Yesterday (Saturday) was my only real day off here in Mexico City and I decided to take a tour that included the Basilica of the Virgen de Guadalupe, and the Teotihuacan Pyramides. I was very exited to see more of the area! I took a taxi to a downtown hotel where the tour would start. I was under the impression that it was a bus tour, but it was just a driver, a couple from Costa Rica, and me! It actually worked out quite well, since we had many stops it would have been very time consuming with a larger group. As the good Norwegian I was, I was there about half an hour early, while the Ticos showed up fifteen minutes late. Oh well, we got along great so it didn't really matter.
The Basilica de la Virgen de Guadalupe was our first stop and it was both impressive and moving. People were still arriving for their pilgrimages (the Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe was December 12) and all parts of the complex were packed. The Basilica is the "new church" and the Cathedral is the old shrine. The Basilica is very modern and very nice. It was packed with people and for the first time this week I felt that I saw a real mix of Mexicans, not just the ones that work in the business district.
We then headed towards Teotihuacan and the pyramids, about 40 kilometers outside of the city. As this was a tour, there was also a stop at a small silver factory where they also make things out of obsidian – and they showed us how pulque, mescal and tequila are made. I felt a little bit pressured to buy something but in the end I was happy with the silver bracelet I bought, they really had beautiful things.
The pyramids were very impressive and I enjoyed the explanations from the guide. Apparently the teotihuacanos had sewage systems and even inside toilets! They also favored water births in a special bath tub… Teotihuacan was a large settlement by 150 BC, but after a fire in 650 AD the civilization quickly declined and remained as ruins during the time of the Aztecs and the Conquista. Excavation and reconstruction started in the early 1900s. We climbed the 65 meter high Pyramid of the Sun, which was really tiring! We also visited several temples and it was impressive to see what was left of the original murals. It also felt great to get out of the city.
Pyramid of the Sun: