Mexico City is incredibly large and sprawling, in case you hadn’t realised (I say this because I hadn’t realised, or hadn’t really thought about it, before I got here).
There are hundreds of colonias (or neighbourhoods) spread across 16 boroughs. It’s no wonder I got confused when I tried to plan this trip. To add to the confusion, some of the colonias have the same, or very similar, names.
In the end I picked a neighbourhood I liked the sound of (Wikitravel said it was ‘a centre for counter-culture, art, students, and intellectuals’).
This area is Coyoacan.
It is a colourful area full of parks, markets, restaurants and lots of old colonial-style houses.
It is also home to the Casa Azul (Frida Kahlo’s house).
Leon Trotsky’s house (where he lived in exile after being kicked out of the Soviet Union) is nearby, now also a museum.
Also in the area is Anahuacalli museum, which houses Diego Rivera’s collection of Aztec sculptures in a kind of replica Aztec building that he had built as a workshop.
The main downside with the area is that it seems to be the part of the city that the subway line forgot. It’s hard to believe that such a huge metro system could leave out the area (in this way, it’s like the South East London of Mexico city). Don’t be fooled by the stop called Coyoacan either (I was); this is a long walk away. There are some little green buses that will transport you from the metro nearer to where you want to go. Be prepared to have to have a row of Mexican children sit in silence staring at you with big wide eyes, should you use this method.
My airbnb turned out to be a huge room in a big, old colonial-style building. The area is full of these types of houses. My hosts were a nice old couple but they spoke to me very fast and I spent a lot of time nodding, smiling and hoping they weren’t telling me anything too sad. First lesson: My Spanish is not as good as I thought it was.