Feb 24 – Our hostess, Rosario, fed us a five star breakfast, with warm fresh brown bread, cucumber juice (yummy), fresh yogurt, pancakes with warm raspberry jam, sliced banana and a huge mug of strong coffee. Fuel for the day!
Walking out in the morning, we encountered many poor men sleeping barefoot on the street, and beggars grinding street organs for spare change. No upscale buskers here. Our first excursion was to the National Palace, a magnificent structure longer than a city block that includes a cultural museum.
The Fountain of Pegasus.
Here, the artist Diego Rivera painted huge murals all around the second story, back in the 1920s. He hoped the Mexicans would unite as Communists to make their lives better.
The Spaniards branding slaves.
Not sure what the turquoise feathered guy is doing with that arm…
I listened to an English tour guide describing this one to his group. Karl Marx is at the top, like God. The pipes are filled with the blood of the Mexican workers, which turn into money for the government at the bottom. The priest kissing the prostitute on the left represents the corruption of the Church, which should be helping the people, and likens the Church to the Nazis by showing the line of crosses with a swastika included on the right.
Below, the good Communists, including Rivera’s girlfriend Frida Kahlo (with the eyebrows), are taking charge and teaching the poor children to read. Thank you, tour guide. He was the only we one we encountered today who was not guiding in Spanish.
I liked these little sculptures, and the two big ones flanking Jim.
In the afternoon, we walked through several markets, which underscored just how poor this country is. We saw lots of energetic selling, but very few were buying. A peso is worth about five cents, or 20 to the dollar. We wandered into an area where small animals, birds, puppies, hens and goats were packed together cruelly, and a man, seeing our cameras, shouted at us to leave. We left.
We are only spending a few days in the city before flying south to the beach. We have mastered the bus system, and tomorrow we will take the subway (Metro). The other travelers we met at breakfast said we are brave to try the Metro. I’ll report tomorrow!