The Zocalo

We spent the day wandering the Zocalo (the main plaza) in the historic district of Mexico City. Unfortunately, it was Monday and the National Palace, with all of the famous murals, and the archeological digs very near to the Cathedral, were all closed. No matter, we’ll go back. The whole area was crowded, so the people watching was good, although we didn’t spot very many tourists. I suppose most of them got the word that the museums and public buildings are all closed on Mondays.

We had an early dinner (2 pm) with a view from the Mayor (a huge bookstore) rooftop restaurant, just off the Zocalo. We are now into the swing of Mexico; a late breakfast (9:30 – 11 am) depending on when we get ourselves out of bed. We have coffee and yogurt with fruit and granola in the apartment. Our main meal in the afternoon (3 – 5 pm), in a nice restaurant, and a light cena (snack), usually some cheese and crackers or a salad in the apartment (9 – 11 pm). It’s a very civilized way to live and we rarely require any sort of snack.

Here is a view of the archeological digs with the Cathedral in the background, the perspective is somewhat distorted, but the façade on the far left of the Cathedral really is leaning, as are many buildings in the area. The Zocalo is built in the center of what was the original ceremonial district of the Aztecs (now preferably called Mexica here). Cortes had all the pyramids razed and the Cathedral and National Palace contain stones from those pyramids. The whole Mexico City basin was full of shallow lakes and canals, much of the land created by dredging. Pumping of domestic water from the aquafer results in sinking land, ergo the leaning buildings.


We entered the Cathedral where mass was being said in two different, and separated, naves in the huge building. Each nave had small chapels on either side with, of course, significant amounts of gold-plated decoration of the main areas as well as the chapels. Pretty impressive.

We were strolling through a small mall, near the cathedral, and found several stores selling medicinal herbs. Here is a photo from one front window. Each package is a different dried herb touted to be effective for various diagnoses.


One of the stores had a bin with fresh herbs. Aviz is translated as root. The only one I recognized is jengibre (ginger)

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