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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Mexico City revisited 1


Poor Phyllis. As we were leaving Guanajuato she began to come down with that cold again and by the time we got back to Mexico City, she was in rough shape. Next morning it was back to the doctor, a much more professional appearing but very curt guy, who gave her an antibiotic injection and prescription for three more. So for her remaining days in DF we had to schlepp to a clinic to get the shots administered. Certainly not the hoped for Mexican experience for her. However, she still had some energy to get out for some sightseeing and one of the places on her agenda was the residence of Diego Rivera located in San Angel on the south end of town, and where he had his studio.

The home was designed by his friend and artist, Juan O'Gorman in the early thirties and the architectural style was very unusual for Mexico at that time.

Owing to the famously tumultuous nature of their relationship, there are actually two houses on the property, one where Frida Kahlo lived and one for Diego with a bridge between the two.

Here many of her most famous works were created and in Diego's house was stored much of his collection of historical artefacts.

Diego's nativity scene

That pretty much used up Phyllis' energy for the day. For her last day in Mexico, I took her to the Chapultepec Castle, one of the major attractions in Mexico City and one I'd never seen. Chapultepec Castle is located on top of Chapultepec Hill.

The name Chapultepec stems from the Nahuatl word chapoltepēc which means "at the grasshopper's hill. It is located in the middle of Chapultepec Park in Mexico City at a height of 2,325 meters (7,628 ft) above sea level. The site of the hill was a sacred place for Aztecs and the buildings atop it have served several purposes during its history, including that of Military Academy, Imperial residence, Presidential home, observatory, and presently, the Museo Nacional de Historia. It is the only royal castle in North America that was actually used as the residence of a sovereign: the Mexican Emperor Maximilian I, and his consort Empress Carlota, lived there during the Second Mexican Empire. (From Wikipedia). Originally built for a Spanish viceroy, the castle is quite a magnificent place housing furnishing of Maximilian and Carlota as well as art and artefacts from Mexico's colonial period including modern pieces from some of the greats.

That took up most of the day and all of Phyllis' energy thus bringing to an end to her Mexican holiday. First thing next morning I helped her get to her flight and she started her what I later learned was her torturous journey home. And, I'm sorry to say, as of this writing she is still very ill.















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