Chapultepec Castle in the Sky

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After finishing our stroll through the park, we saw a foreboding and ominous castle on top of a hill. That was our last stop of the day: Chapultepec Castle.

We’d read online that we had to pay for admission to the grounds. At the base of the mountain path, we saw a shack with a gate set up, but no one stopped us and there was no line. So we got in for free (I hope the statute of limitations has expired). Your mileage may vary.

However, when we reached the castle gate, there was a guard who wouldn’t let us in with our water bottles. Mexico City is very dry, and Sarah and I had each taken to carrying 1 litre bottles with us at all times. The guard wouldn’t let us simply put them in our bags so we hid ours behind a trailer that was parked nearby in hopes they might still be there when we finished with the castle. They were, by the way. And as far as I can tell, there was no poison in them.

Inside Chapultepec Castle

Chapultepec Castle was built in the 1700s and has been a Military Academy, an Imperial residence, a Presidential home, an observatory, and currently is the National Museum of History. It’s also a wonderful piece of architecture.

Chapultepec Castle

I have a soft spot for vexillology (the study of flags). Not a huge interest mind you, but an interest nevertheless. And I will say that the Mexican flag was very pretty and was also ever-present. On top of the castle, it proudly rippled in the wind.

Flag at Chapultepec Castle

Unfortunately, the flag in the courtyard was shielded from the wind. Instead of getting a chest-thumping, country-pride shot with a flag blowing in the wind and Mexico City in the background, the flag hung limply, softly moving when a breeze reached it. And it was cloudy.

Flag at Chapultepec Castle

But none of this should detract from the beauty of the Castle itself. It’s a wonderful example of old-world styling.

The grand Staircase at Chapultepec Castle

Behind the castle, we found the garden.

The Garden of Chapultepec Castle

The garden patio overlooked the city. The Castle is 7,628 ft (2,325 meters) above sea level and one of the higher points in Mexico City. From this vantage point, I captured a wonderful panorama of the city. Note the flag.

Mexico City Panorama View from Chapultepec Castle
To see the panorama in its full glory, click on it.

A solo traveller asked if I could get a picture of her with the skyline in the back. I agreed on the condition that she’d do the same for Sarah and I. I really like this picture and it also proves that I was actually there.

Us at Chapultepec Castle

Taking the Evening Off

I don’t have a lot of pictures from the Castle because we’d walked something like 12 miles that day. I like history, but I also like food so when we were done, we called a cab and made our way to Mercado Roma. We were simply too tired to walk, and Ubers were almost always under $5.

At Mercado Roma, I had Apple soda. Imagine Apple Juice. Now carbonate it. It isn’t bad, but also not something I’d buy again.

Mundel Apple (Manzana) Soda

One of our biggest regrets in Korea was not going out more and experiencing the nightlife. Our hosts at the AirBnB told us about a hip Mezcal bar nearby in Zona Rosa. So that night, we walked to Bósforo Mezcaleria. During the day, Zona Rosa is a bustling district with shops and restaurants. But at night the shops all close down, lowering their metal gates over the entire storefront, leaving the streets vacant, calm, and completely devoid of signs of economic activity.

The bar itself has no sign, and a curtain hangs over the front door. Inside, it’s about 20 feet wide with a loft in the back that has no chairs or couches; only rugs and hip locals eating salted mangoes and quietly making out. Soft acoustic guitar music played in the background and, true to the word of our host, the menu focused on local varieties of Mezcal.

Bósforo Mezcaleria in Mexico City

We bought two different shots of Mezcal and two beers for under $15. We only had a few drinks because we had an early morning coming up. The next day, we’d be leaving the AirBnB at 6 am to go see the pyramids at Teotihuacan.

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