Monday, July 1, 2013

Xochimilco and Coyoacan

We had another hectic and enjoyable fin de semana this week, spending Sunday hitting up not one but two huge tourist spots in D.F. You can trace our route on the map below from Polanco (A) down to Xochimilco (B) for the day before an evening in Coyoacan (C). We've been wanting to explore both of these places since we set foot in the city, so it was ultra exciting to do them both in one day!!


We made our way after a morning of smoothies and gymming first on the metro to Tasqueñas, a stop in the south of D.F., where our colleague Andy picked us up and drove us to our destination, collecting Rebeca on the way. Isabel and Jaume met us in the main square of Xochimilco, which Laura aptly describes as the Venice of Mexico.

We were met at the dock by a host of hyper-colorful traijineras, the flat boats which hold picnic tables for 14 to navigate the canals of Lake Xochimilco.


Floating along on these boats is such a spectacle!



Groups of friends sit snacking and drinking and soaking up the sun as smaller boats pass by selling food, souvenirs, and even plants!

If you want something, you just holler and the canoe will follow your trajinera preparing whatever you would like.

Many vendors and mariachi musicians also hop from boat to boat selling their wares and their serenades. What a sight!



Above, see a woman selling freshly roasted corn on the cob, and at right, see a full-fledged doll-and-shawl stand atop the water.

The gang stopped a boat preparing fresh tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas while I ate my turkey sandwich from home (trying not to take any more chances with my stomach) and pulled over for a bottle of coke at one point.

We sat lazing in the sun as I prepared many a charro negro for my comrades until our journey was through.


Isabel and I lay posing on the "prow" of the boat until we were joined by the other chicas.


Our afternoon was fun, relaxing, vibrant. Having disembarked, Laura and I bid Isa and Jaume hasta luego and hopped back in the car with Andy and Rebeca for our "express" evening tour of Coyoacan, an absolutely charming village home to the homes of Hernan Cortes and Frida Kahlo!


With Rebeca as our tour guide, Laura and I strolled all about the three main plazas -- Santa Catarina, La Conchita, and La Concepcion -- stopping to imbibe the colors and take pictures at every corner, I receiving another reminder about my love for the layout and architecture of many Latin American towns.

I was especially struck by the Parish of San Juan Bautista, a grand edifice in the middle of the main square, receiving attention from the sun at several splendid angles over the course of our evening.

We also visited two small markets in the vicinity, and met our friends Louise and Alejandro for dinner at Los Danzantes, a nice traditional restaurant in the central plaza.

After a plate of mole verde for me and one taco al pastor for Laura, it started to drizzle just as we prepare to say goodbye to the beautifully pleasant place.

Louise and Alejandro drove us home to Polanco, we all exhausted, and Laura and I reminded again of how lucky we are to be fortunate to travel to such sights and see them with such people.

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