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Mexico City impressions, Frida Kahlo, Teotihuacan.

Flag Mexico Jean Paul Chambas paiting of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, a mural in Bella Artes metro station, Mexico City.

Sunday, October 30 2011

7 years, 3 months, 8 days

Teotihuacan, Mexico

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Current Vehicle 31,157km

Trekking 750km

Ferry 2,778km

Train 7,015km

Land Rover 73,588km

Other cars 170,685km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm. > journey > north-america > mexico > 20111030-teotihuacan

And after all, ...

Map, Teotihuacan.

September was nice in Vienna, "alt-Weiber Sommer" (lit. old-women's summer) dragged on for ever, well into October, blue clear skies and dry 25°C. But then the change always comes abrupt ringing in many months of creepy grey, cold and sad. 3 weeks I spent in Vienna, one of jet-lag, one of sickness, one of trying to make up for lost time...

The lights shine through the rains when we roll out onto the runway in Vienna, I kissed Daniel and David goodbye the night before, they know I won't be here when they wake, they trust we'll see each other again next year, for another journey in the lands where the rains are warm...

David showing me an print-add, Lust for life, skins, Like papa and Christina...
David showing me an add.

Madrid and I have been through this airport with the boys many times, its checks and trains and terminals. I know its architecture as the boys climbed its steel poles, know its fire extinguishers because the boys set one off, remember visits to toilets and snack outlets, spot the toy car that moves when you insert a coin on the way to the gates; which I never did. I sit down now on the floor to charge my computer; these idiot airports that cannot provide for recharging, people almost step on me, I munch an overpriced sandwich, down a Cruzcampo...

I wake during take-off, doze off again. Food comes, I take red wine, the guy in front checks time on his iPhone, still 11 hours to go. I remember my flights with the boys, their curiosity and food intake, I put butter on my bun and remember I did the same for the boys...

This time I fly to the Americas to stay, I ponder, this time will be important, somehow I need to find something that can support us...

The overhead Tube-TVs rattle and shake, interlace, colors that are too bright anyway change to b/w, we go through some turbulences; Iberia has the oldest planes I have been with in many years, it is like in the old days. Flights to South America are still expensive, the boys would come by themselves next year, Iberia and British take them from 5 onwards. They'll fly alone, they said yes; they'll never be alone as they have each other...

Me in Mexico.
Me in Mexico.

Way later arrival in Mexico City and memories of queuing at immigration with my boys recur; such a long queue 3 months ago and my youngsters were so tired. C. picks me up, we get a taxi; the boys and I got a taxi into the unknown 3 months ago, then fetched the van which the boys loved at first sight and drove off into that first night of heavy rains and traffic jam; that mysterious first night with Daniel and David in Mexico where I woke at night to look whether they were still here...

Calle Aldama Indio mural. Near Guerrero, Mexico City.
Calle Aldama mural.
Cathedral in late evening sun, Mexico City..
In late evening sun.

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Jean Paul Chambas paiting of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, a mural in Bella Artes metro station, Mexico City.
Villa and Zapata.
Demonstrations, Monumento a la Revolucion, 15Oct2011.
Demonstrations, Monumento a la Revolucion.
Grafitti Coyoacan.
Grafitti Coyoacan.

In D.F. (pronounced 'de effe', the short for Distrito Federal, Mexico City) we have a room, centrally in the Colonia Roma and we try to connect to the old road, from where we hung out before we travelled Mexico with my children, many walks when weather is all blue skies, we explore a very pleasant city...

After a week we see the National Anthropology Museum, Maya, Olmec, Aztec artifacts on exhibition, very interested especially after the grand tour we have just undertaken. Just I wonder about the curators' ignorance; the English demonym Maya is always wrongly spelt Mayan.

Fire fighters, motor bikes, Mexico City.
Fire fighters.
Frida Kahlo, grafiti Mexico City.
Frida Kahlo.
Torre Latino Americana, Ciudad Mexico.
Torre Latino Americana.

Parish of San Juan Bautista, Coyoacan.
Venustiano Carranza house front. Mexico City Center.
House front, near Zocalo.

Detail graffiti, Roma Norte.
Detail graffiti, Roma Norte.
Street saxophone player, central Mexico City.
Street Sax.
Frida is the only example in the history of art of someone who sladhed her breasts and her heart to tell the biological truth of what she feels in them, Diego Rivera about Frida Kahlo.
Frida Kahlo museum.

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Frida and Diego, Montezuma and Márquez.

El Zocalo, old couple sleeping on ground, Mexico City..
El Zocalo, old couple.
Zocalo and cathedral, Mexico City.
Zocalo and cathedral.

On another day we go back to the Chapultepec park to the Museum of Modern Art, for my first ever encounter of Mexican impressionists, cubists, surrealists, modern and and post modern artists. Above all of them Frida Kahlo (wiki) stands out, anything I have seen by her husband Diego Rivera cannot compare. The Austrian can't help but being reminded of Egon Schiele when looking at Frida Kahlo's sliced up bodies and mutilations, her stoic facial expressions in self-portraits; the similar suffering? Frida Kahlo was her life long in physical pain, went through some ill fated operations, near her young life's end she conducted many of her works while lying in bed.

We go twice south to Coyoacán (wiki), since long an integral part of Ciudad Mexico, but at Revolution times when Emilliano Zapata rode through here 1914 on his way to meet Pancho Villa in the National Palace, it was still a village, its fame steers from being the place where Leon Trotsky, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera lived. In Coyoacán, apart from tourists, a very different crowd hangs out, actors, writers, TV people, musicians, intellectuals. The bars at night are full, we meet friends of a friend, Julian, a young writer, and his father Fernando, a famous and known theater and TV-soap actor. Fernando, being pretty well travelled surprises us again and again, Montezuma's feathered headdress, the original, he says is in Vienna, "Give it back!", the Mexican Anthropology museum only has a copy. He's also been to Peru and Columbia, soon we talk Gabriel García Márquez, Julian has met the famous Nobel Price winner a few times here in Mexico, explains how a formerly poor man came to fame almost over night, but this late night we cannot agree whether he wrote his magic 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' in Mexico (as I argue) or in Paris (as Julian thinks). Father and son, the most civilized and charming drinkers, leave me with the most terrible hang-over, Noche Buena was the most fantastic, but strong Mexican (Christmas) brew.

National Palace, main patio, Mexico City.
National Palace, patio.
Mexico, National Palace, El Zocalo front entrance..
Mexico, National Palace, front.

One other day I go and visit Casa Azul, or the Coyoacán Frida Kahlo museum, former home of husband and wife Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo lived, also Leon Trotsky for a while.

"Frida is the only example in the history of art of someone who slashed her breasts and her heart to tell the biological truth of what she feels in them," Diego Rivera about Frida Kahlo and Frida Kahlo about herself: "I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality."

Patio fountain, Palcio Nacional, Mexico City, El Zovcalo.
Patio fountain.
Mexico, National Palace, El Zocalo front entrance..
Mexico, National Palace front.
Arcased, Patio, National Palace, Mexcio City..
Arcased, Patio.
Palacio Nacional, Zocalo, D.F. Mexico City.
Palacio Nacional, Zocalo.
President's offices, Mexico City.
President's offices.
Cat, free space in front of Palacio National, Zocalo, Mexico City..
Free space in front of Palacio National.

It is in the Palacio National where I find the Diego Rivera murals, that recount Mexico's history and struggle of its indigenas, land-less and working class. The National Palace presides over the Zocalo in Mexico City, had originally just one floor, later a second one was added, it served as a building for president, government and parliament until is was converted into a museum. I am impressed by the facade outside and the all symmetric main patio inside. The famous murals decorate the ceilings above the great staircase to the first floor galería which itself hosts a few more grand Rivera wall paintings.

Once entering the old assembly hall there is a lot more security around, photos are strictly forbidden, I am content to see revolutionary hero Zapata's statue next to the entry, Hidalgo's, Guerre's and Juárez's paintings on the other side. The assembly's ceiling is high, the central part shows an eye inside a triangle, the Free Mason's symbol of power. Further around the first floor arcades, inside the presidential offices I find another huge Zapata painting with sombrero and ammunition belt and all, more than life-size in the gallery of paintings of all Mexican presidents from Juárez and Diaz, to Fox and Calderón, just Emilliano Zapata was never a president, but a legendary fighter for his worthy just cause, land reform; he was hideously murdered by the state.

Too bad sección parlamentario is closed as it houses the Mexican history exhibition with a good revolution coverage.

Diego Rivera mural, detail, or Palacio Nacional Mexico City.
Diego Rivera mural, detail.
Spanish conquest and enslavement. Palacio Nacional mural by Diego Rivera.
Spanish conquest and enslavement.
Detail in stair mural, Palacio Nacional.
Detail in stair mural.
Detail of Diego Rivera mural. Frida Kahlo onit. Palacio Nacional, Mexico.
Frida Kahlo in Diego Rivera mural.

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Mexico still.

Bus and orange house, Mexico City.
Bus and orange house.
Palacio de Bellas Artes, DF Mexico City.
Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Antojitos, Restaurant in central Mexico City, colours in late light..
Antojitos, Restaurant.

Megaphone guy, vendor Zocalo, Mexico City.
Megaphone guy.
Benito Juarez. Taller Siqueiros.
Benito Juarez.
San Fernando Franciscan church, Mexico City.  Benito Juarez is buried in its back yard.
San Fernando.

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It has begun, this is the 29th of October sun sets and rises again, also balloons rise over the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon in Teotihuacan, Christina and I have embarked on the great Central America journey; the next 6 months will be out-of-the-way interesting and enthusing. Guatemala, El-Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama; a life-long dream becomes reality. I miss traveling with the boys, but then this trip can be more a study trip, study of history, atrocities, wars and civil wars, indigenous peoples and ancient cultures. This trip will also lead us through natural wonders of grand variety; jungles, volcanos, blue lakes and wild oceans with adjacent white beaches. We certainly will drink all the local beers between the Caribbean and the Pacific and with luck we may participate at some of the upcoming fiestas, Christmas and New Year is near. 6 months will be short as it is in 6 months that I'd like to have my boys come back and travel with me again, wherever this may be.

Ballons rise over Pyramid of the Sun. Teotihuacan, Mexico.
Ballons rise over Pyramid of the Sun.
Balloons, sun over Pyramid of the Sun. Teotihuacan, Mexico.
Balloons, sun over Pyramid of the Sun.
Teotihuacan and balloons over the Pyramid of the Sun..
Teotihuacan and balloons.

Teotihuacan (wiki) is not far, a bit north-east, its two famous pyramids, Moon and Sun, are among the biggest in Meso America, the site is of vast expanse and the Avenue of the Dead gives it a monumental layout. The city was built some 2000 years ago and it may have had as many as 200,000 inhabitants, Teotihuacano influence stretched way south into Zapotec and Mixtec areas and east into Maya regions, but what ethnic group resided here, Toltecs?? We don't know for sure. Teotihuacan might have been the first multi-ethnic city in the world. The Aztecs, that Hernán Cortez came to fight in 1520, settled in the region way later.

Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacan, teken from Pyramid of the Sun. Mexico..
Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacan.
Pyramid of the Sun and Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacan. Teken from Pyramid of the Moon. Was it really a channel for water??
Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan.

Avenue ofthe Dead, Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacan.
Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacan.
Hyndreds climb Pyramid of the sun, Teotihuacan.
Hundreds climb.
Pyramid of the sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico.
Is not in Egypt!

Little stone statue feathered decoration for the head, museum, Teotihuacan, Mexico.
Little stone statue head decoration.
Feathered serpent, museum, Teotihuacan.
Feathered serpent.
Wryly smile in stone, museum, Teotihuacan.
Wryly smile.

Bird, museum, Teotihuaca.
Model, Teotihuacan.
Model, Teotihuacan.

Mexican family posing for picture.
Mexican family. > journey > north-america > mexico > 20111030-teotihuacan

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