Marvelous Mexico City: Visiting the Holy Basilica and Feeling Blessed

Today I feel blessed in more ways than one.

First, I spent this morning at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This Roman Catholic church was built in 1531 and was the first designated basilica in North America.img_3028The problem is that much of Mexico City was built on a lake, so the basilica is actually sinking. It’s hard to see in pictures, but you can definitely see it slanting in person. For that reason, they built a new basilica in 1976.img_3027I think it’s actually a little ugly compared to the old basilica, but I understand the safety aspect. I was still able to view the inside of the old basilica, which was GORGEOUS. Adjacent to the basilica are numerous other religious chapels with equally stunning architecture.church3church2img_3047I followed a path leading up the hill of Tepeyac to the location of the National Shrine. This shrine is the site where the Lady of Guadalupe or Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Juan Diego, an Aztec convert to Catholicism, in 1531. The garden is also covered in a lush bed of roses, which is symbolic of the gift given to Juan Diego by the Virgin Mary.church4It was very beautiful; however, not as spiritual as my trip to Ephesus. In true Mexican Style, there were people trying to take pictures of kids on horses wearing sombreros next to the Virgin Mary. Hah. They were also weed whipping the garden, so it was pretty noisy. Oh well. 🙂

I did manage to get a video of the garden, which was very beautiful.

I was also able to view part of a mass at the basilica, which was beautiful. The music almost brought me to tears.

After that experience, I went a little off the beaten path. I took the metro to the Tlatelolco neighborhood. This is the location of The Plaza of Three Cultures. It is the excavation site for ancient Aztec ruins and a Catholic church built in the 17th century. It is a reflection of the three periods of Mexican history: pre-Columbian, Spanish and mestizo.site2It is kind of a gruesome place. First, I learned about the excavation of the ruins and how they found thousands of skulls and cervical vertebrae left on the altars as ritual sacrifice to the Gods and then I learned about the history of the plaza. It is the site of two awful events in Mexico. In 1521, over 40,000 Aztecs perished here when they stood up to the Spanish army led by Hernan Cortes. Then in 1968, Mexican soldiers opened fire on almost 14,000 unarmed students protesting the extravagant spending on the Mexico City Summer Olympics. I don’t know if I would recommend this place to anyone visiting, but I did learn a lot.

I also found this cool train museum with awesome murals, so that was a bonus. 😀trainI also have to laugh at myself, because when I got home I realized I had used the “smart shutter” feature on Mom’s camera. This means that it takes a photo every time it recognizes a smile. For this reason, I had 30 selfie’s in front of the ruins. HAHA. Blonde moment. 🙂siteFrom there I ended up walking to this place called Plaza Garibaldi. It is a famous square known for great restaurants and authentic mariachi. They were very smart to build a museum of tequila and mezcal right next to the square. You are able to sample some delicious liquors and then dance to Mexican music. I’ll have to return there when my family comes to visit. 🙂

That brings me to my next point: FAMILY.

I feel so blessed to have them in my life. Today they had a surprise birthday dinner for my Grandma and I was able to video chat with all of them at the table.

Everyone looked GREAT and I definitely missed not being there with them. I can’t wait to get settled in Queretaro and have them visit. 🙂

Anyway, that is all for now.  Today was a wonderful day filled with lots of happy emotions. Time to finish my last CELTA assignment and hopefully catch up with friends. Goodnight. 😀

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