Estado de Mexico or “State of Mexico” is also one of the 31 states of Mexico. In addition to that, there is the “City of Mexico”, which is a federal district and can be counted as the 32nd state of Mexico. Do not mix it up, please.
7th Aug 2018
The archaeological site of Teotihuacan is situated in this state, even it is very close to the city of Mexico. Anyway I had to take a bus from a bus terminal in Mexico City and could not go by a “collectivo” or other buses serving the town and its suburbs. I started relatively late on this trip this date, fortunately I could see the whole site, but unfortunately I missed the museum by lack of time.
The site, which also is a UNESCO Heritage site, was inhabited of different peoples, so also of the Aztecs (Mexicas). Even this one is one of the more important sites and a UNESCO Heritage Site. I spent lots of hours there and also had a meal – unfortunately an expensive one at the restaurant at the site, but I felt, that I had to sit down and come out of the sun.
I had started with the Ciudadela, where I spent some time and also climbed pyramids, because there were two pyramids behind each other and the one behind was the more interesting one, before I went to the restaurant and walked then the Avenue of the Death with all it’s buildings. I took a look on the pyramid of the sun and the one of the moon, but did not climb them, because they were not recommended for people with heart diseases. I have still problems with climbing stairs and I thought, I have not to challenge my health.
For my way home I was lucky to catch a bus at another entrance of the site, though I did not need to walk back all the “Avenue of the Death” (Calzade de Muerte).
More photos of Teotihuacan you will find by following the link.
28th Aug 2018
I arrived in Toluca from Mexico City, but this time I would stay for longer. I had some wishes, what I will see. Somethings I already planned earlier, other places, I was told by Brenda’s mother (my last host), were amazing to see. My new host, Estefanía was waiting for me, when I arrived by taxi. The taxi driver did not find the street and we had to call her – by my phone. I already had shown the taxi driver, where he had to go by Google maps. I was wondering, why he did not know the area and he told me, it was not Toluca, but it actually is. It is one of the so-called “delegations” of the town. Every bigger town is divided in delegations, which are divided in colonies (colonias). My host was waiting for us at the corner of the street and messaged me that. Though I showed it to the driver. Without it, he would not have found the street. Fortunately he could not take more paid, because I already had paid at the bus station, where the taxi had a safe system. It is safe two ways, because the assistant knows, where the taxis are going. If a taxi driver would be unfaithful, the guest has a receipt with the plate number and has an instance to tell the issue. How much the guest would be believed, I do not know, of course. The other safety is, that one cannot be overcharged.
Estefanía had to go to work, though she must have been a little stressed. She explained very quickly the necessary things for me. She also told me, that I can find an Oxxo and other shops close to her apartment as well as she gave me keys. When I asked her, when she will be back, she answered at 11pm. Before she left I also have got the password to her WI-fi. When I later that evening went out to the Oxxo – by daylight, it was raining a little, but get worse, when I was on my way back. I had not taken my rain cape with me, because the shop was quite close. I also have seen a paper shop, though I hope I will find envelops there, that I can send the postcards with views I have collected.
I had bought something to eat and drink for the evening and for the breakfast next morning. I also tried popcorn with cheese – packed like chips, that evening. I just felt for having it. I updated my blog to the ongoing hour, but the pictures. I will try to add some pictures the upcoming evening – of the view I have left. I hope, when I take more pictures, they won’t disappear again.
I was still awake, when Estafanía arrived at her home again. We talked about the upcoming day before we were going to sleep.
29th Aug 2018
It has been a cold night again – colder even than in Mexico City, but I dressed enough combined with the two covers I have got of my host, I made the night without feeling cold.
I awoke 7:30am and had my routines, but was not dressed yet, when Estefanía came home from her course around 9am. I showed her my plans for Toluca and she told me, that I could see the Cristal house and Metepec this day. I told her, I also would like to see more of the city, though she told me, if I have time enough, which bus I had to take for coming to Metepec.
It was as usual no problem to go downtown by bus. Well there I soon found a place with the name vitral included. I was told, that it would be “Casa de vitral”, but there was neither one to find by Google maps or maps.me. The Cosmovitral ist the house, which inhabits the Botanical garden. It has been a market hall until 1975. The stained glass windows are amazing and very beautiful. The garden is an oasis. The admission fee is as low as 10 MXN per person, no matter if one is a stranger or not. I bought postcards with views for my friends, who are collecting these, before I continued to walk the historical city.
Close to the Cosmovitral one can find the State government, offices, churches and a closed museum. The central place in between has no kiosk, but a lot of nice artifacts. The closed museum is the Museum of Bella Arte. I was so interested in to take a look, but when I asked at the church – there were an extra room, where I could ask an assistant, she told me, that there are no exhibitions for the moment and the museum therefore is closed. I also entered the cathedral this day, but it was an ongoing service, why I could not take photographs. When I later returned, the church was closed. So where also other churches I tried to take a look inside. Anyway the cathedral is not very decorated, but the niches for the saints. The chore is in stone only, I like this simple beauty.
I had a meal, before I went back to the bus and was going with one for Metepec. The bus driver was so kind and told me, where to go off and were to go for the city center. First I thought, this place were similar to other “Pueblos magicos”, but it is different and I liked it. One of the churches is on a hill and all the way up is very nice decorated with beets with flowers and plants as well as art. The city itself has a nice place with the town hall on one side and a kiosk on the other side as well as a fountain and a bridge on another side. Some streets were also nice to see. I had an “agua de Horchata” as well, but this was unusual very sweet. It did not taste at all, what I am used to.
I was back around 7pm, because of the traffic and my mistake. Otherwise I would have been a little earlier. I left Metepec by bus around 5:45pm. Unfortunately I had taken the first bus to Toluca and that one was going to the bus terminal. Though I walked from there to the bus stop, where I could catch a bus back to my host’s home.
I checked the photos of the day and they were all there. I also checked the photos of the days, which has passed and I found them all. Some I could not open, because they are a little bigger files and it might be the Internet connection or it is my new phone. I hope I will not lose them and open them back in Sweden with my laptop. I also saved a lot of photos from the coffee museum on my Google drive instead for on Google photos, but unfortunately, when I try to open them on my notebook, I get the message, that the kind of file may not be supported even they are .jpg-files! I use a Kingston SD-card and that I have done before. Though it should not be any problems for that. By the way, I tried to buy another SD-card in Mexico City, but when I finally found them – and they were San disks, they were very expensive. This day a bought a for me unknown SD-card, again at a Telcel shop. It was nearly twice the price I had paid in Coatepec.
It was dark soon, though I ate the snacks, I had bought the day before. I was not interested in to leave the house in the dark. I also had a bottle of mango juice left, which I drank. I made my files and wrote the postcards. I even tried to put them into the envelopes I had bought in Metepec, but I have some cards, which are bigger than these envelopes. I have to take the cards with me to find the right size of envelopes for them. Eventually I updated my blog, before I was going to bed.
30th Aug 2018
This day I did not really follow my routines. Estefanía was not at home before 9:30am and I had to wait for her for the warm water for the shower. I was on twitter for hours! Finally after the shower and a cup of coffee I was leaving, but before I had asked my host for the directions for Malinalco. I would like to see the pyramids there. She told me, it will be around a two hours trip in one direction and that I have to change bus in Tenango as well. She added, if I am late, I could see the pyramid close to Tenango instead.
I followed her advise and took a bus to the bus terminal. The bus stops (areas) are always shown on the front of the buses and I took the first bus, which was signed with “Terminal”. Unfortunately it was coming from the terminal and going to the countryside. At the last stop I took another bus back to town and was finally coming to the right stop. From there I had to find buses or combis for Tenango, which I did, but they were ca. 10 minutes away. In Tenango I had to change to a combi for Malincalco. At that stage I did not know yet, how much time was needed to go there.
It was already around 4pm, when I arrived in Malincalco. I was hungry and had a meal on the way to the pyramid, I would like to see. It was horrible, what I have got served and I ordered a flan (dessert) as well in the hope, that would be better. The flan was announced as “Rico flan”, what means good one. Unfortunately it was not at all and was for 25 MXN, the main meal had been for 50 MXN, though the flan was expensive, even it anyway is cheap.
I arrived at the museum, where I asked for the duration of the walk for the pyramid. The pyramid was somewhere on the rocks/hills and I was told, that it will take one hour to go there, as well as I was told, that they will close at 5pm. It sounded to me, that it is the pyramid as well, which will be closed. Furthermore, I was told, that the museum has a replica of the pyramid. Not sure, I would make it in time to the pyramid, I entered the museum instead. The admission fee was as low as 15 MXN, even for foreigners. Here, in the state of Mexico (EDOMEX) foreigners has not to pay more at the museums than Mexicans. In addition to that, a lot of museums have free entrance.
The museum had a lot of guides, as soon as I was coming to a new area, a new guide was taking over. The guidance was for free. I took a lot of photos again, even this place was really small. Finally outside again, I was asked, if I want go and see the old pyramid. I was not willing to go there and maybe not be back before dark. If I had been two hours earlier, I would have done it. It is always more amazing to see the original. Now I had to be happy with the replica and was then walking through the streets of this “Pueblo Magico”. It seemed, they have had some problems with the earthquake last year as well, because the towers of two of the churches were supported by wooden pales. Even a building, which might has been the town hall, was supported by wooden pales.
After a while I was looking for the collectivo back to Tenango. I had to ask and got different explanations and was happy, when I finally found them. I was allowed to enter one, who still was totally empty, though I did take the seat in the front – on the side of the driver. The bus was soon filled and we left Malincalco. I had already seen a little bit of the amazing nature around here, but now I could see it in all its beauty. I would have liked to stay on some places for a longer while, which, of course, was not possible. No pyramid can leave such an impression like the nature between Malincalco and Tenango. Unfortunately I could not take any photo of it and if it would have been possible, no photo can show all that beauty, which one can see in real.
In Tenango I was left close to, where the bus to Toluca was passing. There were actually a bus stop. I was not waiting for a long time and was soon on my way back to town. When I arrived in Toluca it was dark. I was not really sure, where the bus to Capultitlan (the area, where Estefanía lives) is leaving, though I took a taxi instead. The driver’s (I had asked more than one) told me, that they will charge me 80 MXN. I told the second one, that I only paid 63 MXN the day before and he told me, that it is a lot of traffic, though I could get it for 70 MXN. I agreed, because Capultitlan is really not very close to the bus terminal. – The driver was worth it’s price, because there were more than one traffic jam on the way and he actually was very kind and talked with me during the ride. We spoke Spanish. Meanwhile I was in the taxi, it started raining, though, when I had left the car, I was going to a nearby restaurant. This one only sold hamburgers and pizza. I ordered a hamburger combi, because I also want something to drink. A hamburger was announced for 45 MXN, the combi I ordered, after I was asked if I wish it spicy or not, if I wish onions, pineapple etc. was for 85 MXN. It was much bigger and with more ingredients as I had expected. The hamburger was coming with French fries, extra sausage and extra salad. I was already full of the French fries and the extras, though I asked for a doggy bag.
It was still raining, when I left that restaurant. Meanwhile I had been there, I could see, how they make the pizza, because of the many orders per phone. It seemed, they make an Italian dough. One of the cocks made the pizza bottom by throwing it in the air – it came back on his hands! 😉 I was a little wet, when I was back in Estefanía’s apartment. I put the jacket on a chair and dressed immediately to night clothes. In bed I made my file and even I had made my files the day before and all was correct, this evening I had a minus of 27 MXN and I cannot explain it. I had not made a notice about that amount in my little notebook. I now try to write all my expenses in during the day. Since I broke my smartphone, I returned to paper and pen. I cannot explain otherwise, than I must have eaten something I have not written down – even I did not eat an ice cream and had no agua de Horchata either. I am also sure, that I did not drop some money.
31st Aug 2018
I asked Estefanía this morning, how to go to Tepotzlan. I had written down, that I will go there from Toluca. She told me, that it takes almost three hours to go there and that I first have to go to Cuernavaca, because this archaeologic site is situated in Morelos. I told her, I must have missed it and took the bus – this time the right one, to the bus terminal. At the bus I was thinking, that I anyway might have been there and tried to look it up on my blog. I could not use the Internet and I also got a message, that I already had run out of data again. This smartphone has no possibility to chose that updates etc only can be done, while it is connected to Wi-fi. Though it had been uploading my photos to Google photo – almost some of them (which you also can see on 29th). Unfortunately I had neither uploaded photos from the days before, nor is it uploading photos, when I am connected to the Wi-fi. In addition to that I only can open the photos I have uploaded. I think that my smartphone’s RAM is not good enough.
At the bus terminal I was looking for a place, where I could top up my phone and was happy, when I found a store – it was eventually an Internet café. I checked my blog and put than the data usage to the minimum. That means, that I cannot access a lot of sites, but WhatsApp and the GPS function are working. I was right, I had been in Tepotzlan and I remembered it now, when I could read about it. I had been there with my first host in Cuernavaca. I was climbing all the way up to the ruins, meanwhile she was waiting down in the city.
I looked at maps.me for museums and found two or three very close to each other. It was a little bit away, but I love to walk and it would be easier to walk, than to find the right bus – if there is a bus. I did not come far, when I already was hungry again. I had eaten the top of the hamburger bread and the hamburger. The rest including more sausage, I did leave for the evening, because I did not feel more hungry, but now. There were some restaurants, where I was walking. The restaurant “Las Enchiladas” offered breakfast from 50 MXN. I took a look in and it was nearly full – it was only one little table available, I did take that and was told, when I ordered, that juice, fruit and coffee was included. I chose an omelet with mushrooms. As soon as a table was empty, other customers were coming. There were also groups and the waiter was helping to put tables together. The waiter was excellent and so was the kitchen. I did get my breakfast in such a short time, which was fast even for European standards and the waiters were very nice and kind.
I continued in the direction to the museum and was coming throughout an area, where I won’t walk in the dark. Anyway parents were picking up their children from school and life looked here like everywhere in Mexican towns. I came to a park, which I though I could walk through, but it was closed. Later I saw an open door. People were jogging there, but the park was not maintained well. I walked around the park. The area of the museums were fenced and had also a security guard at the entrance. He told me, that the Cinatek was showing movies twice a day and that there was no admission fee. On that ground also other museums are situated. I tried it with the Museum of Modern Art. Even the policeman had told me, that it is open, it was closed for renovation. Though I continued to the Museum of Popular Art, where I had more success. Even here I took photos.
I was tired now and found a bus, which brought me to the city center, where I was looking for some items to buy. I had to walk a lot, but at the end I found all of it. I was now in the Lic. Benito Juarez. A bus back to Capultitlan was standing in a traffic jam, which occurred by a traffic light. I was allowed to enter, paid the fee of 10 MXN and was looking for to come back to Estefanía’s home. This time we were much faster than the day before and I did not miss the right bus stop, because there are two churches, which one is very special, before the bus stop at the Oxxo. I bought something to drink at the Oxxo shop before I finally walked the short distance “home”.
I was tired of the long walk and the museum, though I was early to bed after I had eaten the rest of the hamburger.
1st Sept 2018
I awoke around 1pm and saw, that my host was not at home. She is working in a restaurant in the evening and because it was Friday night, I was thinking, she had to work longer. I could not fall asleep for a while, though I used twitter, when I got a WhatsApp message of her. She was asking, if I was still awake, because she had left her keys at home and was now at her mother’s. Her mother has a key for her apartment as well, but could not find it. When she was sure, that I would open the door for her – that means, that I am not sleeping, she took an “Uber taxi” and came home. I welcomed her :-).
In the morning we had breakfast at the same time. I was cooking water for my instant coffee, when she came out into the kitchen, though I put on water for her coffee as well. She actually asked me, if I would like to have an egg, but I had bought sweet bread for the morning. From time to time I buy some of them to get to know even that part of the Mexican culture. She had to go to work soon. She is an English teacher as well and often has a class in the morning. She also works from home. I think as a translator, but I did not ask her.
I stayed in bed for a while and was looking for flights back home in December, because I decided to go home for Christmas and come back in spring. It took a long time, before I found a flight, which had more than hand baggage included for the trip from Mexico City to New York. I have to change flight anyway and I have never bin in New York so far. In addition to that I would like to see that giant Christmas tree in front of the Rockefeller Center. I know, that is stupid, but so I am. For going home in December it is an opportunity I cannot miss. When I finally found a flight, which was not a business one, Estefanía was already coming home again. I also booked the flight from New York home to Stockholm, which has to do with the Esta Waiver. I could have booked that one later. I do not know if prices are going down in between, before they go up again, but I thought it is better, I already book that flight, too. Unfortunately only the Norwegian flight company has direct flights between these destinations. My last experiences with this company have been horrible, but this time I know more. Though I booked not the very cheap flight, but the next category and I booked my seat. I booked one at an exit, which means I have more space for my legs and the seats in these side rows are not so very narrow either. The flight is for only a little more than seven hours instead for ten, when I was flying to Los Angeles. Even this is positive. I will leave in the late evening in New York and will arrive in Stockholm between 11am and 12pm – on a Sunday. Though I also hope, that my son can pick me up at the airport.
Well done this I had a shower and left for another meal and to buy ingredients for Swedish meatballs etc. I was thinking to eat at the Chinese restaurant nearby, but they only had so little left, that it did not look fresh. I continued to the restaurant, where I had bought that big hamburger meal and had two pizza slices and a bottle of water (each for 16 MXN). They were enough for me. When I was at the supermarket, I found all I needed and also bought an avocado and a half papaya as well as something for my evening meal. All together and included tissues it was for around 130 MXN.
Estefanía had to go and work at the restaurant again, though I made my files (this time there were nothing missing), wrote the envelopes for the postcards to send, updated my blog – and surprise, there were photos available on Google photo from Toluca and Metepec. Though I still have hope, that the other photos will be available after a while and that I can add them to this site. I dressed for the night and was planing a change of my itinerary, though I will have visited all of Mexico’s states when leaving, in the case I cannot come back.
2nd Sept 2018
I was awake around 7am, in good time before we agreed to leave for our hike. Around 8am I knocked Estefanía’s door, telling her, that I was awake. I already have had a light breakfast and was dressed. Around 9am we left for the bus. It was very good to have her with me for finding the right buses – and she also is great company. I told her, that I will pay the expenses of the day for us both, because she already give me her time, even she works six days a week and only has the Sunday off. She was surprised, but accepted. Though I paid for the bus rides. The first bus was for 10 MXN for one person, because it was a bus in town. The other bus was for 34 MXN per person. It was going to a little town or village close to the National park “Nevado de Toluca”. Before we left that place, I had two quesadillas with cheese only and asked my host, if she also would like to have something, but she told me, she will not.
We were walking for around two kilometers, which seemed longer for me, to the point, where the small trucks were waiting, taking people up the steep and curvy road to come close to the volcano with the same name. We had to pay 50 MXN for one person one way. There were two brits on those trucks. I took a fast look on them and saw, that there will not be a problem for me to enter them. It was not. The road was in a very bad condition, though we passengers hurt our backs at the metal braces, holding up the awning. We shared the space with some guys from the Netherlands and a Chinese couple with their little son and their mother. Before the driver started driving I already put my hat, gloves and shawl on, because it was windy and the awning not close. The guys were laughing at me. They also laughed, when I took my inflatable seat pad and had it behind my back. I had it comfortable!
Well up, close to the summit, there were still a lot to walk. We were now in a high of around 3,600 meters and had to come up to 4,200 meters. By the way, the city of Toluca is on a high of around 2,800 meters. Though we already were a lot higher up and had to force 600 more meters. I could only walk very slowly to get breath. Well arrived at 4,200 meters I felt well. From there, we could see the summits very close, but more amazing, the two lakes “the moon” and “the sun”. Of the lake “the sun” we could only see a part. We took a rest. Estefanía offered me a chocklad bar. Then I asked her, if it is hard to walk down to that lake, to see more of it. She told me, it is not, but we did not go there anyway, because it was already around 2pm and I guessed, that we would need two hours back and forth as well as the rain clouds were hanging low. We were soon going back to the small trucks. This time we were lucky and could sit in the passenger seats in the front. It was much more comfortable, even the ride was as bad as on the way upwards.
Finally down we walked in a good speed, but it started already raining. We were not at the village yet, when the rain got stronger, it flashed and hail was coming down instead of rain. The flashes came closer and I felt a little uncomfortable, but did not say anything to my host. We were very lucky, because in that moment a car stopped. There were already four young people in the car, but they offered us, to take us the whole way down. In the village, we saw the bus leaving in front of us and this nice people did take us all the way to Toluca. We came around one kilometer close to Estefanías home. On the last meters, the rain had stopped.
We were both hungry and cooked macaroni to have together with the Swedish meat balls and the carrots I had prepared the day before. We had not started eating, when her parents arrived. Meanwhile we ate, they were to the supermarket, but they did taste my Swedish meatballs, when they were back. They told me, that they liked them, but I am not sure, if they really did. They only took one each.
After the meal, Estefanía followed her parents home and told me, she will be back not later than 10pm. She also told me, that there is hot water for shower. I fixed my backpacks as good as I already could, made my files and was looking for my book with my itinerary. I took all the covers of the mattress and actually found it on the side of the mattress. I was happy about it. I changed to my night clothes and updated my blog, sitting on the mattress and under the covers. It was really cozy. I also had tried to open the photos from the day on my tablet. Unfortunately it was not working either.
Furthermore I had a conversation with my upcoming host. He lives close to Pachuca in the state of Hidalgo and we had to find a time fitting us for my arrival. I was tired and fell asleep before Estefanía was at home again.
3rd Sept 2018
I left Estefanía and her home around 10pm. We had been talking about the bus for Pachuca in Hidalgo. I had found one on the Internet the day before, which should leave around 2pm , but that was from the Airport in Mexico City. She found one at 6pm, when she googled the Internet. I left for the terminal, telling her, that there might not be all buses on the Internet.
I was lucky, the Futura bus company has direct buses from Toluca to Pachuca several times a day: The first at 7am, the next at 11am, there are also buses at 3pm and 5pm. I was in time for the 11am bus. The ride took three hours. If I remember right, it was for 190 MXN.
About my time in Pachuca you can read on the site of Hidalgo.