Mexico mi amor…

It has been over a year since my last blogpost. It’s not that I haven’t travelled in the meantime, but none of my travels came anywhere close to my RTW trip in 2015 and I just couldn’t seem to motivate myself to write. So why now? Because I  came to Mexico City to meet my friend Laura – 17 month after we met for the first time in Chile during our long term travels. To my advantage she’s settled down in Mexico City a year ago and thus I enjoy having a most enthusiastic tourguide.

Mexico City is said to be the most underrated City and indeed it has a lot more to offer than I’d have expected. Although like any other vast City it has a traffic and pollution  (and crime) problem, D.F. (as it is referred to by locals, meaning distrito federal) has its charme. Every neighbourhood has its own vibe, e.g. the Colonia del Carmen neighborhood of Coyoacán,  where the Casa Azul – the Museo Frida Kahlo – is situated  (highly recommend, but book online to skip the line http://www.boletosfridakahlo.org). After that check out the Bazar Artesanal at the Jadin Centenario, have coffee and snacks at Alverre Cafe Bistro (corner of Cuahtémoc and Gomez Farias) and a sundowner beer at Mezcalero (Caballocalco btw. Francisco Ortega and Higuera).

While in Mexico City a visit of the ancient Mesoamerican City of Teotihuacan is a must. It is located 40 kilometres northeast of Mexico City, 1h by bus from the Terminal del Norte. The site boasts of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas. Its vastness and beauty is best captured from the top of the pyramid of the sun.

As Laura and I are both foodies I’ve been lucky enough to eat myself through some local mexican delicacies. While some are not new to me, such as Guacamole (though it tastes a lot better here, especially with a cactus formed taco…)img_20161030_084607, or Empanadas and Tortillas (though a lot more fun with all the different sauces), others were new, fascinating and delicios, such as:

Chilaquiles” for desayuno, a rich dish made from fried and marinated corn tortilla triangles with meat, e.g pulled chicken, and covered with red or green salsa or mole sauce. It is commonly garnished with crema, shredded cheese and raw onion rings. Accompanied by a pot of café de olla – coffee simmered with cinnamon, sugar, and other spice – you’ll be really stuffed but happy…

One of the many street food options is “Elote“, roasted corn on the cob spread with loads of mayonnaise, rolled in grated cheese with a little  (or a lot) of cayenne on top… not a very light option, but very delicious.

As for soup there’s “Pozole“, a traditional soup or made from hominy, with meat and seasoned and garnished with shredded cabbage, chile peppers, onion, garlic, radishes, avocado, salsa and limes and topped with fried tortilla triangles.

My favourite though was “Chile en Nogada“, a seasonal dish translating to “chilies in walnut sauce”. This dish is traditionally served in the month of September – its red, white and green colors mimic the Mexican flag, these colours being present everywhere during independence month! Itis made of a large green poblada chili (not spicy) filled with picadillo (a mixture of shredded meat, aromatics, fruits and spices) topped with a walnut-based cream sauce and pomegranate seeds… yummy!

 

P.S. The title of this blogpost is also the title of a hideous song written for the Football World Cup in Mexico in 1986 and sung by the German National Team. It is still quite known in Germany. Hilarious.

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Mancora, 5 May 2015: Indulging into Local Food

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El Chalten, 11 March 2015: Mt. Fitzroy

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Ushuaia, 9 March 2015: Sweet Pingüinos at El Almacen Ramos Generales

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Nelson, 24 January 2015: Delicious Macarons, “Sweet As” Café

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Coroico – relaxing in the Yungas

A surprisingly comfortable night bus brought us to La Paz and we escaped the city straight away by taking a Minibus down to Coroico. Within 1.5 hours you drop 3500m down (Coroico is on  1700m), and from temperatures close to zero (on the pass) to more pleasant 28° C. Can you imagine the dramatic change of scenery from snowcapped mountains to jungle green!?!20150416_09383120150416_09562520150416_102257 I’m glad I did not take a bycicle down the famous death road,  though. It was scary enough to watch the cyclists from the car. But local transport isn’t necessarily a safer option. On our way back up, three days later, we saw a Minibus that went over the edge. Luckily it got stuck in some bushes on the steep slope. The locals in our car said it happens frequently because the drivers fall asleep…

We came to the so called Yungas with the intention to digest the overflow of impressions gathered on the past the days on our tour to Uyuni, but where overwhelmed with yet more impressions. Hotel Esmeralda was just the right spot for that task: a room with a view,  a pool and sunshine.20150415_09161120150416_07124020150415_10004820150415_095955

 

 

 

On day two, though, we got restless and went for a ride with a local collectivo to a beautiful waterfall from where we walked back to town.

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Backpacker-schlepp… 20150416_074158deserved streetfood for breakfast: mini Empanadas20150416_08183320150416_08182320150416_081847

Chilean Food and Drinks

I really enjoyed travelling through Chile – also because of the Chilean food and drinks.

Here are some of my favourite dishes:

1) Ceviche (raw fish, occasianally mixed with other seafood): definitely one of my favourites, although some people (including Chileans) say that Peruvian Ceviche is better – I have yet to try and compare that.20150303_192655

 

2) Ice Cream: it really surprised me to find such amazing ice cream in Chile. My favourite stores are Mikafé in Hanga Roa, Easter Island, and Emporio la Rosa in Santiago. Favourite flavours: chocolate with toffee, dulce de leche, frambuesa menta, lúcuma and mango.20150228_16561820150331_192314 Oh and not to forget that fantastic avocado (yes, avocado) ice cream at Vinilo in Valparaiso.20150402_212954

 

 

 

3) Empanadas: particularly those filled with fresh tuna and seafood (Easter Island).

4) Lomo a lo pobre: loin cut of beef on a mountain of french fries and fried onions topped with a fried egg.20150331_145542

 

5) Alfajores: two round cookies with a sweet filling, usually dulce de leche, covered in glaced sugar, chocolate or coco.DSC_1781DSC_1837

 

 

6) Completo Italiano: a hot dog with tomatoes, mashed avocado and  mayonnaise.20150408_114033

 

7) Lomito Completo: Sandwich/ Burger with sliced cooked sirloin steak, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, tomato and loads of sauerkraut. Try this at Fuente Alemana in Santiago! 20150401_14392120150401_143752

8) Machas con Parmesano: DSC_167120150401_200821

Favourite Drinks:

1)  Jugos Naturales: freshly made fruit juices, e.g. pineapple!

2) Beer and Wine (try the Carmenere as you will hardly find it anywhere else in the world)!

3) Pisco Sour: Pisco is a clear brandy that is destilled from white muscat grapes. A Pisco Sour is a Cocktail with Pisco, sugar, lime, one eggwhite and crushed ice.  20150401_195845

 

 

4) Terremoto (earthquake): young white wine, Pisco, sugar, pineapple ice cream…