Today was the day we were scheduled to leave for Oaxaca. A car rental had been arranged in advance and the plan was to drive to Puebla, spend a day or two checking out the city and then carry on to Oaxaca where we were to spend the remainder of our vacation time. What we did not plan was for Rob to come down with a horrible stomach bug that would keep him in our hotel room and in bed in definitely! Our dear friend Rodrigo had arranged to pick us up to join him and his family for breakfast on the Zocalo and while Rob was in no shape to join us, the kids and I went on along and enjoyed a delicious brunch buffet in a historic grand hotel overlooking the Metropolitan Cathedral.

Brunch in Mexico City 

After a filling brunch buffet, we checked in on the patient who was still suffering silently in his room. Having no plan and not knowing the city at all, the kids and I decided to hop on the Turibus. Now, I know what you are thinking. We have all seen these buses in cities all over the world, packed with camera wielding tourists, necks craning around 360 degrees to catch all the sights on a whirlwind tour of historical points of interest. To date, it had never occurred to me to explore a destination this way. I always thought it looked...well...foolish. And I am not generally the kind of girl who sets herself up to look least not on purpose. However, feeling that my window of site seeing opportunity was limited and that I really didn't want to trudge around the city on foot or pop in an out of taxis all afternoon, the silly bus was looking more and more appealing. At very least, we could go for a leisurely drive and catch some sun on the top deck.

We picked up the bus right on La Reforma at one of the well marked stops on the Chapultepec-Centro Historico route. You buy your ticket/wristband (165 mn) right on the bus and are offered headphones to translate the guided tour into your preferred language. As we were the only non-Spanish speaking tourists on the bus, we opted to keep a low profile and enjoy the commentary in the default language. A map of the route is also provided to help you figure out where you can get on and off easily.

Here's a sampling of what we saw along the way.....

Hemiciclo a Juarez - monument to Benito Juarez

Museo de Belles Artes 
Palacio des Bellas Artes is a beautiful, giant cultural center built in the Art Noveau, Art Deco and Neo-Classic styles and considered the center of artistic life in Mexico City.

Plaza de la Constitución - Mexico City's famed zocalo framed by the Metropolitan Cathedral (below) and the Palacio Nacional.

Plaza Manuel Tolsa


Plaza de la Revolucion Mexico City
Monumento a la Revolución, landmark and monument commemorating the Mexican Revolution in 1910 is located just behind the Melia Reforma Hotel. The columns of the dome-shaped structure contain the remains of the revolutionary leaders Francisco I. Madero, Venustiano Carranza, Francisco "Pancho" Villa, Lázaro Cárdenas and Plutarco Elías Calles. The ground floor of the monument houses the Museo de la Revolución.

Monumento a Colón -  A monument to commemorate Christopher Columbus, by the French sculptor Charles Cordier, erected in 1877. On the base of the statue are the figures of monks who played a leading part in the settlement of Mexico and the integration of the Indians: Juan Pérez de Marchena, Diego de Deza, Pedro de Gante and Bartolomé de Las Casas.

Independence Plaza Mexico City
Monument a la Independencia, commonly known as El Ángel, was built to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico's War of Independence, celebrated in 1810.

La Diana Cazadora, fountain and sculpture featuring Diana the Huntress.

Museo Soumaya Mexico City

Museo Soumaya in Polanco was designed and conceived to house Carlos Slim's estimated $74-billion dollar art collection. This dramatic, modern edifice has six themed salas with outstanding works from European and Mexican artists and boasts the largest Rodin collection outside of France.

The entire Chapultepec-Centro Historico circuit is supposed to take about 3 hours in total if you don't get out and wander along the way. We made a few pit stops including a break for shopping and lunch at the Antara Mall in Polanco and ended up back at the hotel LONG past dark. In addition to the major historic landmarks, monuments and museums, we also saw the sites in La Zona Rosa and Condesa and showing us some areas that we might like to come back and investigate further. At 165 mn (adults) and 85 mn (children) I thought it was a very good deal and a very good use of our limited time. So much so, that I would not hesitate to use the Turibus the next time I am in the city on my own, just to get around to all the places I want to see. There is a connection in la Zona Rosa that puts you on the Turibus Circuito Sur at no extra charge for the transfer. This bus takes you south to Coyoacan and Tlalpan with significant points of interest such as the Palacio de Toros, the Jardin Centenario in Coyoacan, the Olympic Stadium, Frida Kahlo's House, Casa Azul and the famous Mercado de Flores in Tlalpan. Having suffered through a LONG and HOT cab ride on our trip to this district, I think the Turibus would have been a much better option. Not as fast as the Metro but certainly more scenic.

Plaza de Independencia Mexico City

Tomorrow...we are off to Oaxaca!