After San Miguel de Allende, we headed south and managed to get pulled over for first time this trip, we were trying to get to the Teotihuacan pyramids. However we missed an exit so carried on south because I thought I saw another way, what we didn’t fully realise is that we entered the “Hoy No Circular” area, which is basically an area around and in Mexico State that has rules about when you can drive based on strange and nonsensical criteria, it’s supposed to help with the smog. Anyway we knew our day NOT to drive was Monday, also since we have foreign plates we can not drive in this area from 5-11am on Monday-Friday, what we didn’t realise is that as of July 1 2014 foreign plates were no longer allowed to drive Saturdays too. Guess what day it was? Yup Saturday.
So, while I just smiled and kept saying I only spoke English, Dan attempted to interact with the police officer using Spanish. In the end it was a 10 minute delay that we drove away from without paying the bribe that was being asked for or getting a ticket. Sorry for perpetuating the “stupid gringo tourist” stereotype, but it works.
Anyway we did eventually find our way to the pyramids. They were pretty awesome, awesome enough to incite a cartwheel.
We went on a Sunday, which was surprisingly busy until we realised Sundays are free for Mexicans, and then we just thought it was nice that they came to be tourists too. We climbed the Sun temple which was pretty fun, those Teotihuacans didn’t build even steps. We climbed as much of the moon temple as allowed and then Dan was interviewed by some teenagers for and English project, they’re English is far better than our Spanish.
Once we were ruined out we headed back to the campsite and left the Hulk for 4 nights, but where did you sleep, you ask? At the Hostel Cathedral in Mexico City, right next to the Cathedral. Feeling like we were in our twenties we had fun “wowing” the backpacker crowd with tales of driving to Mexico and realizing that we are no longer in our twenties.
Mexico City is incredible, so unexpected for me. The architecture is stunning, there are parks everywhere, people everywhere and food on every corner. We spent hours just wandering and taking pictures and stopping to eat (for cheap). We only ate in a real restaurant once, everything else was street stalls, and no we didn’t get sick.
Ok, confession time here at JFDI…..we are wrestling fans….yes the WWE kind (please don’t hold it against us). I don’t know when this started, it was Dan’s secret for a while then I discovered he was PVRing it and watching while I was out, once he’s obsession was in the open, he started watching it live and well, then I started watching too, anyway what does that have to do with Mexico City? Well lucha libre wrestling has 3 shows a week at Arenas Mexico, a dedicated wrestling arena!
Everyone should see some lucha libre when in Mexico, it is too much fun to miss. From Mexico City there are lots of “tours” you can take to see the wrestling but we opted to do it ourselves (because the tours were expensive) it was easy to get there on the Metro (only 5 pesos each). We arrived at 6:45pm for a 7:30pm show. The ticket lines were empty, so we choose one, this part was weird, the glass separating us from the ticket seller was mirrored so we couldn’t see him, which didn’t help us being able to understand him, eventually a little piece of paper was stuck through the hole that said “row 12, $160” (13 bucks) we replied “si” handed over the money and received some official looking tickets. I’ve also decided that the reason for the mirrored glass is because the wrestlers work the ticket stalls until the show starts. (?)
Anyway, we were searched going in, we had read online that you can’t take in cameras but phones are fine, so that’s all we had, for some reason it took 3 people to take our tickets (very Mexican) first the tickets were scanned, next man took off the stub and last man put the ticket through the turn style. Once through about 8 ushers fought to take us to our seats, this fighting made me realise that we’d probably have to tip the guy, but we never would have found our seats otherwise so it was worth the 10 pesos. Now we were in the arena, in our seats, and all by ourselves, apparently this is not an event that you need to arrive early for. It was cool though to be on our own (other than the guys still setting up), we wandered around and took pictures by the ring and announcer table, then decided to investigate the foyer, now that we knew where were sitting. The foyer was full of cool murals of wrestlers and a plaque dedicated to Colonel Salvador Lutteroth, who brought lucha libre to wrestling to Mexcio in 1933. By a quarter past seven other people were starting to show up so we took our seats and wondered when we could buy beer, and where, and then lo and behold a man appears with a crate of beer, that was good timing. Odd thing again, even though we asked for a bottle of beer each, we each got two, poured in to a cup, couldn’t seem to buy just one, oh well.
At 7:30 prompt the show began, there was some announcements and then the wrestling started. Even though we had no idea who was who or what was really going on, it was very entertaining. The first couple of acts were obviously the newer wrestlers still honing their craft, and things just got progressively better from there. The woman’s match was by far the best match of the night (even Dan agrees), those women wrestled for nearly a half an hour and it was very physical.
Now for the second show, watching Mexicans watch lucha libre, they love this stuff! There was arguments in stands, screaming chants at the wrestlers, crazy noise makers, so much excitement. And then there was the food….soup, tortas, tacos, gorditas, ice cream, fruit, nuts, chips, nachos, and even personal sized Dominos pizza. Everything you could want to enjoy wrestling and you didn’t even have to leave your seat! And you know what else? They haven’t figured out that they can jack the prices up like they do at any stadium in North America, I was in Heaven!
In the end we spent less than the cost of one “tour” which made our night even more fun. I have to say that Mexico City felt very safe to us and like the rest of Mexico, people were very friendly, I think a lot of people don’t think of Mexico City as a place to vacation but I would love to go back one day (especially when I wasn’t on such a budget).