USA & Mexico Part 2

Mexico trip was a blast; I loved the places we visited and while I almost never had a bad group on my organised trips, our group in Mexico was probably the most fun one and just a great bunch of people. We started in Mexico City, which I wished I could have spent more time in as it felt like I only scratched the surface. Or maybe not, because, as I realised only a few days before, Mexico City is 2,250 m above the sea level, which means altitude sickness and its lovely symptoms like increased motion sickness and feeling bloated. Anyway, the highlight for me was visiting Casa Azul, The Frida Kahlo Museum, where she and Diego Rivera lived and which is dedicated to her life and works. There weren’t that many actual Frida Kahlo paintings, but it’s still a must-visit for any Frida fan (and I so want her colourful kitchen).

In Puebla, I got to see Mexican wrestling, which was awesome and super-cheesy, and one of the most ornate churches I’ve ever seen (gold, gold, and more gold). The bright-coloured buildings in the town centre are just gorgeous, and while in the Artist Quarter I dared to taste crunchy and spicy fried crickets. This and the cactus were some of the more exotic food things I tried in Mexico.

Oaxaca was probably my favourite city; I loved exploring the big covered local market and the central pedestrian-only street has nice cafes, art/craft galleries and boutiques. While in Oaxaca, we also had a long day trip, going to the ancient Zapotec city of Monte Alban and getting acquainted with the several varieties of mezcal. The hike to Hierve el Agua, the petrified waterfalls, was a bit of a killer for an unfit person like myself, but totally worth it as the rock formations are just amazing. We also had a chance to swim in the natural infinity pools nearby, but I chickened out on the account of late chilly evening and just enjoyed the stunning scenery. On the way back, our local guide serenaded us on the mike with traditional Mexican songs, and a few people including myself had a go as well – I sang what I could remember of Dark Eyes, which is probably the most famous traditional Russian romance song.

I studied Spanish for a few months about eight years ago and this trip might inspire me to take it up again. As it was, I could understand a few stray phrases and words here and there, but my vocabulary is just too limited to get by.

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