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Friday, January 25, 2019

Chapultepec Castle

Aloha Everyone,

Chapultepec Castle is perched on a rock formation in the Bosque de Chapultepec. The site has a long history tracing back to the days of the Aztec Empire.

J.J.’s sentiment was that he will wait for me at a coffee shop down below so that I can run up to take in the splendor of the castle and a panoramic view of Mexico City. First of all, there were no coffee shops within the park. Once the two of us entered the lower castle gate, actually there was no turning back. Our entrance fee of 75 pesos each (US$4.17) was waived with our senior ID. The day was balmy, warm enough to remove our jackets as we prodded on.

At the check point to enter the castle proper, we were asked to drink or drain our water bottle. The handout pamphlets specified what may not enter the castle: no drinks, including water, no food and no chewing gum. Additional items that are prohibited include backpacks, large bags, notebooks, pens and pencils. Many were asked to check these items at a cost of $10 MXN for locker rental. J.J. and I were waived in with our large bags. Perhaps the guards have difficulty explaining rules to non-Spanish speaking foreigners.

The courtyard of the castle, with a beautiful fountain, has a commanding view of the city, including a lake within Chapultepec. The view was worth the climb.

The government employees anywhere tend to be officious and that is also the case in Mexico. While castle visitors are permitted to meander on their own, guards prefer that you go through each of the rooms in sequence. Heaven forbid if you want to skip Sala 1 and proceed to Sala 2. You are gently but firmly asked to go back to Sala 1.

We took a taxi from one of now familiar taxi drivers who usually park and wait for passengers near our condo. Our fare going was flat 150 peso, but on our return, the charge was 250 pesos.

Aloha -- Cathi