V "dead Season" on the land of Aztec
Flight with aircraft "Aeroflot" From Moscow to Mexico with two landings in Shannon and Miami takes almost 20 hours. In the airoport "Benito Hua-res" In the Mexican capital we met cloudy sky and very moderate air temperature. But even more surprised by the unusual procedure of customs and border control. To pass with an independent view by customs officers, although I have a modest bag on my shoulder. I’m returned back and show a button that each arriving passenger must have experienced his fate. Following the execution of this operation, a green or red light lights up. If you are lucky and you saw the green light of business with the customs ended. Otherwise you have to demonstrate baggage content. With border control there are no special machin. Even in Moscow, the embassy issued us documents for departure and entry with photos containing data from our questionnaires. Inbound cards select border guards.
But finally, we can shake hands to representatives of the company "Mex-Atlantica", meeting us and get the first useful tips. Dollars are more profitable to change at the airport. We pass a series of kiosks, where the office of different banks of Mexico are located. As you move along the airport hall, the growth of the dollar has been occurring: it is given for it sequentially 6.05; 6.14; 6,18; 6.24 Peso. Trying to find the 6.28 pesos promised us for the US dollar, but alas, our efforts are in vain. Have to agree to 6.24. In fact, later, visiting and modest provincial cities, and fashion resorts of Mexico, we were convinced that it is more profitable than at the airport, no exchange. The conditions ranged from 5.5 in the metropolitan supermarket up to 6.15 pesos for the dollar in "Silver city" Tasco. At the same time, a rather large margin is applied in the country, which entails serious loss of currency in the back of the dollar.
September in Mexico Rainy season. They accompanied us almost daily. But, as it should be in the tropics, strong short-term rains prevailed, which usually replaced the shining sun. And yet September can be attributed to "Dead" Season. In any case, well-known fans of Mexican "soapy" TV series Resort Acapulco did not struck us by crowds of tourists. Mexico Country where the development of the tourist infrastructure has long attached great importance to. In 199094, the Mexican border crossed 80-84 million people, although only 16-17 million tourists were delayed for the night of them. But this figure is extremely impressive. In any case, Mexico is constantly among the leading tourist countries, having received $ 6.6 billion in 1994 from tourism.
Fly in Mexico for a long time and tedious, especially if you use a direct flight. Therefore, today, some tourist firms offering trips to Mexico developed the so-called "split" Tours: Let’s say, first fly to Paris, Frankfurt or Amsterdam with stay in these cities 1-2 days, and then the flight across the Atlantic without landing for 9 hours. In this case, however, the air fare is 1.5-2 times. Therefore, if you focus on not such wealthful tourists, you will have to turn to charters or block charters on the flight aircraft so that the cost of the airfare amounted to about $ 500 US dollars.
Mexico can take tourists of any prosperity. The country has a powerful base base, which is constantly expanding. In 1993, there were 733 thousand places, which is more than, say, in the UK. Hotels in the country are actually classified by seven categories. Besides hotels in one five stars, there are two more additional hotels "Big Tourism" and hotels "Special category". Hotels "Special category" Different with special sophistication. Her hotel "Princess" Located on the shore of a small bay in a tropical forest park with amazing flowers and pink flamingos, reminded from published graceful sculptures. The very modern hotel building is similar to the medieval castle. Hotels "Special category" Compete for the right to tell tourists: "In our hotel the highest prices!" This is also a reception in a competitive struggle. Everyone who decides to spend time here, have the right to count on a meeting at the hotel only with very rich people. I asked the administrator’s question: "And what, Russians do you have?" "Of course, 200 seats ordered for Christmas".
In the sentences of the Mexican firm "Mex-Atlantica" Prices in hotels "Special category" higher than in four-star hotels in 8-10 times, although they are several times less than in some Moscow hotels, for example, "Baltschug Kempinski". But for those tourists who are focused on three-four-star hotels, the journey to Mexico will still be relatively expensive. The fact is that ride this country only for a week ridiculous, and the minimum reasonable duration of the holiday is 12-14 days. In tempting to swim in the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, spending time at the trendy resorts with the exotic names Acapulco, Cancun or Cozumel. But the main thing is nevertheless – the unique nature and culture of this country.
Mexico, which I saw, is the country of high mountains and the jungle, a trip to which requires special equipment: a circle of spikes and needles. Among the famous numerous cacti are remembered first of all the giants 10-15 meter "pillars" and under it "Kandelabra" with dozens of rigid to the sky "candles". Almost forty years ago, Czech travelers drove on our route and.Ganzelka and M.Zikmund. They, as well as we, stayed in "Arbol de Tula". It grows one of the biggest and ancient trees of the world. It rose higher than the baroque temple of the Virgin Mary nearby. Over the past four decades since then, this tree has changed little because it has been about 2000 years old. The height of the tree is 40 meters, the coverage of the barrel is 40 meters, weight 549 tons. Czech travelers add to these data: ". The shadow of his crown covers the space at eight hundred square meters, if he saw a tree, then 50 railway cars would have to send slices".
But the main thing that struck the imagination of tourists coming to Mexico, these are numerous pyramids. I will not pour oil into the dispute fire, which Egyptian or Mexican pyramids produce a greater impression. I will not try to evaluate their place in the history of world civilization, and I do not know, under what number of miracles of the world "pass" Mexican pyramids, and yet. In Mexico, the pyramids are much larger than in Egypt. In addition, among them there are no two, similar to each other. They are scattered across the country. One towers in the heart of the capital, but most hidden in the jungle. There is no one in the desert. The largest Pyramid of Mexico exceeded the magnitude of the pyramid of Heops, but it was destroyed in the name of the Catholicism celebration in the new light.
In the immediate vicinity of the capital are the most visited pyramids of Teotihuakan (in free translation into Russian "Resident of the Gods"). The pyramid of the Sun is comparable to the size of the base with the pyramid of Heops, although he is inferior to her height. Somewhat modest pyramid moon. Aside is the temple of Ketzalcoatlia, on the facade of which the snake carved from stone. They tirelessly rock their teeth, and their heads form flowers with eleven corners, something resembling the collars of the Spanish Grande of the distant Middle Ages. The pyramids of Mitle and Monte Alban near the city of Oaxaca of the State Center, where we spent two nights, leave even greater impression. There were almost no evidence about the Damispan history of these cities. In one Spanish chronicle, it is said only that "New Spain did not see more lush city than Mitla".
Our guide, showing us the Pyramids of Monte Alban, who preserved the remnants of the culture of the Sapoteks, proudly told us: "I’m sapotek!". His pride was quite justified. Demetrio Sodi, Mexican historian and ethnographer, in the book "Great cultures of mesocamerics" Writes: ". From IV to the VII centuries, the Sapotek culture originated in the Oaxaca valley was further distributed. On the last, V period of Monte Alban, somewhere in 1400 g., The former Sapotek capital turns into a huge cemetery". Treasures from burial 7 Monte Alban, found already in the 20th century, one of the richest archaeological finds of the world. While two of the Sapotek and Mishecia people who are warring in the valley of Oaxans and Mishtek, they were in front of the Aztec threat. The fruits of the victory of Aztecs knocked for a short time, already in 1521 the Spaniards won the valley. But today hundreds of thousands of people speak Sapotek language. Representative of this glorious people, our Avera Guide, and successfully expressed also in Spanish and Russian.
Of course, Spanish colonization rudely invaded the natural development of Indian civilizations, but even with a superficial acquaintance with the modern life of Mexicans, it is impossible not to notice a certain three-liquid cultural heritage of the country forming something unity that the modern Mexican nation. At the same time, the preserved ethnic groups enrich impressions of traveling about the identity of this country. First of all, it is necessary to emphasize the evidence of Indian cultural traditions, especially in Oaxaca and in Taxo. Completely different impression is "Spanish" City of Puebla, which is the brightest example of Spanish colonial architecture. Beautiful samples of church structures found in almost every large settlement.
By the way, it deserves special consideration and experience in the use of ancient facilities for hotels museums. This is the former palace in Pueble, and former monasteries (all of them were closed by the decision of the revolutionary government), and the former manor in Kochek, 40 kilometers from Mexico City. She reminds something Russian estate, but, naturally, built with local conditions. The estate surrounds a powerful wall, behind which numerous courtyards with rain tropical vegetation and even waterfalls and at the same time as a new pool. In the manor there is a museum of her story. Those who, as we, will spend the night here, will plunge into the atmosphere of the harsh Middle Ages the era of the beginning of the Spanish colonization of Mexico.
But still Mexico, adopting Spanish and Corrida, Catholicism and the church architecture of the old world, remained the heiress of the great cultures of the new world. And the emblem of the republic maintained the memory of the last of the Indian civilizations of the country. Once, a long time ago, in the XIV century, the head of the Aztec state saw a huge mountain eagle, sheathing a powerful snake. This place in 1325 became the capital of the Aztecs by Tedochtitlan, and the eagle with a snake is depicted on the modern coat of arms of Mexico.
Nature about the trip to Mexico It is easy to consolidate the purchase of a variety of souvenirs that are sold at every step. And extremely affordable prices for them, as well as on clothes, shoes and more, can serve as a kind of material compensation for expensive journey to this country. Shopping can be done everywhere. Already at the doors of the hotel you are celebrating vendors of carpets, poncho and any little things. When visiting the pyramids first at the door of the bus, we again met sellers souvenirs. They did not leave us without attention and on the beaches. We visited many shops and markets. Large department stores are similar to the American. These are giant pavilions where everything from drugs is sold to electronics, from clothes to food. In stores you can have cheap.
On the main street Acapulco Costera M. There are many relatively small stores. Here you can walk calmly, since you are under the protection of a special tourist police of pretty young men and girls. They are here in order not to not only protect your peace, but also give the necessary information. But this peculiar escort does not exempt you from conversations with conversations from restaurants, shops and discos. At the entrance to a large store cage with two major parrots, which all the time speak English all the time. Apparently, also trained skill. Stopping, we tried to introduce several Russian phrases into their vocabulary.
Mexico shops deserve attention to their prices. Here are some of them: men’s leather shoes (on the leather sole) 15-25 US dollars, a women’s jacket from a nubuck 50-60 dollars, a male wool suit on an Italian license 70-80 dollars, licensed jeans "Liveza" 15 dollars. The most fashionable store in the capital Palacio de Hierro. Local production products are much cheaper imported. Mexican goods are not very inferior in quality imported, and a local manufacturer may well put "Label" some famous firm on their products immediately and do not distinguish, you need to be attentive.
Differs in prices in restaurants and cafe big. But the menu with prices are distributed even on the street. We chose a cozy restaurant on the central avenue in Acapulco, where the scrambled eggs in Mexican cost 2 dollars. The dish consisted of a good roasted scrambled eggs from 3 eggs with several slices of ham. To our surprise, we had to pay only for the main course, all the rest of coffee with cream, which could have been drinking how much the soul, salad, fruits and buns were free. Especially it is worth staying on a national hot drink Tequile. Opinions about him in our group were divided, especially after visiting the Transaction in its production. White horse walked in a circle and rotated the millstone, grinding tropical vegetation with mages with caterpillars. This is the beginning of the technological process of production of tequila. We need to drink tequila on a special ritual, first lying in salt, knock on a glass and snack "Lyme" Little green lemon.
The main souvenir is an impressive ritual knife with a blade of black obsudin and the handle in the form of an eagle head inlaid by semi-precious stones, I started buying only having taken off the bus on the road to the pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. The whole long way to the pyramid was desperate trading our guide warned that it was necessary to bargain. The seller left, then returned. He demanded 400 pesos, I stood at 50. Only at the pyramid of the Sun, we finally hit the hands, coming down on 75 pesos. The whole group recognized my victory, alas, turned out to be the only one: I bought all the other souvenirs much more expensive than my colleagues. While I was engaged in a knife, there was a brisk trade in statuettes of the god Tlaloki, made of snow-white onyx, black obsudin or greenish nephritis, cheap products "Silver", Multicolored woolen poncho, woven masks and baskets, colored ceramics, copper chasing.
But the main souvenirs were, of course, products made of highly denominated silver necklace, bracelets, earrings and more, with inlay from multi-colored pearl, turquoise and other stones. They were sold in all sorts of jewelry stores and shops. True, it is better to buy them "in place" In the city of Tasco, where silver is produced and there is an old tradition of jewelry. Yes, and prices are noticeably lower there than in other cities of Mexico or even in a duty-free shop at Mexico City airport.
A few words about transport. Metro and buses in Mexico City are amazingly cheap, the ticket costs less than 10 cents. Taxi is predominantly small "Volkswagen", famous worldwide as "Beetles". Local car facilities still produces this popular dozens years ago the famous car. There are no meters from drivers, and therefore the cost of the trip should be negotiated in advance. Our attempt to take a car with rent was unsuccessful, as rental is possible only for those who have a credit card. I happened to use the local airline by plane, making a flight from Acapulco to Mexico City. Despite the fact that the flight continued not more than half an hour, we fed us.
From Acapulco, we flew a day before the alleged period, as we decided that it was impossible to leave Mexico, I did not get acquainted at least running with the sights of the capital, which we had passed upon arrival. From the window of the bus and during short stops, I managed to look at the Socapa area, where the Aztec Temple Temkalli, the Palace of Emperor Montesum, one of the two largest cathedrals of North America. We drove along the main street of the capital with the meaningful name reform. In the Chapulte Park, where there was no time to rest, there is an old castle, in which vice-kings lived during the Spanish domination. Of the museums located here, the National Museum of Anthropology with an invaluable collection of monuments of Indian civilizations. Museum would like to devote the whole day he is among the top ten most interesting museums of the world, but alas. And finally, from 600 Murals, famous wall paintings of Sicairos, River and Orosko, adorning Mexico houses, managed to see only a few. Failed to visit the museum found in 1938 in Mexico his last shelter Lion Trotsky. And about the existence of a local similarity of Disneyland "Kingdom of adventure" I learned already on the plane, having worn me back across the ocean.
In any case, I left Mexico shocked seen and with a feeling of not fully accomplished debt. Still so much, I would like to see.