Sunday, April 6, 2008

Temple Mayor, Cakes and Churros

It was eight AM when we left the hotel and had breakfast, after that we went to the Zocalo, the main square in the historical center of Mexico City. It's our fourth visit to the city but we never went to the Temple Mayor, which lays just behind the Zocalo.
The Temple Mayor ruins, the Cathedral and the Zocalo in the background.

The Temple Mayor is the excavated ruin of the double pyramid temple that the Aztecs built on the spot that they considered the center of the universe. Legend has that their god told them to build their capital where an eagle stood on a cactus with a snake in it's beak, the icon you can still find on the Mexican flag. That is where they built Tenochtitlan, the Temple Mayor.
It was discovered in 1978 by workers who were working on the metro.

For me it's so impressive that you have this enormous city here and you can visit the ruins of the place where it all once started! No idea why we never visited it before.

There is a nice museum which has some of the excavated treasures from the site including the great stone disc Coyolxauhqui.
After the temple mayor a quick visit to the presidential palace to have a look at the Diego Rivera murals. There is a renovation of the stairs going on so you couldn't get a clear view of the murals in the staircase, in my opinion the most beautiful ones.

By that time we were getting a bit hungry, so we went to Pasteleria Ideal (1927) a cake store / bakery that I saw on the net and knew I wanted to visit. This is where kitsch meets cake. Enormous cakes some more than three meters high with kitsch decorations, so bad that it's fun again.
Kitsch Meets Cake

On the ground floor they have trays and trays of every kind of Mexican pastry you can imagine and gelatinas, beautiful jelly cakes.
Gelatin Chicks

After buying some pastries to take with us, we went to another Mexico City institute, Churreria el Moro, this restaurant has been here since 1935 and serves churros and chocolate. Churros are star shaped dough sticks that are deep fried and covered with cinnamon and sugar. You dip them in the hot chocolate.
The baker making the churros.

I can be short on these, they were the best I ever had, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and not greasy at all!
Four kinds of hot chocolate to choose from, Especial, the one with the least sugar; Espanol, the sweetest; Frances, the most basic and Mexicana the milkiest of the lot. We took the Mexicana, which ended up fabulously sweet after dunking your churros in it!

Seven hours later we are back at the hotel, a little tired and a little shorter from all the walking, tonight dinner in the neighborhood of the hotel.


Rebecca said...

What a lovely day. Aztec ruins, Diego Rivera murals, and REAL churros and hot chocolate. Not the churros I settle for at Costco. ;) I think you've inspired me to break out my recipe for churros and give it a go.

More tales of adventure!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Fun, fun, fun! I'd love to have so many different choices of hot chocolate to dip my churros in!