Mexico City and the end

Back to Mexico City and a couple of days to look around. Mexico City is a huge sprawling city, some bits of  it are interesting, and some leave no impression at all. As it was getting very near to Holy Week the city was pretty empty. Everyone was off to to the villages for their Easter holidays.
The Colonial part of the city has some magnificent buildings.
The Bank of Mexico is very impressive!
The Opera house magnificent
And all around we are reminded of the past.

this was a Monastery at one time!
We came across these Mayan dancers.
Marvelling at the national costume.

and the magnificent headdresses. 
We wondered what birds had lost their lives to adorn these men.

The young learn the ancient rites.
There are some very nice shady parks 
with interesting statutary.
and very good topiary.
Major streets are lined with flowers.
and squares have fountains.
Statues of the Mayans are there as well.

And the arch to Celebrate independence was a must to see.
Mexico is now turning into a modern city, very similar to other cities in the world!
Palm Sunday was our last day, memories are made of these last few pictures.

Returning to the UK for Easter we revelled in good weather and the English countryside at its best.
A visit to Cheynies house was a delight.
 The bluebell woods, a reminder of our childhood!
 Really big tulips
 Our Granddaughter, Millie, waiting to win the egg and spoon race!
Really different tulips! 
 Lots of people all enjoying the sun
 And a reminder that the English really know how to cross breed plants!!!
A gentle end to a busy, wonderful trip.
Our next trip in January 2012 will be to Ethiopia, so watch this space!


We were only supposed to stay in Taxco for three nights, but we were really travel weary and the town and hotel were so delightful we decided to stay  for four nights!!!  The only place we have slept for four nights in the same bed the whole trip! The journey from Guanajuato was long, we came from the north so the bus  arrived at Mexico City North Terminal. To get a bus to Taxco, south of the city we had to catch the tram to the south terminal, it took an hour and a quarter, but was an interesting ride through all the central districts of Mexico City. Our luck was with with us, when we arrived we discovered there was a bus leaving for Taxco in three minutes - we made it!!
The name of the Hotel in Taxco was Hotel Los Arcos, and was one of the nicest we stayed in.
A converted convent, the rooms came off a central courtyard.
A huge bed was very welcome.
and the view from the window over the city lovely.
Taxco is another 'Silver City', built on very steep streets.
Cobbled, which means street noise, especially as the VW 'bugs' taxis race up and down the streets. If you ever visit make sure that your room is an interior one!
The cobbles are as old as the the 15thC town.
The church was built by a local duke.
Very beautiful, but very 'over the top' inside.
Five of these retablos adorned the inside, the carving is quite exquisite.

It is said that the building of the church bankrupted the Duke and the bank took all his lands and houses as security for the money they loaned him. 
Although a silver city there is little mining done now, but all the sliver craftsmen live around Taxco. The town is full of silver shops selling all the same things!!! One is not allowed to photograph the shops - because the Chinese will copy the designs!
The main square is called the Zocalo, and every evening street theatre was staged in the bandstand.
It was getting near to Holy week, so all sorts  of preparations were being made.
A carpet of flowers and sawdust in one church.
A huge firework display was being prepared in another.
The activities were in the evening so we decided to take a  bus to explore the countryside.
In one village we came across a church so old we thought it was going to fall down!
Inside was a very good selection of Marias.
And an ancient lady guarding them.
Further along the highway we came across a large town - not very interesting as a place but we were shocked to see this chap for sale.
In a side street we discovered for sale all the things to make a saddle. From:
the wooden base.
to the felt to pad it out,
and the leather to make the bridle.
If you didn't want to make it yourself these were available for 200 Euros!
The stiching on the side of the saddle was very beautiful.
Horse shoes were also available - any size!
On the way home we met a donkey and its baby.
The baby was really cute and just loved being photographed.

Returning to see how the festivity preparations were going on, we came across a cake shop that we thought our Grandchildren would enjoy!
This cake for Millie.
this one for George.
Flowers were being arranged in one church, by the men!
Magnificent they were!
Mary, was very sad, and very beautiful.
A podium was being prepared for her.
The other church we were watching was, in many ways more interesting. The old convent church is very sacred to the indigenous people. They come once a year on this day to offer flowers, pray and spend the night in the church,but most importantly to ask Jesus to come to their village.
They arrived early to claim their sleeping spot.

After offering flowers 
and bought candles.
There were pretty lethal looking self flagellation instruments on sale.
Outside the tower of fireworks was making progress.
During the afternoon there was a storm, so they had to take the tower down and when we arrived at 9.00pm they were just starting to put it up again! It was interesting to watch them building the tower  adding wheel by wheel, tying them together with string. They hoisted up the rickety tower with a winch. We watched as we ate dinner! It was a very precarious operation - we wondered what the safety people in the UK would say!
Eventually all was ready and the fuse was lit. There were a few anxious moments, the fuses were obviously damp, but the wheel eventually lit.
A series of Catherine wheels whizzed around one after the other.
However higher up the tower there was a problem and one of the firework personel shinned up the tower to light it again! We held our breath!
It was magnificent when it lit.
The next day we went down to the church - pretty early. Like Spain, after the Fallas all had been cleared away and people were waiting to be taken home.
We thought it odd that they were taking their flowers with them!
We had to pack up too - the bus was taking us back to Mexico City, our final stop before returning back to Europe.