Mexico city has a bad rap. I only know one person who has been there before and everyone else says the same thing about it: Be Careful. Before we left for our trip, articles about the drug cartels, street violence, pollution and traffic were on the forfront of American news. Carlos´Mexican family echoed the same story and added anecdotes about friends of friends who had been robbed. Even family in Guadalajara have never visited because well, why would you?
So somehow in a city that is one of the most populous on earth, I felt like I had stumbled upon a little gem. Mexico City, or DF for short, was wonderful. I would visit again without question because with only two and half days there, we touched upon only a fraction of the things that I would have liked to do. Here´s a brief summary– the goal being that you too will want more info about DF and hop on down for a visit.
Carlos and I arrived on Friday afternoon to the neighborhood of Condessa. Our accomodation was a quiet oasis just minutes from adorable cafes and restaurants in this uber hip barrio. We bar hopped in Condessa and both felt way too shabby with out backbacker attire to fit in properly. Unfortunately I had come down with a bout of food poisoning so the night ended on the early side.
On Saturday Carlos and I went our separate ways because I had arranged a private Mexico City Street food and Market Tour with Eat Mexico. This was my chance to geek out on the Mexico City food scene with two guides and ask questions about the foods I saw at the Oaxaca markets as well. Though the tour was fun and informative, I have to say that my confidence navigating through street food and markets on my own has grown signicantly and if anything, the tour validated this. Carlos and I met up in the afternoon to walk through the chaos that is downtown DF together (and thankfully he was there to hold my hand as I suffered through day two of Montezuma´s Revenge).
I was feeling about 70% better on Sunday so we made it to the park to rent bikes. This was where DF really stood apart from other great cities I have visited. In a city notorious for congestion and obesity, the local government and public health organizations have embarked on an incredible campaign to get people moving every Sunday. The entire down town (including some of the most vital traffic thoroughfares) was closed to cars. The roads were filled with cyclists and what´s more, bike rental was free! It was incredible. Carlos and I were floored. After a few hours exploring the many neighborhoods of DF on bike we ended the day at a fabulous restaurant called El Parnita for a late comida. That was the best meal we had eaten so far on this trip and a great way to go leave me wanting more from Mexico City.