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Adios Mexico City

Adios Mexico City

By on Apr 15, 2014 in Adventure, Airlines, Commentary, Hotels, Mexico, Mexico City, Travel | 0 comments

The sun rose and shone characteristically brightly on our last day in Mexico City. It had been an epic four days, with so much to see and take in. With such a rich and fascinating history and so many different cultures and languages, I found it amusing to compare with my homeland of England, where we speak English, and English only. The presence and influence of the Spanish obviously can’t be ignored when you visit Mexico, but there is so much more to the country than the Spanish influence alone. The native Mexica peoples and their forebears essentially created what the Spanish then came and dominated. Spain came hungry for gold and land to conquer. They took what they could get and it was often a brutal and bloody process. Fortunately however, the legacy of the Mesoamerican civilization still survives in relics, ornate stonework, sculptures, friezes and frescos, costumery and even in some texts. If you’re visiting Mexico City and are interested in history, culture and art, then you should most certainly head to the National Anthropology Museum. It’s the most visited museum in all of Mexico, attracting footfall of two million people a year, and was designed by three architects, namely Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, Jorge Campuzano and Rafael Mijares. Built from volcanic stone hewn from a nearby site, the expansiveness of the space is quite a spectacle in itself, and the artefacts housed inside create yet more marvel.  Street vendors selling fruit and sweets, frequently seen around tourist areas. We were fortunate enough to have a fantastic guide named Myrta, whose factual knowledge of detail was scholarly to say the least. Anything we wanted or needed to know, she was able to tell us or at least to find out. Contact me should you be planning a trip to Mexico City and I will gladly make the necessary introduction. It only remains for me to thank Aeromexico for making this trip possible, the Mexico City tourist board for providing Myrta’s boundless energy and insight, and Starwood hotels for accomodating us in the Sheraton Maria...

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Mexico City day 2

Mexico City day 2

By on Mar 2, 2014 in Adventure, Airlines, Food, health, Hotels, Luxury, Mexican, Mexico, Reviews, Travel | 2 comments

Awaking at 7 am, I drew back the curtains with eager anticipation for the day that lay ahead. The previous day’s exploration had felt epic, and our platoon were all pretty whacked by nightfall. Of course it’s always good to start the day with exercise, so I took a swim in the rooftop pool at our hotel, The Sheraton Isabel Maria. It was a special feeling to be swimming in a heated pool with amazing views out over Mexico City, and I pushed myself in order to build an appetite for a big breakfast. Our group chose to eat in the lounge on the 20th floor so we could appreciate the urban cityscape as we tucked into another hearty meal, which on this particular morning consisted of fried plantain and tamales with salsa. I chose plantain not just because it was delicious but also a good slow release energy food for the day ahead. They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it certainly feels like it at the Sheraton Isabel Maria. Our hosts for this trip were various and as well as Starwood hotels, we were also accommodated by the Mexico City tourist agency and of course Aeromexico, who were naturally keen to show us seasoned travellers their new fleet of Boeing 787-8 planes which were awaiting inspection at their brand new hangar. In spite of the fact none of the group seemed too excited at the prospect, I was very keen, as it’s not often one gets to experience such unique aviation gold. Once we had cleared security we entered the hangar, and within a millisecond the group’s tune changed. It was quite breathtaking, to enter such a vast space, still gleaming in all it’s newness. The hangar is also used for events, including a mass (of course!) and opened out naturally onto the airfield and runways, where the planes stood waiting. We ventured out, cameras poised, and quite literally had a field day, snapping away at the inside of the turbines. Much to our surprise, we were given permission to pose inside the jet engines. This was a photo-opp not to be missed. Each of us took it in turns to shoot...

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Mexico City

Mexico City

By on Feb 16, 2014 in Adventure, Airlines, Food, Mexican, Mexico, Travel | 0 comments

Way way back in 2010, having returned from a sojourn across South East Asia, I took stock of my career and direction, endeavouring to work out next moves. I was at a crossroads you see, a bit like Dorothy when she meets the scarecrow, only I didn’t meet any scarecrows, although I did once dance with a scarecrow who was drunk on scrumpy and smelt strongly of garlic, who in fact turned out to be Damon Albarn, in the Pig’s nose down by the coast at East Prawle  in Devon; but that’s another story. The decision to start a blog about food and travel was born quite simply from a love food, travel, writing and photography. Culinary World Tour was the title of an advertorial feature I’d written for The Mirror’s entertainment supplement and included write-ups on world food restaurants in London. I never really knew exactly where it would take me, so naturally I was delighted when an offer came through in October last year to visit Mexico City on a press trip organised by the airline AeroMexico. Mexico City! The mind boggles at the mere mention of a city so vast, and as for the cuisine, well. Find me somebody who doesn’t love Mexican food and I will cure them, or at least shoot them a look of withering bewilderment. It should come as no surprise that in 2010, UNESCO recognised Mexican cuisine as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and having visited Tulum on the east coast of the Yucatan in 2000, I was more than keen. The next few posts will detail this exciting trip, including such highlights as a visit to a brand new aircraft hangar, preview of a new fleet of 787-8 planes, cultural insight into the pre-Spanish indigenous Mexican people known as Mexica (Meh-hee-ka) and inspiration for culinary exploration of this exciting megalopolis. Thanks to careful planning by the marketing team at AeroMexico in collaboration with the Mexico City tourist board and Starwood hotels, there was quite literally never a dull moment, hence describing it is going to take several posts. You could hardly do an ancient city with a population of 21 million justice in a couple of paragraphs. However before...

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