We arrived back in Montreal early this morning after a flight that began at 1:30 a.m. I feel pretty spacey: jet-lagged, a bit shocked by the all-too-familiar snow and Montreal's monochromatic palette. But it's good to be back home with Manon and our own bed, bath, and friends. I've got a lot to think about; traveling always changes me, and sometimes gives me a real shaking-up - this was once of those trips. For now, though, I'll continue the travelogue.
Coyoacan: Cortez lived here, and so did his native mistress, La Malinche. Coyoacan is to the south, and used to be where the aristocracy had their summer residences. Gradually Mexico City's growth absorbed it. DIego Rivera and Frida Kahlo lived and worked here, as did their friend Leon Trotsky, whose asylum they helped arrange.
We started exploring Coyoacan at Viveros, a 38.9 hectare arboretum/park founded in the early 20th century to provide seedlings to help restore deforested areas around Mexico City; it became a national park in 1938.
From the busyness of the metro station and Avenue Insurgentes, we walked around the corner and entered an oasis of tall trees, greenness, and quiet paths. People were running, exercising, or just be-ing; there was a school class in white uniforms learning about the trees, but mostly it was quiet and calm, filled with the sounds of birds.
The avenues of the park were named after particular types of trees planted along them in long allees, like manzanitas and eucalyptus. And there were other habitats, such as a palm grove, and an arid garden filled with giant cactus plants planted on volcanic rocks, and shy, scurrying lizards.
In the center of the park, the red gravel-covered paths opened onto a large circle...
...where a matador practiced his moves.
The quiet encouraged me to look closely; color and pattern were everywhere.
Our Coyoacan walk will be continued...