my first visit to Mexico City, also referred to as Districto Federal. The first time around, I went to Guadalajara, a major city, Tequila, where they make (surprise!) tequila and then to Sayulita, a cool hippie beach town.
But no ruins. No pyramids. Nothing pre columbian.
This time, I wanted to see something ancient. Luckily, I wasn't alone in this desire; Noah and his girlfriend also wanted to visit the Pyramids at Teotihucan, about an hour outside of Mexico City.
The day started not too early - with a cappuccino for me, tea for Noah and hot choco for his GF at Café Negro in Coyoacán, a hip neighborhood of Mexico City. Lauren had arranged a driver/guide for the day, which cost about the same as taking the bus, and paying admission. This was definitely the way to go.
Our driver Ernesto picked us up at the cafe, and we drove to the pyramids. He gave an informative lecture, switching between Spanish and English as we walked amongst the ruins. I learned that the pyramids predate the Aztecs - in fact the Aztecs found them already abandoned. It is unknown who built them, why they left, or what's inside. For a time, the Mexican government was investing in excavation, but the project is no longer being funded.
I had originally wanted to go hiking outside of Mexico City - but Lauren warned me it really wasn't safe. I tend to ignore these warnings, but she lives there, so I trusted her. I settled for running up the 2 large pyramids. The stairs are incredibly steep; Lauren joked that the ancient people must have had huge tibias and tiny femurs. I will admit, it was a very legitimate cross train, especially since it was at altitude and in the blazing sun. I do love a challenge.
The pyramids were lovely, but the big ones were crowded. I see the benefit to arriving immediately at the open time (which we did not do). None the less, it was fascinating to be in such an old place, shrouded in such mystery.