We knew we would struggle with Spanish. Trying to get our tongues around the names the Aztecs gave to the civilizations that pre-dated them has proved more challenging.
Monday we set out to Teotihuacan about 45 miles out of the city. We have become experts at public transportation here. With our metro card, we headed out the subway to the north bus terminal and took a bus.
In Nahuatl, the Aztec language, Teotihuacan means “the place where people become gods”. What it was called by the people who lived there isn’t known, but, clearly, given the scale of the place we figured it had to be an important center. We have since learned that it appears to have been a center to which leaders and traders from far as far away as present day Honduras traveled. You have to imagine these pyramid platforms covered in a smooth plaster finish painted red with temples on top.
We headed back into Mexico City and stopped at the Virgin of Guadalupe Chapel. The complex is a bit like Saint Peter’s in Rome. However, there are some structural issues. Much of the center of the City was built on a lake, Lake Texcoco, which made for very fertile farming when Tenochtitlan, now the center of Mexico City, was first developed. However, the continued drawn down of the water table and earthquakes have resulted in some buildings having a serious tilt. The photos don’t do it justice.
We have seen so much more in Mexico City than we have had time to chronicle in our posts. Tomorrow we are off for Bogota!