Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back to downtown

Yesterday morning we headed back to downtown. It is so simple to hop on the subway. It let us off right at the central plaza. Such an efficient system, and only 3 pesos (24 cents) per ride! Warning...lots of photos from yesterday!

First stop was the Templo Mayor. This is the Aztec ruins site that exists right in the center of Mexico City. It is really amazing. This used to be the center of the Aztec city of Tenochitlan. When the Spanish invaded in 1521, they destroyed the city and the new city which became Mexico City was pretty much built on top of it.

In 1978, the hydro company was doing some digging downtown and they came across a huge monolithic stone that depicted the moon goddess. Of course the site was covered by downtown buildings and a parking lot. The decision was made to demolish 13 buildings, some of which themselves were historic, in order to gain access to the site.

Part of the site exists underneath the current cathedral. Obviously they cannot destroy that in order to access it.

20 foot long serpent.

Funny lookin' dude.

The original temple was built around 1350, so it was in fact fairly recent, in Aztec terms. Each new ruler of the old city had a mandate to enlarge the temple, so they built over the old temple in layers. There were four different layers to the temple.

A display in the museum showing the layers of construction.

The excavation showing two of the layers.

Some of the detail is amazing. Especially impressed with the colors.

There are 240 skulls adorning the sides of this shrine.

I think archaeology is amazing, but I would never have the patience for it!

Some of the artifacts as they found them during excavation.

They have a museum on site displaying some of the 7,000 artifacts they found. This huge stone measures about 10' x 12'.

Ruth and the Eagle Man.

I still find it amazing that they didn't know all this stuff was down there until 1978. Too much to see, so we carried on. Did some walking and stopped for lunch at the downtown Sanborns. It's an expensive place, but we only ordered a plate of enchiladas for 92 pesos ($7.36) and asked if we could split it. No problem, they even brought it on separate plates, and we got a big basket of rolls and nacho chips that came with it. Didn't order a drink because we had water, so that was our total lunch bill. You can even do expensive restaurants on the cheap if you know how!

Made our way to the downtown post office building because we heard it had an impressive lobby. Boy were they right about that!

Ruth in the lobby of the postal building.


Looking up towards the ceiling.

The lobby.

Then we wandered over to the Sears building where we had read that you could get a nice view from the 9th floor. Yep, they were right about that too!

View from the Sears building. This is the arts center.

Then we were going to walk to the zoo, but our feet were already getting tired and it would have been a very long walk so we hopped on the subway. The Mexico City zoo is FREE...just the way a public zoo should be! The displays were well done, and although some of them were a little small for the animals they appeared well fed. Except for the Canadian wolves...they looked a little skinny. And what's with placing their enclosure next to the deer? Isn't that a bit of a tease??


This big guy was well fed!

Today, we're headed past northern Mexico City to the ruins site of Teotihuacan where the third largest pyramid in the world is located!


  1. Some of those buildings give Vienna a run for its money.
    The crazy thing about uncovering hidden ruins is that, up until quite recently, nobody really CARED about what was down there. Now of course knocking down a few buildings to discover the past is common place.
    The photos are awesome. Thanks.

  2. have always wondered why you have such ruins in mexico and central america...but nothing in the u.s. and canada.
    great pics. i'm w/ you love looking at the ruins but wouldnt have the patience to sit w/ a little brush and take dirt away one grain at a time....thankfully there are people that can

  3. I did not realize how interesting and historic Mexico city is....always just thought of it as another overpopulated, polluted, big city....now I want to go too!

  4. Now I am convinced I have to spend some time in DF! Thanks for the interesting post and all the photos. Wow!

  5. It amazes me when I see the complicated structures they build way back then. You'd think they had nothing better to do (like survive!). Thanks for sharing all those great photos!

  6. Both the ruins and the post office were fabulous. Great pictures!

    I don't care for zoos. Never visit them. Feel very sorry for the animals in cramped cages. Hardly a life for them just so we can oggle them in every sizeable city around the globe. Why not put the people in the cages and let the animals roam free is always my thought.

  7. Great photos and tour. They have really been working on Templo Mayor since I was there. Truly fascinating. I think many trips to DF are needed to see even half of it. Glad you are enjoying it.

  8. Great Photo's!! Those Aztec's were quite the builders. From what I recall of their history, Cortez had no trouble recruiting native peoples to help attack the Aztec's. I guess they weren't the nicest neighbors.

  9. Great pics!!! You certainly crammed a lot into your day. Looking forward to seeing your pics of Teotihuacan tomorrow.

  10. butterbean carpenterMarch 8, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Howdy Ruth & Kevin,

    Joyce was down there when that discovery was made, but was not in the archaeological group that participated in the 'dig'!! She was impressed with the findings you showed..

  11. The artifacts are amazing. I've been to the ruins at Tulum and found them fascinating, these are extraordinary. I agree on the zoos. If you every get to St. Louis, there zoo is free. It was one of my kids favorites,

  12. I can't believe that is a post office...amazing. I am with you...archaeology is amazing! This post is so fascinating. I love looking at those photos. The skills are so interesting. I always wonder what all that means. Great job. Thanks for bringing so much history alive! ~wheresweaver

  13. Continuing on with the great tour of Mexico City. I'm always fascinated by ruins from ancient cultures ... they offer such insight into how people lived. That 'funny' guys reminds me of the Chac Mools we've seen at Mayan ruins.


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