After breakfast atop the hostel's rooftop terrace, we took the Metro to Terminal del Norte to catch an early bus to Teotihuacan more commonly known as Las Piramides. About an hour later, we were outside Mexico City. The driver packed his vehicle in with passengers, making frequent stops at what appeared to be random places.
Teotihuacan is a remarkable site--a window looking onto an ancient civilization whose true identity no one knows for sure. There are three main areas: Ciudadela, Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. They are all connected by the four-km. Avenue of the Dead.
The Pyramid of the Sun covers almost the same amount of space as the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. At the spring equinox on March 21, the sun is perfectly aligned with the west face of the pyramid. We climbed the steep steps to reach the summit and take in the view of the entire site. The Pyramid of the Moon is only half the size of Pyramid of the Sun, but the first level of this pyramid provides the best view of the Avenue of the Dead. Both are challenging climbs, especially with the heat of the midday sun.
There are a few more temples along the Avenue of the Dead. Note the Jaguar Temple where there is an unearthed mural of a jaguar. The Tetitla and the Atetelco temples have frescoes and paintings of ancient symbols and markings.
We were at the site during the hottest part of the day and there were a lot of tourists. So try to catch the earliest bus at 8am to avoid the crowds. We exited from the back and waited by the side of the road for any bus that would take us back to the city. We discovered a tent food shack around the bend and ate our first flor de calabaza and championes tortillas, squash flower, and mushrooms. Flor de calabaza would soon be a part of our regular fare in Oaxaca.
I had read on cnn.com that mariachi policemen were one of the city's gimmicks to make the place a little friendlier: mix a little culture with the law and even residents will appreciate the effort. I asked if I could take a photo with them and they happily obliged. Most law officers around the city, especially the ones stationed near the Palacio Nacional don't entertain such requests.
Back at the Zocalo, we ate tamales while watching street performers at the plaza. For dinner, we splurged and had Argentinian steak with some deadly sangrias at Las Esquina del Pibe on the corner of Bolivar and Uruguay. It was a great way to close out this first chapter in Mexico City. We look forward to being in a whole different world tomorrow morning.
Terminal del Norte
Via Metro Linea 1 or pink line San Lazaro stop. Bus ticket is P21 each. Go to Gate 8 and you will either the sign Teotihuacan or Piramides. The ride is about an hour outside Mexico City.
Zona Arqueologia de Teotihuacan
Entrance tickets are P35 each. You will need at least two hours to walk around the pyramids, more if you're climbing both the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon.
Las Esquina del Pibe
The corner of Bolivar and Uruguay. Our Argentinian steak for two people cost us about $50 with soup and salad. They accept Visa and MasterCard. You will notice how more expensive restaurants treat their customers a little bit better.