There’s no shortage of places to find a bed in Mexico City. There are hostels and hotels everywhere. From those that can be rented by the hour on Tlalpan (you can’t miss them…look for the ladyboys loitering on the streets outside them) to palatial apartments on Reforma that can be rented by the floor. If you’re Barak Obama or comparably rich or important.
But one of the finest is the Gran Hotel de la Ciudad de Mexico (map no. 36) on one of the corners of the Zocalo, the heart of the city. I’ve been in there once or twice. It is a colonial masterpiece, inside and out, and has free WiFi for all. Which is all this iPod Touch toting blogger needs to know to be interested. But what surprised me is that a single room, albeit their economy version, can be had for as little as ninety bucks.
But what interested me on Friday evening, aside from the Bicentenario decorations in the lounge/lobby/bar area, was the balcony. Workers are still hard at work. Cranes are still craning. Lights are beginning to flash. The Zocalo is almost ready to welcome President Calderon and his big speech. Viva Mexico!
I want to be there. I intend to be there. But there is a climate of fear in Mexico these days, thanks to the War on Drugs. It doesn’t put me off, but my better half is getting anxious at the gossip, almost certainly unfounded, that there’ll be an attack on the Zocalo or the parade that happens the next day.
I’ll have to try and convince her that the wagging tongues of doom are nothing to worry about. It hasn’t thus far been the style of the narcos to commit that sort of an atrocity, bar one islolated incident a couple of years back. So I hope to have plenty of photos taken with my new camera to show in a few days time. Till then, here are some snaps (and a brief video) on Flickr which were taken with my old, but trusty Panasonic TZ5 of the Zocalo, hotel and surrounding area.