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Palacio National, the Presidential Palace, Mexico City

By the end of the walking tour with our guide from Mexico a Pie, we were famished and ready to try some delicious Mexican lunch. Our guide recommended Los Cajelleros,  a casual taco place near the Palacio de Bellas Artes, about a 5 minute walk. So we found our way to this eatery.

It had a single room split into the kitchen and service area to the front and left and a few tables to the back of the eatery. There was a helpful staffer who came over to help us order. Having never been in such an eatery before, it took us a while to figure out what was available. Using Missy JJ’s Spanish, we ordered a taco each and a quesadilla for Sonny JJ. And aguas frescas to quench our thirst.

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Los Callejeros taco diner 
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Inside Los Callejeros

The tacos were small and tasty but didn’t really satisfy our hunger. Feeling emboldened, we ordered tacos huitlacoche (mushrooms) and nopales (cactus) this time. The latter needed a bit of getting used to, as far as the texture. But again, the simple taste was bursting with flavor.

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Tacos huitlacoches/ Tacos nopales

Sated, we walked back to the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Since it was a Monday, the lobby was open but we weren’t allowed to access the upper floors, which was a shame. I had read much about the Diego Rivera murals and other paintings on display in this building. But I had to be content with a glimpse of its beauty from the elegant lobby.

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The ceiling of the Palacio de Bellas Artes, seen from the lobby
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Palacio de Bellas Artes

Eventually, we made our way across the street. The Cafe Don Porfirio at the top of the Sears building is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the Palacio de Bellas Artes. So off we went to the cafe where we enjoyed some shade, coffee and snacks. We were able to catch up on our social media and debate the day until then while enjoying the terrific views from the cafe balcony.

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Iconic view of the Palacio de Bellas Artes from the Sears building

As the afternoon waned, we walked back to the Zocalo and took another leisurely tour of the Cathedral on our own. The Presidential palace along the east side of the Zocalo had been the site of a demonstration that morning. But by afternoon, people had dispered. Apparently daily demonstrations are quite a common occurence here. The palace is another location where many of Diego Rivera’s paintings are installed.

Since our Airbnb wasn’t too far from the Zocalo, we decided to take the Metro back. The Zocalo has an underground station which we located with help from some police officers. We bought tickets, which cost 5 pesos per person per trip, inserted them into the turnstiles and followed the color-coded directions to our train. Mexico City metros can be heavily crowded and are ripe for pickpockets and other miscreants, as would be the case in any big city. We saw several security guards scattered around the area. At the time of our trip, the Metro was only reasonably crowded and we had a quick ride back. Because of the pickpocketing concerns, one of the changes we made on this trip was to use a moneybelt around our waist to carry phones and cards/ cash. This made it much easier to travel unencumbered and in a safe fashion.

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Inside the Zocalo Metro station

It was about a ten minute walk from the Metro back to the Airbnb and we enjoyed the walk, taking in the architecture of the neighborhood and people watching. That evening, we came across a ramen place called Ton Ton Ramen, about a 15 min walk from the apartment. As dusk darkened the skies, we walked over. It was not crowded and the ambience was colorful with a touch of whimsy. We enjoyed the vegetarian ramen with tofu.

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Ton Ton Ramen diner
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Vegetarian ramen at Ton Ton Ramen

As we walked back, we debated the biggest question for the following day, should we attend the Lucha Libre or not? The answer?  Well, I’ll tell you in a couple of days!!

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A bit of whimsy at the Ton Ton Ramen