There is quite possibily a Mexican joke to the effect that a day in Toluca feels like a week, as it is much quieter than its near neighbour Mexico City, even though we heard it might now be the second largest in the country.and is ony 70km away. But when we fled there last weekend to excape that city [a.k.a. District Federal, or just ‘la cuidad’ as though there was only one in the whole huge country worth calling a city] due to a poor internet derived hotel choice and slightly too many homeless washing themselves in a plaza fountain next door. Too much time in PA can lead easily to culture shock.
Toluca is big and sprawling; with car, pharmaceutical and high teck plants, as well as Mexico’s usual cement and steel and so on industries. The citizens appear very middleclass, many with money to spend. The fact that Mexico has such a young population was very clear to Janis and I as we wandered the plazas, the catherdral and the endless shops. I could not help wondering to what extent any NAFTA rejugging might have on the hopes and dreams of many of the young families we passed.
We visited the Centro Cultural Mexiquense, a few km out of town involving adventures with buses and cabs. The centre is made up of a series of buidlings, art, arte popular, archeology, and so on spread over a large site, with numerous fine bronze sculptures.
A thought provocating exibit was offered at Arte Moderno building.
Back down town, Janis walked the great botanical garden located in a former market building – see the banner – and we generally soaked up the atmosphere.
More later from Patzcauro, the destination for this trip.