FEASTS, FLOW­ERS AND FRIDA

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - ASK THE TOUR GUIDE - CELESTE MITCHELL

Our Cen­tro His­torico looks fresher, cleaner and nicer, so Mex­i­can peo­ple like to walk around again be­cause there was a mo­ment when peo­ple did not feel like go­ing into the city,” Eva Luz Espe­jel says. Mov­ing back to Mex­ico City after 15 years in Can­cun, Ur­ban Ad­ven­tures guide Eva says she’s im­pressed at how much her city has changed for the bet­ter. The World De­sign Or­gan­i­sa­tion agrees, nam­ing the sprawl­ing me­trop­o­lis the World De­sign Cap­i­tal for 2018, putting it on a pedestal for megac­i­ties us­ing de­sign to tackle the chal­lenges of ur­ban­i­sa­tion. In a city this size it pays to have a plan, so here are Eva’s top tips for tack­ling CDMX (Ci­u­dad de Méx­ico).

GET CUL­TURED

I re­ally love the cul­tural of­fer­ing we have in this beau­ti­ful city. We have more than 100 mu­se­ums, as well as venues of­fer­ing con­certs, bal­let, theatre, wrestling (lucha li­bre) and more. Most of the mu­se­ums are closed Mon­days in Mex­ico City but all the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sites are open 365 days.

MUST-VISIT MAR­KETS

There are mar­kets in ev­ery neigh­bour­hood in Mex­ico and you can find any­thing and ev­ery­thing you need. On the tour I host we visit three of the city’s lesser-known mar­kets, start­ing with the Mer­cado Ro­driguez where you can see some re­ally in­ter­est­ing mu­rals by some of Diego Rivera’s stu­dents.

The Sonoma Mar­kets are fas­ci­nat­ing to visit for their witch­craft sec­tion and the Ja­maica Mar­kets – named after the hibis­cus flower, not the coun­try – are three mar­kets in one with a flower mar­ket you have to see to be­lieve.

There is also a mar­ket called Mer­cado de San Juan in Cen­tro His­torico where you can buy or eat un­com­mon meat such as croc­o­dile, skunk and veni­son, just to men­tion a few.

The ven­dors have grasshop­pers, maguey lar­vae, ants and some other bugs so you can sam­ple food Mex­i­can peo­ple have eaten since pre-His­panic time.

This mar­ket is vis­ited by many chefs or stu­dents of gas­tron­omy and for­eign­ers who live in the city be­cause there are prod­ucts not only from Mex­ico but from Europe, North and Cen­tral Amer­ica and Asia.

EX­PLORE THE NEIGH­BOUR­HOODS

There are many beau­ti­ful neigh­bour­hoods in Mex­ico City, such as San An­gel, es­pe­cially on Satur­days when the Bazar del Sábado takes place. There are many painters and ar­ti­sans who of­fer their works, be­sides the beau­ti­ful ar­chi­tec­ture of the area.

Coyoa­can is an­other beau­ti­ful colo­nial neigh­bour­hood where the house of Frida Kahlo is lo­cated, there are two in­ter­est­ing mar­kets and you can walk en­joy­ing the at­mos­phere of the place.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF PUB­LIC TRANS­PORT

Six­teen mil­lion peo­ple move in the city each day. Some­times I don’t know how it’s pos­si­ble! I al­ways like tak­ing guests on the lo­cal buses be­cause you get a real feel­ing for the city.

Our metro was sup­posed to open for the 1968 Olympics – it opened one year late (ex­ca­va­tors kept un­earthing ar­chae­ol­ogy sites) – and will be cel­e­brat­ing its 50th an­niver­sary next year. It’s re­ally easy to use and only costs five pe­sos per ticket.

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