Thursday, May 16, 2013

Colorful and Aromatic (!) Xochimilco

Yesterday we took advantage of Teacher's Day (May 15 in Mexico) to take Victor and the family to Xochimilco, euphemistically referred to as Mexico's Venice. It actually takes a significant amount of imagination to make that comparison, but at the very least, Xochimilco is unique. As part of the only remaining system of canals that date back to pre-Hispanic times, Xochimilco is a fun, colorful place, replete with the typical tourist traps, but with a lot more.

The colorful boats, called trajineras, come complete with a long table and chairs, and are polled through the murky waters by helpful men who, in some cases, fill you in a bit on the history of the place.  While out on the water you can buy everything from beer to blankets, plants to plantain. For a small fee, mariachis with varying degrees of skill could play you a Mariachi Loco or Cielito Lindo.

I had never seen the canals quite so busy as yesterday, with buses filling up the parking lot, and boats on the water so dense that it was difficult for our pole man to navigate through the mass of color and music. Xochimilco has seen better days, for sure, but the place is still enchanted, in its own Mexican sort of way.

A special treat...spending time with Toño and Becky Muñoz and their daughters on the boats and afterwards at their home in Xochimilco.

(Thanks to Victor for the pics!)

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