Few places are harder to leave than Mexico City. Home after nine days, decompression won’t come easily. Much as I’d like to dangle poetic eloquence worthy of honoring the cadence of Mexico City, I need a few days to understand it myself. Meanwhile a gallery of cell phone images taken September 16, Mexican Independence Day.
We don’t need a reason to visit Mexico City, this year it happened to coincide with Independence Day. Over the next few days I’ll try to explain why this city is worth pondering.
The countdown is on – in 28 hours we fly to Mexico City, a city that takes our breath away. Twice traveling for Day of the Dead, this year to experience Independence Day celebrations
Mexican Independence Day marks September 16, 1810, the day when priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla urged Mexicans to rise up against the colonial government of Spain. The call today is often referred to as the Grito de Dolores, or Cry of Dolores, named after the town of Dolores—now Dolores Hidalgo—where the cry was originally uttered. (According to the Library of Congress, Hidalgo is believed to have said, “My Children, a new dispensation comes to us today…Will you free yourselves? Will you recover the lands stolen 300 years ago from your forefathers by the hated Spaniards? We must act at once.”) Independence was not won immediately, but that day—and its uprising—is typically considered the beginning of war that eventually brought the country independence in 1821.
Official celebrations begin at 11 p.m. on September 15 when Mexico’s president rings a bell at the National Palace in Mexico City, repeating Hidalgo’s words to crowds gathered at the Plaza de la Constitución ( aka Zócalo, one of the largest public plazas in the world). After each line, many of which tout key figures in the revolution, an estimated 500,000 citizens and tourists chant back, “Viva.”
On September 16 a military parade, the likes of which would make Trump cream his pants, thunders through the heart of Mexico City. I’ll have my own images soon, meanwhile watch the video clip above
Random internet images are no match for personal experience. I’ll be back in a few weeks, bursting with Independence Day ponders and Mexico City exuberance.
It wouldn’t be summer without a road trip to the Okanagan Valley, forty one years gone but forever home. Wildfire smoke smothered the road home. Falling ash sang red sun blues, an eerily apocalyptic symphony oblivious to suffocating cinder rain. Ponder a road trip gallery –
Enlarge, explore, see more of my husband’s road trip photos at the link below.
Roadside attractions cling to a simple request, please stop and look around. Undaunted by Interstate highways, freeways or GPS assertiveness, roadside attractions thrive along paths less traveled. Secondary highways, rural routes and country roads are peppered with roadside treasures capable of tickling curious minds.Rarely a destination, roadside attractions are discovered by those willing to stop and look around.
It never occurred to me roadside attractions could be anything other than serendipitous. Something discovered along the way, chance encounters, emotional tugs, split second acceptance of hopeful invitation to stop and look around. Never a destination until this image entered my life. One unshakeable glimpse at Hand of the Desert catapulted roadside attraction atop life’s bucket list.
The Atacama Desert covers 1,000 kilometers of Chilean coastline. A barren plateau situated in a rain shadow courtesy the Andes and Chilean Coast Range mountains. The driest place on Earth receives less than a millimeter of annual rainfall, weather stations in some regions record decades without a single drop of rain. Cloudless skies, absence of light pollution and high altitude explain why Atacama is home to ALMA, the largest ground telescope observatory in the world.
The coastal city of Antofagasta approached sculptor Mario Irrarazabal to create a work of art in the emptiness of Atacama. In 1992, Hand of the Desert invited travelers to venture an hour south from Antofagasta on Hwy. 5, keep right at a fork in the road to stay on 5, watch sharply for a sign saying Escultura then follow a path to the right. Admission is free, don’t expect ice cream or souvenirs.
Four outstretched fingers and a thumb rising 11 meters above parched landscape in one Earth’s remotest places redefines roadside attraction. Hand of the Desert can’t be stumbled upon, finding it requires purpose. I like that. Nothing could make me happier than an opportunity to stop and look around the Atacama at Hand of the Desert.
Mexico City street gallery – images taken by my husband in November 2017. https://www.flickr.com/photos/15574096@N00/
Another Mexico City gallery from my husband’s lens –