Travel Tuesday: A trip down the canals of Xochimilco
When we were visiting Mexico back in December, it turned out that my dear friend Ana and her family were also visiting at the same time. We were determined to see each other, and after some previously derailed plans thanks to illnesses we finally settled on a date and an activity. We’d check out the Museo Dolores Olmedo (which I’ll write about another day), the floating gardens of Xochimilco and then have lunch together on the day after Christmas.
I was so excited when Ana and her family picked me up – first because I’d be exploring some places I’d never visited before, but also because I was so happy to be able to share in these experiences with someone who I knew cherished them as much as I did. Thank you, Ana, Alan, Camila and Patricia for sharing this special day with me.
(Be sure to check out the video after the jump.)
Xochilmilco has been a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. The following passage is from UNESCO’s description of the area and why it is protected.
The lacustrine landscape of Xochimilco constitutes the only reminder of traditional ground occupation in the lagoons of the Mexico City basin before the Spanish conquest.
The zone of Xochimilco, 28 km to the south, is the only remaining reminder of the lacustrine landscape of the Aztec capital, where the conquistadores destroyed the monuments and drained the canals. On the edge of the residual lake of Xochimilco (the southern arm of the great dried-up lake of Texcoco where the Aztecs had settled on a group of islets linked to solid ground by footbridges), and in the midst of a network of small canals, are still some chinampas, the floating gardens that the Spanish so admired. This half-natural, half-artificial landscape is now an “ecological reserve.” –UNESCO
Read more about Xochimilco en español.
Here’s a short video I made with clips from our afternoon floating down the canals of Xochimilco.
- Have you been to Xochimilco? What do you love most about it?