Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mexico City On My Own

I had flown in and out of Mexico City several times en route to other destinations south of the border, more than once enduring 4 hour plus layovers. I had, however, never gone further than the airport terminals. Finally my curiosity got the better of me and I decided it was time to venture outside of the airport and into the vast metropolis itself. No one I could find seemed interested in accompanying me on this adventure, so, deciding the hell with all y'all, I set off by myself. I reserved an affordably priced room in a gay run establishment near a major tourist zone, made flight arrangements, packed my bags and set off.

Actually, getting the room was not as simple as it might seem. Apparently my internet server would not talk to the server the guesthouse used for reservations. Using an alternate address for the guesthouse and after a brief struggle with Pay pal all was resolved and my room was secured.

Mexico City is a metropolis made up of small neighborhoods. Apparently is is so vast that it is the only way to figure out where something is located. Street names, since there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of them are virtually useless, excepting, of course the major avenues and thoroughfares. In spite of the area map the hotel had provided me with, after we had resolved our internet connection issues, the taxi driver was still somewhat confused about where, exactly, the guesthouse was. All, however was sorted out and I found myself on a street of grand late 19th and early 20th century townhouses standing in front of a locked, solid wood door ringing a bell and hoping someone would answer. I felt a little conspicuous standing on the sidewalk with my suitcase next to me. The door was unlocked, opened and I was ushered inside.

The front portions of the guesthouse retained many of the townhouse's original details. For instance, the staircase in the entry and the elegant dining area on the second floor where breakfast was served each morning. The back portion of the house had been opened up to make space for more guest rooms, a sauna and, in a courtyard, a jacuzzi and pool. Unfortunately the pool was unheated so intolerably cold due to Mexico City's cool evenings. An opaque canopy hung high above the courtyard diffusing the sun and shielding the guesthouse from the dust created by the renovations going on in the building next door. On the fourth floor was a tiny sundeck, common room and workout space containing a couple of machines, a weight bench and small dumbbells.

My room was on the ground floor just off the courtyard. I unpacked my bag, programmed a combination into the in room safe and settled in.

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