This weekend the orchestra went on tour to Mexico City to perform with a ‘big deal’ tenor by the name of Juan Diego Florez. We rehearsed the week before and enjoyed a day off on Thursday before flying to Mexico City. From Merida, Mexico (as Mex. City is referred to in Yucatan), is only about a 1.5 hour flight. But it’s about a 24 hour drive! I’m definitely glad they decided to fly us in … that would have been miserable.
Flying in was quite the experience. We were up and at the airport at 5am. The flight left at 6:30 and I admit, though I generally can’t sleep on planes, I slept most of the way there.
About 20 minutes before landing, Rob the trumpet player shoved me and said “wake up … this is something you want to see” . . and pointed out the window. And he was right. Out the window were a cluster of peaks … smaller ones and one large one with ash and possibly snow around the top. They are volcanoes! Only one of them is still active, but it was still a pretty impressive sight. But I was in for an even more impressive sight. As we got a bit closer to landing the clouds (aka: Smog) lifted a bit and I was able to see Mexico City. Talk about being completely gobsmacked. I have never ever seen a city so massive in my entire life. It’s not just a cluster of a few skyscrapers and then suburbs. It’s just a huge urban sprawl of buildings… tall, short, big, wide, massive . . you name it. And as you looked towards the horizon, it was still going on. And on. You couldn’t really see an ‘end’ to it. It was a bit mind boggling. After gaping out the plane window with my mouth hanging open, Rob laughed a bit and informed me that the city houses 24 million people. Twenty Four MILLION. I can’t even really comprehend that many people. Especially when you consider that I’m coming from Cleveland. Heh.
True to large city form . . the traffic here is INSANE. Once we landed we caught 2 chartered buses that took us to the hotel. Mind you, the hotel was about 10? miles from the airport?
It took us an hour and a half to make it to the hotel. I could have run there almost as fast. And the drivers here? Are all on drugs. Or sociopaths. Or something. I’m surprised we made it alive … and our max speed was probably about 5mph.
Once we got to the hotel, we had to drop our things off in a room and go wander about as check in wasn’t until 3pm and we got there at 11 am. *groan* Talk about lack of planning. After being up at 3:45am, and flying for an hour and a half and getting stuck in a bus for an hour and a half the LAST thing we wanted to do was tourist around the city. But this did afford us an opportunity to go find some food and then go to the Anthropology Museum .. which is an AMAZING place. I have some pictures that I will post once I return from the city (and have access to internet! I’m writing this in Word at the moment.) But it definitely was an incredible experience. Sadly we were all shattered, so we barely made it through a quarter of the things the museum had to offer. But I have a feeling, that if I stay with this orchestra, I’ll be back to see more.
(** sadly it was during this trip that my camera died and I have yet to extract the photos from it. This shall be worked on at a later date**)