Marokko Dodra

We had no expectations of Mexico City and these were exceeded

Mexiko City

We had no expectations of Mexico City and these were exceeded

We fly to Switzerland. On August 30, 2022, our flight leaves. So what do we do in the meantime when we have parked our Dubu and until we get on the plane? We explore the capital – Mexico City. Before we went to the capital, we had no expectations. We try to avoid big cities. Why? They’re loud, crowded, smelly, expensive, and basically just a collection of tons of concrete, glass, and steel. So that’s what we expect from Mexico City. We should be proven wrong. Well, you never stop learning.

The capital: Mexico City

We order an Uber and it takes us from Tepotzotlan to our hotel in the middle of the city of Mexico. We should be at the hotel in about an hour. Despite little expectation, we are looking forward to exploring the city. And we are already surprised by the city on the way to the hotel. The Uber driver tells us, since we’re pretty much in the heart of the city, that there’s a marathon going on here. He didn’t know either. “Oha… And where do they run through?” we ask him. He doesn’t know exactly. The only thing he hints at is that our hotel is right in the middle of this marathon. He can’t go there because the entire Historico Center is closed. Yes, great. We also have a marathon ahead of us.

Carlos, our Uber driver, drives as close to our hotel as he can. According to our navi, that’s still 2 kilometers through all the crowds and crossing barriers. We thank Carlos and wave after him as he drives away. Since Claudia can’t put much weight on her back for long, I take her bag and mine. It takes all the hand luggage. In concrete terms, this means – I carry 23 kilos twice. 23 kilos on the back and 23 kilos in front of the stomach – over a distance of about 2.2 kilometers. In a city we don’t know. With masses of people you have to dodge. With closed roads because there are so “would-be-fit-people” running around. “Hey, I have two sports bags here of 23 kilos each” I think. “It’s sporty and keeps you fit. Take my bags.” Well, no pig would understand me in Swiss German anyway, so it’s just a silent thought.

Claudia with the navigation system set to pedestrians, walks in front. She carves a small swath for me into the crowd. Left, right, straight ahead, then right again… Damn, where are we exactly? Ok, we’re here and we have to go there. Uhm… Over there? Through where these lattice barriers are which separate a racetrack from the crowd? How do we get over there? Meanwhile, my panting has gone from light panting to steamrolling. We have discovered a pedestrian gap in the bars and police officers are regulating the runner-pedestrian flow. Claudia rushes forward and crosses the track. Me, too slow because 46 kilos more ballast, out of breath, inwardly cursing about this shit marathon and still about 1.8 kilometers ahead of us. I can’t keep up with Claudia. Will have to wait. The weight of the luggage presses me into the tarred ground. I think there are now two hollows in the ground – damage to the stand?

Finally I can get through and basically almost roll over the rest of the people because the weight prevents me from jumping nimbly around obstacles like a deer. Further, never-ending kilometers, we make our way towards the Hotel Historico Central. We arrive at the reception. I’m totally exhausted. I’m dripping wet, puffing like a diesel locomotive, the pulse should be at 400 – felt. The lady at the reception looks at me and I must have aroused mega pity. The first thing she does is offer me a bottle of cold mineral water. This was the best mineral water I’ve ever drunk. We get our room key and – the hotel has a porter – he has a cart with wheels. So it rolls easily with my 46 kilos of luggage in the direction of the lift. Haha… I can do that too – mollycodle. 🙂 Once in the room, I undress, take a cold shower, lie down on the bed and sleep. So more coma than sleep.

I wake up after an hour of coma, I’m hungry. We get ready and go out to explore the city. In the elevator I tell Claudia that we will never bring souvenirs or gifts again. I’m not going to do another one on pack mules. So we step out of the hotel, walk to one corner and realize that the barriers of the marathon have been removed in the meantime. The marathon is over. Haha… Haha… funny. Bite me – my shoulders hurt. So we now stroll leisurely through the bustling city near our hotel. Neither of us want to go far anymore anyway.

Mexico City- a gem

Mexico City is located at the southern end of the 60-kilometre-long and 100-kilometre-wide valley of Mexico at an average altitude of 2,310 metres above sea level and is surrounded on three sides by mountains – including the famous twin volcanoes Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl as well as the Sierra Nevada. The combination of this location and a metropolis with its emissions, especially from motorized traffic, often creates smog. For centuries, this basin has been the focal point of the country, long before there could be any talk of a Mexican nation. The city has an area of 1,499.03 square kilometers. It is bordered to the north, east and west by the state of México and to the south by the state of Morelos.

Since the location of the city is in a valley, before the settlement by the Aztecs, the lowest point led to a lot of water. As is the case with a valley. Water has the property of flowing downwards. Amazing, I know. This then led to the fact that the original inhabitants from the pre-Columbian period found an ecosystem that included numerous lakes, rivers and swamps.

When the Aztecs arrived in the Valley of Mexico, they found highly developed hydroponics: corn, beans, tomatoes, squash and other foods were grown on irrigated land and floating gardens called chinampas; dikes, river diversions and drinking water pipes were also common in the Valle de México. In the 15th century, the Aztecs began to build dikes that connected the island to the mainland. They also served as aqueducts. A 16-kilometre-long dike, interrupted only by a few locks, had been built east of Tenochtitlán through Lake Texcoco to protect the city from flooding.

So the city is on water. However, over 9 million people pump water from these waters every day. The city sinks, the water becomes sparse and will eventually dry up. In 2017, the head of the water supply calculated that in about 40 to 50 years there will be no water under the city in Mexico City.

A Tiffany roof in Mexico City

Mexico City is home to a very special hotel. It is a 4-star hotel. Ok, that’s not the special thing about it. Entering the lobby, however, makes your jaw drop. The origin of this historic building dates back to 1526. It was a residence of the royal accountant Rodrigo de Albornoz. In 1895 it was bought by the Frenchman Sebastian Robert to build the first shopping center in Mexico. Built at the height of Porfiriato, ideally located in the heart of the capital, the Gran Hotel Ciudad de México is one of the most fascinating corners of the metropolis. An iconic element of the Gran Hotel is the Tiffany-style stained glass window, one of the four largest in the world, designed by Frenchman Jacques Gruber in 1908. In 1968 it was inaugurated as the Gran Hotel Ciudad de México, a cultural heritage that welcomes you to experience it for yourself.
And that’s not all. The hotel impresses with a few superlatives. For example, the beauty of the majestic Louis XV lamp in the hotel entrance. The interior of the hotel is dominated by one of the first panoramic elevators ever installed in Mexico. The high-quality service, elegant design and classic room decorations offer a unique luxury hotel experience in Mexico City. And the luxury hotel stands right in front of Mexico City’s Zócalo with spectacular views of Mexico City’s historic center and downtown. The rooftop restaurant can also be visited without checking into the hotel. There is a great view and good food here.

A sad story

And then we experience a sad story before our eyes. We sit in a restaurant right next to the front door and drink something cool. In the door frame is the waiter who served us the drinks. An obviously homeless man approaches the waiter. The homeless man opens his hand and shows his cash to the waiter and asks him if he could buy some rice for 20 pesos. The waiter says no, and the homeless man trots to the nearest restaurant with his head hanging. Claudia and I look at each other and don’t understand. A homeless person has money. He wants to buy something to eat. He pays in cash. OK, it’s little. 20 pesos is just under one franc or Euro 1.07 or US$ 1.17.
The waiter in the neighboring restaurant also rejects the homeless man. Again he trots in front of our eyes with drooping shoulders and a sad look in front of us. Claudia speaks to him and asks him if he is hungry. The homeless man says yes. Claudia tells him to sit down at our table. He hesitates. We both ask him to sit with us. Timidly and not sure what is happening now, he sits down with us at the table. We ask the waiter for the menu and tell the homeless man to order everything he wants. He is amazed, hesitates, quarrels, his eyes get wet. He cries. The waiter doesn’t quite understand. We encourage the homeless person to order everything he wants. He orders a menu and a Coke.
He apologizes for the inconvenience. We tell him it’s not a problem for us. He cries again. We talk to him and ask how he is doing, when was the last time he had something to eat. He said he hadn’t eaten in 5 days. And then he tells us his story. Originally from Veracruz, family still there and a daughter who never spoke to him again. He cries again and continues sobbing and ashamed. He was divorced from his wife and he couldn’t cope with that. The love of his life divorced him and he couldn’t handle it. So it happened that he lost his job and his daughter turned away. Which broke his heart once again.
And now he’s sitting at our table, crying, thanking us a hundred times and apologizing a thousand times. Love is a beautiful thing, but it can also bludgeon you to the ground. An encounter we will not forget.


Mexico City is worth seeing. The buildings alone tell stories. Exploring the different districts is also worthwhile. Especially the area of Frida Kahlo’s house and today’s museum is worth a visit. We also look very different with mannequins. You can immediately see what the Mexican obviously attaches importance to.

Wir sind Claudia und Thomas und möchten mit unserem Blog und unseren Tipps Anregungen geben und die Fantasie ankurbeln.

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