The not-so-huge not-so-pyramiddy building in front of me turns out to be the Feathered Serpent Pyramid. This was one of the most important Gods in those days and is replicated several times on the sides of this building.
It really of course is the appetizer for the main dish(es). It also kickstarts your imagination into what it must have been 1,500 years ago, when it was one of the world’s biggest cities with the estimated 175,000 inhabitants.
Bit by bit the information feeds your understanding of how sophisticated this culture actually was. Like modern-day Mexico, the buildings were apparently very colorful. Now this site looks like it has been made for black-and-white photography.
The amount of pottery, tools, carved wood and much more on display at Teotihuacan’s museum is astonishing. A miniature version of the former city gives you an impression how things looked around 500AD. And it shows the terraced stone constructions with the temples on top of it that have by now vanished completely.
Avenue of the dead
Good to know:
- public transport leaves from the subway station Terminal Autobuses del Norte
- Go to the left side of this huge terminal to gate 8 and buy a return ticket at the Autobuses Teotihuacan counter (only around 4 dollars, cash only)
- Buses go every 20 to 30 minutes (from 6am onwards) and take another hour to get to the site. Beware though that the place only opens at 9am
- Exit at gate 1 (some buses only stop at gate 2) and buy your entrance ticket there. You might have to pay extra if you want to make videos, if you only have a photo camera just hide it and act ignorant
- You can hire guides near the entrance. No worry, they will find you
- Bring lots of water. There is a restaurant near gate 1 and a cafe near the museum, including a machine with drinks. But this desert plain can get hot
- After your visit (you need at least 3-4 hours for a good look, including the museum) you can have ridiculously good-value meals outside the gates. Especially around the Avenida de Piramides, a short walk towards gate 1, you can find restaurants that serve a three-course menu del dia for a couple of dollars. Ridiculous, and a real Mexican experience
- Be careful not to miss the latest bus, though that is usually around 5pm. You probably want to be back in Mexico City by that time though, so you can still catch the subway before it gets dark
You can find more pictures here.