Subject: Mexico City
Brenda, On the day that you don't visit Teotihuac∑n there are a number of additional sights worth seeing. If you want to continue with investigating pre-Columbian Mexico then I suggest a visit to the Museo Nacional AntropologŐa (National Anthropology Museum). In fact, this museum, arguably the most important in all of Mexico, would be intrinsic to an understanding of the history of this complex country. It is here where you will find the statuary, jewelry, clothing, pottery, and other essential artifacts of the various cultures whose ruins you will visit at Teotihuac∑n, Monte Alban, Palenque, Chichen Itza, and Tikal. This museum is the single unifying institution on the planet that brings the history of Mesoamerica into context for the visitor.

After visiting the museum, which could take the better part of a day depending on how captivated one becomes with the exhibits, you could spend the remainder of the day(and additional daysas well) sightseeing in Chapultepec Park, the location of the Anthropology Museum. Other sites worth visiting in Chapultepec include Chapultepec Castle, the residence of Emperor Maximilian and his wife Carlota. A good place to enjoy the views of the park and up the Reforma, the city's grand avenue. Also located in the park are the Museo Rufino Tamayo donated to the Mexican people by the beloved Oaxacan artist, the Zoo and Botanical Garden, and the Monument to the Ni“os Heroes, six young army cadets who sacrificed themselves in defense of their city against the troops of the American Intervention of 1847.

An alternative destination for your second day would be to visit the spiritual center of MexicoůLa BasŐlica de Nuestra Se“ora de Guadalupe. Eight kilometers north of the city center this site draws millions of pilgrims from throughout the country every year. Familiarize yourself with the miracle of Juan Diego and his encounter with La Se“ora before you go.

In the opposite direction, to the south, are the communities of Coyoac∑n and San Angel both former suburbs of the city which have been surrounded by its unchecked growth. Coyoac∑n was the original site of Spanish development after the destruction of Teotihuac∑n. You'll find some of these older buildings around the central park, the Parque Centenario. You can wander the streets and experience the charms of this lovely neighborhood. A visit here can include a stop at The Frida Kahlo home which is now a museum. A beautiful home that also serves as a museum for some of her artwork, as well as a few pieces of her husband's Diego Rivera. Another interesting home to visit would be the last residence of Leon Trotsky, a key player in the Russian Revolution. Despite his efforts to remodel the home into a fortress and sanctuary for himself he was assasinated by a Stalinist agent here in 1940. This home is creepy and fascinating at the same time. Full of intrigue and worth a visit. Catch a cab over to the nearby neighborhood of Churubusco to visit the Museo de las Intervenciones on the grounds of a 16th century ex-convent. A museum depicting Mexico's sad history of foreign invasion (mostly French and American). This is also the site of the Battle of Churubusco between the Mexicans and Americans. One of the most poignant aspects of this battle was the story of the St. Patrick's Brigade a group of Irish-American soldiers who deserted from the U.S Army and chose to fight for the Mexicans due to their belief that the Intervention of 1847 was an unjust and illegal war.

Once your finished in Coyoac∑n you can head over to San Angel another quiet neighborhood in this teeming megalopolis. Here you can visit the Diego Rivera Museum a former home and studio for Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo. Afterwards stroll across the street to the San Angel Inn, a former 17th century hacienda now housing a restaurant. Have a meal or if its too crowded a cocktail and a snack and enjoy the surroundings.

John Rule San Diego, CA