Express CDMX Visit 

I got the opportunity to see my friends Chuy and Julia prior their 3 week trip around Guatemala and Mexico (enjoy! 😊). We had little time but it was really good to meet again after some months.

Also, my friend David was in the city and we were going back to Monterrey in the same bus. So we met near the Alameda and headed to the bus station but I changed the plan because saw something interesting near the station when I arrived Saturday morning (it wasn’t near, it was 20 minutes away 😂).

Belated 2014 Post #4

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Berlin, Deutschland – September 1 to 6, 2014

 

The plane landed at around 22:30h (15 minutes before what the ticket stated). It felt weird and great not having to wait to claim a suitcase (first time backpacking). As usual, I thought I knew how to get to Anna’s (my first couchsurfing host and the first polish girl I met!). I took a bus to the closest S-Bahn station and got off at the station that Anna told me, then I looked for the reference point she gave me (which was a yellow building) and started walking towards it. Since I felt I was mistaken, I stopped a hippie looking cyclist by yelling “Entschuldigen Sie! Quitzowstraße?”. He showed me the way (which was going down a staircase in the side of the yellow building), and I kept going as I thought “Fuck yeah, german classes paying off”.

After a 5 minute walk I arrived to the building, I rang the doorbell where I read Anna’s last name and when I heard a voice I just said “Anna?”, she immediately came down to open the door. We went up, left my things where Anna told me and joined her and her friends in the kitchen. There was Anna, Joanna (a roomie), Nuno (Joanna’s boyfriend) and Anna #2 (a friend that was visiting Berlin for the first time too). Anna offered me a beer and some biscuits Anna #2 had brought all the way from Poland. I was super hungry so I said yes to everything. She then noticed that, so she gave me some pasta to dine. A really warm welcome with cool people, nice conversation, a polish lesson and Soplica Hazelnut vodka shots!

 

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Places/experiences lived in Berlin:

 

 

The last night before Anna had to work (night shift), we wanted to go to a bar in east Berlin. Joanna lend me her public transport pass and before trying to get in the bar, we sat on a bench next to it to finish the beer we picked up on the way. When we wanted to get in they told us they were already closing (?!). We decided to go to another one closer to where the Badeschiff is and we bought more beer and a Mars (my first Mars bar ever!) for the walking. We waited outside again to finish our beers but at the end we didn’t even try to enter the bar, we stayed outside chatting. Later, Anna said something that really made me laugh: “We’re such losers”.

 

Also, one day I wanted to use Joanna’s bike and since the wheels needed some air I tried to inflate them but it didn’t work. I just finished to deflate the tires and parked back the bike. Sorry Joanna.

 

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“Ich bin ein Berliner”.

P.S. ¡Thank you very very much Anna!


 

Belated 2014 Post #3

 

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T4: I loved the concrete and yellow steel structure with its bamboo covered roof (it’s a Kalzip sandwich panel roofing system, bamboo slats in the interior and aluminum on the exterior).

 

Madrid, España – September 1, 2014 (Super express stop)

 

The flight from Istanbul to Madrid was also with Turkish Airlines, but this plane was a bit older, uncomfortable, and the movies were in turkish (and I didn’t succeed at loading english subtitles). When I checked-in they changed my seat to one in a row which I thought was the A (the dude at the desk wrote something that looked exactly like this: Δ), but when I sat an annoying turkish lady tells me that I’m on her seat, to which I replied they had changed my seat and I showed her the ticket. “It’s the #D!” she exclaimed, as if it was super obvious (no, annoying lady, it’s not fucking common for me to use greek letters and use delta instead of a normal D).

Already in Madrid, I kind of knew how to get to Diana’s apartment (hello and thanks Rocío!). I went out of the terminal in which I was and got to the T4 on a free bus. There I asked where to take the Renfe, bought the ticket and got on the train. I looked for a place with Wi-Fi and ended up buying a tiny 5,5€ fruit salad (which at least was good) in a Holiday Inn. I messaged Diana and she quickly picked me up. In her apartment I met her cute little cat Mika (who thought my suitcase and backpack were toys) and her boyfriend Jorge. I only had time to eat and drink something, take a shower and decide what I would carry in my backpack for the next 2 weeks (Diana was super kind to take care of a friend’s brother’s friend suitcase).

I ran out of her apartment, got on the Renfe again and arrived to the airport 30 minutes before the departure. I thought I would lose the flight but still I managed to print the ticket, charge my phone in the bathroom (there was no other place) and be on time in front of the gate. I flew to Berlin with Iberia Express and for what I paid, I think it’s a really good low-cost option.

 

P.S. Thank you for everything Diana!

 

 

Hiking Chipinque up to the “M”

 

Yesterday we hiked Chipinque up to the point known as the “M” (which I think should be called the “W”). This point is around the 2,000m above sea level, the only (untrusted) source I found says it’s 2,030m asl.

To do this you have to send a climbing request to Parque Ecológico Chipinque (parquechipinque@chipinque.org.mx). First you ask for the request format, then you fill it and send it back. I recommend you call if they don’t reply. The day of your request you have to pay 50MXN per person and 100MXN for parking.

On average we carried 3L of water per person and some food (I was fine with a ham sandwich, a peanut butter sandwich and a banana). No one had gloves but some would’ve been useful. We started around 8:30 and descended around 14:30. A great experience, amazing views and an enjoyable company.

The team: Gago, Eva, Iker, Ferrara & me.

Weekend @El Jagüey de Ferniza

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On the occasion of Lolo leaving Saltillo (she’s moving to Monterrey), we visited this place 35km south from Saltillo, still in the state of Coahuila.

Besides the beautiful landscape, the relaxed atmosphere and the joy of not being in the city, there’s another special thing about this place: they preserve the american bison. Supposedly 2 brothers brought some bisons from the US in the 70s, and the species has survived until now. Of course they live in a private subdivided land where not everyone has access.

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A lovely and relaxing weekend with lovely people in a lovely hut.

Belated 2014 Post #2

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İstanbul, Türkiye – August 31, 2014

 

First of all: I recommend Turkish Airlines. Friendly staff (even when some don’t speak good english), comfy seats, clean, decent food and good movies and entertainment (I learned the numbers, days of the week, months and some phrases in turkish with an app, though by now I only remember “Teşekkür ederim”, which means “Thank you”.

By the time I arrived to Istanbul I already felt confident. I left my suitcase in the baggage custody services, changed money from USD to TL (though it would’ve been better to just withdraw money from an ATM), and walked to the airport’s metro station. I got to the station where you change and use the tram if you’re heading to the Hagia Sophia and pretty sure of what I was doing, I got on a wagon. Just after that, a man asks me “Does this go to the Sultanahmet station?” and I replied “I think so”, but luckily a man who heard our conversation told us it was the other way.

I got off the wagon, walked as fast as I could to the Hagia Sophia Museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) but I was 15 minutes late. I tried to enter the Museum by the exit and asked if by any chance I could get in (there was still an hour left until it close) and the security guard answered “Only if you give me a million dollars”. Since I had no million dollars, I switched to plan B and walked to the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) and was also late (I think stopping to take photos had something to do with this). The good thing is I could still wander around the exterior of the mosque.

 

 

After admiring the exterior of the mosque, and having no plan C, I started walking in no direction. I got to the port of the city, passed by a seafood market and got to a not so pretty part of Istanbul. I tried asking in english how to return to the city centre but had no luck. After more walking and eating, I asked in a hotel and the clerk answered “No english” but he immediately called another man who helped me out. I had dinner and then returned to the airport (I didn’t want to go to a bar carrying my backpack with the most important stuff). I tried to sleep but failed, so I sat down to have a chai tea (which took me around 10 minutes to order because no waiter could tell me what turkish tea meant).

 

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Some other activities before finally getting to sleep on the plane: walking in circles, trying to understand something from the packaging of the stuff sold in a store, trying to sleep on a bench, more walking in circles (but now with some music), charging my phone in a mobile phone accessories store, telling people I didn’t work at that store, reading, chatting with an argelian who was studying in London (I think he only wanted the Wi-Fi password from me), chatting with a turkish man who worked at a travel agency and who said he was spending his next vacations in Mexico, dancing with my suitcase, passing through security, having breakfast and a little bit more of walking around.

Belated 2014 Post #1

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Houston, TX – Late August 2014

Crossed the border Mexico-USA at Laredo. The bus (Senda) stopped for the travel permit process. Since my seat was at the back of the bus, next to the WC, the substitute driver’s cabin and next to a man carrying his annoying son (lucky me), I was the last one to get off.

When it was my turn to get the permit, I walked towards the desk and the officer asked: “Musician?” to which I replied laughing “Sometimes”. After showing him my flight reservation and telling him I’m going on exchange to Spain he tells me that he’s also traveling with Turkish Airlines, just a week later. I proceeded to pay and get back on the bus.

I arrived to Houston after 12 hours (super shitty trip, dirty and noisy bus, and A LOT of stops).  There, Angie (my cousin Javier’s wife) picked me up and while in the city I got to see my cousin, his children, my uncles and also to eat at places I hadn’t tried (Chipotle Mexican Grill, Frank’s Pizza at Downtown Houston, Buffalo Wild Wings and Cracker Barrel).

 

The moment to head to the airport had come.  I have to admit I was really nervous. I got less nervous while chatting with my cousin on the way to the airport but that was useless because when I found myself alone in the line to make the check-in (flight to Istanbul, 30/08/2014) it got worst. I was even thinking: “What am I doing?”, reason why after passing through security I went to a bar and had a beer (Lalo, Laurence: my first Blue Moon!)

 

P.S. Thanks for everything, Javier and Angie!