On my second day in Mexico City, I decided to tackle the National Museum of Anthropology, firstly wanting to be a super tourist and get the open top bus tour, my plans were foiled by demonstrations going on downtown (which is a regular occurrence here) but I was happy to have stumbled upon the most AMAZING tacos place on my way to find the bus (more on this later…)
Getting to the National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia) from where I was in Condesa was ‘interesting’ mainly because it involved getting a bus to a metro stop that I was told was ‘not pretty but safe’. I got dropped off at the junction of a huge highway filled with cars and mopeds going in every direction which was a bit manic. Managed to find a bus to take me directly there for 4 or 5 pesos and all was well (once I arrived there at least!)
The museum is seriously impressive. It is GIGANTIC and houses the world’s largest collection of ancient Mexican art. There are different halls dedicated to each cultural region of Mesoamerica. I spent the best part of four hours in the museum and didn’t even get upstairs!
Entry is 57 pesos and I paid about I paid another 50 pesos or so to get the audio guide which brings you through all the rooms and highlights the most important areas to visit if you’re on a strict time frame, namely the Teotihuacán room, Aztec room and Maya room. The entire museum is truly stunning, so much to take in with many highlights including the The Sun Stone and Aztec Calendar.
Xolotl, pictured left, also really intrigued me. The god Quetzalcoatl’s twin Xolotl, is a god in the form of a dog. According to legend, to create man, Quetzalcoatl travelled to the underworld in search of the bones of the ancestral generations which were guarded by Mictlantecuhtli. To carry out his mission, he needed to take the form of a dog as hairless, reddish dogs called ‘xoloitzcuintli’ lead the dead on their journey to Mictlan, the underworld of Aztec mythology. Xolotl is the god of monstrosities and the patron of twins, which is perhaps what piqued my interest (!) and is also the patron animals that undergo transformations such as tadpoles that turn into frogs.