Tlaxcala, Mexico

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Tlaxcala is the capital of the state of the same name; the state is the smallest one in Mexico. It was a surprisingly nice city.

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A Spanish palace.

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It’s small but the historic centre was nice, and not necessarily the same as other Mexican towns. As you can see here, one can go up on the hill and observe the whole place too.

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Cacaxtla, Mexico

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Cacaxtla is the archeological site in the small state Tlaxcala. It’s not certain the origin of the natives of the area, and it’s not frequented by tourists, but it’s definitely worth a visit.

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In order to visit, one must travel first to the state capital, then ask for a van somewhere to get to the town closest to the site. Alternatively, one may travel from Puebla, as the site is practically on the border of Tlaxcala.

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There are technically two sites – one pictured here, another one in the first picture. The latter wasn’t open.

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The site was probably the most well-preserved site I’ve seen in Mexico for the details it’s kept.

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The things that make it special – very clear Maya-inspired murals.

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Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico

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Villahermosa is the state capital of Tabasco in Mexico. It’s very hot and it’s close to several important Olmec sites.

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This is the historic centre. Typical Mexican town.

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The La Venta museum park has all the original artefacts, including the three colossal heads, from the Olmec site La Venta. The museum park displays all artefacts one after another in a maze-like fashion.

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The famous head. It was for some reason placed in maintenance, but the staff let us in to take a quick selfie.

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The lake next to the museum park. There’s supposed to be crocodiles.

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La Venta, Tabasco, Mexico

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La Venta was the main attraction for me, as it has a major site of the Olmec culture, the “mother culture” of Mesoamerica. In a way, it’s like Athens.

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None of the artefacts here is original – they have all been moved to Villahermosa – and the site is rather small. The town isn’t anything special but it’s still worth going, seeing where the artefacts were supposed to stand.

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These ones they weren’t sure where they were placed.

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The site was small and the town was uneventful (tho like only a 5-minute walk from the bus station to the site), but I still think it’s worth going. After all, it’s a culturally significant place, and you get to see where the artefacts were placed (didn’t really make sense in the museum park).

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There’s also a small museum.

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Lots of mosquitoes though!

Mexico City (the city proper)

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The oldest surviving human structure in North America. Cuicuilco, in the south of Mexico City, just south of Ciudad Universidad of UNAM.

(You don’t see much.)

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Mexico City, the largest city in the western hemisphere, a metropolis with around 25 million in population. The picture depicts the seat of power of the 120-million-strong country – the Zocalo, with the metropolitan cathedral in the middle and the national palace on the right. The spiritual and temporal powers.

The huge flag in the middle is quite impressive.

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Me celebrating a new year on the street near the independence angel monument.

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Did I tell you I’m a fallen angel? I was a light bearer.

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One side of the capital from the Latin American tower. On the plane, what was called Tenochtitlan seemed to me the largest urban conglomeration I’ve been to. (Although apparently the one Hong Kong belongs to is the one with the largest population.)

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Same location, overlooking the main square.

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The few skyscrapers. There aren’t many as the region is incredibly prone to deadly earthquakes.

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The Angel of Independence, pictured before the 800,000 attended gay pride.

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A power in the castle. His Imperial Majesty The Emperor Maximilian I, Archduke of Austria, lived here with France’s Napoleon III’s support.

The second Mexican empire (the first happened right after independence for a very brief period of time) ended with the French troops withdrew and Maxie executed in Queretaro, after losing the war against President Benito Juárez.

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In the castle over the Reforma avenue.

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The cathedral from a buffet restaurant. Buffets are really cheap here.

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El Zocalo before the celebration of the birth of the Sun Gods (Ra, Apollo etc).

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The church of Mary of Guadalupe, literally the Mexican Madonna (the original Selena Gomez obviously). It’s the third-most-visited religious site in the world.

The legend goes The Virgin randomly exposed herself to an indigenous person, asking him to build her a church (priorities), and so he did. In fact, a head of the church once stated that he doubted the historicity of that person altogether, but no1curr.

It’s not that interesting actually, and quite out of the way.

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The museum inside the national palace. Mexico City is known as the city of palaces, although this is one of the few real palaces – in continental Europe, it appears that they simply like calling everything governmental “palaces”.

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Aztec ruins at the sight of a massacre of students before the Olympic games. Small but definitely a must-go. There are even flags of different states.

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The historic centre is a UNESCO site, and this is another UNESCO Heritage Site, due to the mural painted on the (disappointing) library of the national autonomous university.

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One of the national capital’s landmarks, the Palace of Fine Arts, or in Spanish Palacio de Bellas Artes.

The main hall is quite nice. Symphonies are incredibly economic here and I enjoyed being on the balconies. There are two museums inside and you can watch Folklore Ballet here. Not a friend of dances in general but it was brilliant.

Taken from Sears.

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Memorial of His Excellency President Benito Juárez. (It’s apparently going to turn yellow in the future and there’s nothing they can do to stop it.)

Lic. Juárez was an indigenous orphan who became a lawyer, then the Chief Justice (and when the Liberal government was overthrown by the Conservatives, ascending to the presidency for the first time), and also the governor of Oaxaca. He eventually became a proper president, before the French invaded, he persisted, got back control of the entire country, and eventually dying in office. (He also had a reasonably clean election.)

Inspirational. Italian Fascist dictator, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini was named after the legendary president.

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Bellas Artes on independence day. Or rather, the evening prior.

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Six Flags. Ocean Park >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Aquarium. Recommended.

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An archaeological site in the anthropology museum.

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Interesting museum with the Messiah and his holy penis.

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You see things like this before the Day of the Dead. (It’s more than one day, btw.)

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The third UNESCO site in the city, Xochimilco. Very far from everything.

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Frida Kahlo museum.

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At the British Embassy, attending the UK Alumni Awards.

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In the Auditorio metro station.

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Not actually in Mexico City, but this active volcano (taken from a plane) threatens the area.

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Casino Espana, where the current King of Spain visited.

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The Queen of Pop MADONNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Did you see the Nazi flag on this mini-bus?

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Clubbing with Barney.

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Free Roger Waters concert at the Zocalo, when he criticized both presidents Dr Donald Trump and Mtro. Enrique Pena Nieto.

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At the Corona music festival, an audience with Queen Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, The Queen of New York City, The Queen of Saigon, The Queen of Coney Island.

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Boating in the lake in the city centre.

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Donating blood for the very first time! #likeavirgin

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Pretty building in the north.

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Inside.

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The papal visit led to the selling of pardon tickets, first time after several centuries.

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The money museum. Probably my favourite due to how empty, informative, and unique it was. Could even just walk around on the rooftop.

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Diego Rivera’s museum. Another great one. Far but worth it. Lots of artefacts.

 

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Commie.

Mexico City after the 2017 earthquakes.

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The National Centre of Art. It’s a complex with interesting buildings with a Cinemex attached to it. A lot of people go there to play on the grass.

The Vasconcelos Library. A new library with modern, industrial structure. They are remembering the victims of the 1968 student movements.

The Bicentennial Park is a huge park with an unopened museum, a lot of grass, and a small botanical garden.

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The National Museum of Art. A nice colonial building near the Bellas Artes. Didn’t have a high expectation, but the Mexican collection ended up being quite unique and interesting. They even have a statue of St Sebastian.

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The San Fernando Pantheon, the cemetery in the historic centre with tombs of famous people such as President Benito Juárez’s. Nevertheless, it has been closed (to date, more than a year) since the 2017 earthquakes. I didn’t see any damage and there’s no sign of it reopening.

 

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera studios. It’s not terribly interesting but it’s iconic. The original A Star is Born story – male star discovered female, female’s stardom shot up while the male’s faded.

The Dolorez museum – Frida and Diego’s friend. Beautiful artwork, many animals, decent historical building. Plus a Day of the Dead exhibition!

Legendary animals’ parade.

Verona, Italy

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Ahh…Verona, the city that makes Romeo and Juliet historical figures. Here stands Juliet’s golden statue, with people touching her breast.

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The main square. There’s a market there, but of course the main attractions are all The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet related. All very close anyhow.

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I went just because “why not” and to take some photos so the next time I teach Romeo & Juliet, I can show them to my pupils. Nevertheless, it was a surprisingly decent place to be. Brilliantly designed structures throughout.

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Once again, a river.

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Juliet’s tomb. It’s a museum and I didn’t go in as there’s a charge and I’m pretty sure Juliet never actually existed.

There’s a Shakespeare bust. And China built something outside, calling it the Chinese Romeo and Juliet.

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The crown jewel of the town, a coliseum that’s well-maintained. Somehow there’s a dismantled giant abandoned outside of it.

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Juliet’s balcony. Allegedly. Herds of people get into it, pasting love notes all over the place. This was taken from a shop opposite to it. Not that many people, comparatively anyway, discovered this place.

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A castle thingy next to the river. Out of this world.

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Verona desperately trying to be Her Majesty’s realm.

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Venice, Italy

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St Mark’s Square – one of the most visited sites in Europe.

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Venice was absolutely beautiful. Sure, it’s got tourists everywhere and isn’t the easiest place to navigate (many dead ends); but the whole place was simply amazing.

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The canals were all right.

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The real Bridge of Sighs.

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What a fantastic square. Too bad I couldn’t take a good photo of it.

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The food was relatively cheap – you can expect around 12 Euros for a set meal, and just a bit more for a (not very good) buffet.

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The church was unique. Byzantine and all that. Actually purchased a 3D puzzle.

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Shylock’s Bridge. Can confirm there’s more than one Jewish person there now.

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The city’s quite walkable, although it’s likewise possible to take a water taxi or a water bus.

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First thing you see getting out of the train station.

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Speaking of the train…Make sure you’ve got the correct Venice station! There are three.

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