25 February 2011

Russian Red

I went out with red lipstick tonight. For the first time. Russian red from Mac. Not quite used to it but still I like it. :)

Do you?

16 February 2011

Mexico: part II

Before you read part II, you can have a look at part I again here, I have added a couple of pictures. :)

And now we're back to Christmas day and a flight from Mexico City to Cancún. I arrived at night and the only thing I could see was all the lights from the big hotels that defined the bay and the city. It was magical, a bit like in Harry Potter when he's flying over London by night... well magical and enchanted was the feeling. I was staying in Puerto Morelos, around 20 km south of Cancún in a hotel owned by a friend of a friend. Convenient since I was going to be alone these 4 days. Luis was very nice and he helped me a lot planning my days (I was doing it one day at a time, each day planning the day after).

The hotel and the garden: I was staying in the blue bungalow

On the first day I went to Playa del Carmen a city that is supposed to be more relaxed and more typical that Cancún. Gosh! Then I don't want to see Cancún! Playa was already very Americanised, lots of tourist shops, everybody trying to sell you stuff, talking to you in English, giving you prices in dollars, prices very expensive compared to what I had already seen the week before... But it was OK for a day, I bougt myself a hat, had lunch on the beach, had a massage, walked around, bought some jewels... a nice and relaxed day.

Lunch on the beach at Playa del Carmen

On the following day I went to Chichen Itza with a day tour. Although I didn't want to be in a bus full of Americans and Canadians, it seemed the best solution. In the bus there was a girl from Venezuela who was also there alone so I spent the day with her, she was really nice and I was happy to have some company. First we went to a Cenote, that's an opening in the ground, filled with water, you can read more about it here. People could jump and swim in this one but it was a bit chilly and windy so I didn't. After that lunch in some kind of cafeteria while watching some traditional dancers. And finally we got to the site itself. The group composed of Americans and Canadians went with our guide while the Venezuelian girl and I could join another group to have the visit in Spanish. 8 people instead of more than 40: much better! In 2007, there was a vote on the Internet to elect the new 7 wonders in the world and Chichen Itza is now the 4th. It is very impressive to see these huge Pyramids and buildings that were constructed by these Maya people who didn't know the wheel! And the mathematical and astronomical precision is all the more impressive. For instance the big pyramid has 4 sides and 91 steps on each side, 4 x 91 = 364 + the altar on top = 365, like the days in a year. Everything is like that! Very impressive and a very interesting day. I was very happy to have been there.

The Pyramid of Kukulkan (Sun) in Chichen Itza

On the following day, I had the opportunity to have an initiation in scuba diving, not snorkelling but the real thing with the bottles and everything. I have several people around me who have been diving for years: my brother, a good friend of mine, my cousin... but I was never really interested. I never really thought about it. But when I understood Yucatan was a very famous region for diving, I didn't want to miss the opportunity. And I am glad I didn't! OMG! It was really great! The weather was quite bad the day before so apparently the conditions were not optimal (poor visibility) but they seemed good enough for me. I was a lot of fished, many with vibrant colours, coral,... all sorts of things! It was like being in Finding Nemo! I was to do it again now!

Puerto Morelos

And then came my last day, way too soon since I really like that region... On that day I went to another place I really really wanted to see Tulum. That's what you saw on the sneek peak there last month. It's one of the most recent Maya cities, a more simple one since the civilization had already started its decadence (after that, the arrival of the Spanish in the 1520's only accelerated the process). Tulum means wall and that's because the city is closed by a wall on 3 sides, the see being the protection on the last side. Very different from Chichen Itza, much smaller, smaller constructions but kind of cozy and human-sized in a way. Also the premises are very well preserved with well defined waling alleys, green grass, big flower bushes. I feels like a park in a way. And then when you get close to the sea the view is just... breathtaking!!! With this white sand and turquoise water... quite unique! I loved it!


After that I went back to the hotel to collect my luggage and say good buy to Luis and went straight to the airport, time for me to change coast. Direction Pacific coast to go and celebrate the new year...

08 February 2011


Before I continue with part II (and III and IV) of my Mexico trip, I have to tell you what I've been doing the last 10 or 12 days (and why I haven't been blogging more). Like last year (search in the archive for February 2010 on the right column), I have been to the Gothenburg International Film Festival or GIFF. It is actually ranked 16 in the world for film festivals, not too bad, uh? And it's bigger than the Stockholm film festival which makes me a little proud (normal friendly rivalry between Gothenburg and Stockholm). It last 11 days and more than 450 films and documentaries from all over the world are shown.

Looking at the movies I saw last year, I saw mainly French and English/American movies. This year I have been much more eclectic and I have taken more risks. A couple of time, it failed but most of the times I have been happy with my choices.

Here is a grading (out of 5) and ranking of the movies I have seen. 18 in 10 days, you understand why it was quiet here then! ;)

Black Swan (USA): 5
Jag saknar dig (SWE): 5
The King's speech (UK): 4,5
Kongen av Bastøy (NOR): 4,5
King's Road (ISL): 4,5
Exit through the gift shop (UK): 4
Juan (DEN): 4
Run if you can (GER): 4
Nannerl, Mozart's sister (FRA): 4
Limbo (NOR): 4
Carlos (FRA): 4
Lily Sometimes (FRA): 3,5
Abel (MEX): 3,5
Never Let me go (UK): 3
Hereafter (USA): 3
Rabbit Hole (USA): 2
The mill and the cross (POL): 2
CaraCremada (SPA): 1

02 February 2011

Mexico: part I

OK, I've been back for more than 3 weeks now. Time to start writing... So, as you read here, it took some time to get to Mexico but as it turned out, we were very lucky. We only lost one day. Out of three whole weeks, not too bad. My trip and three weeks were divided in 4 parts, like 4 mini-trips. So I will tell you about each one in different posts. The first mini trip was Mexico City and surroundings.

On the first days, we took it easy, like a slow start and tried to adjust to the new time: I woke up around 6 the first day and 7 the following days and was exhausted around 21.30-22 each night for a couple of days. We also wanted to take in the sun and the lovely weather: blue sky, sunny and around 25 degrees. Very nice and warm after leaving Sweden and minus temperatures!

The first day (20th Dec), we went to La Condesa, a neighbourhood in the center where my friends Viviana & Maite were living before they came to Sweden. Most of their friends still live there, it's a young and hip neighbourhood. We had lunch with their friends in a restaurant and ate a lot! But OMG that food was amazing!

The following day, we took the Turibus to visit the city centre. It's a two-floor red bus like in England but open upstairs. We drove through a couple of neighbourhoods and famous spots (La Condesa, La Zona Rosa, Avenida de la Reforma, etc.) until getting to the centre and El Zócalo. That's the main square, which is one of the biggest in the world. Around it you have El Palacio Nacional (where the Government is) and the Cathedral. That's where we dropped off the bus to walk and see the famous and fabulous Post Office, the Franz Mayer museum and the Palacio de Bellas Artes. We had a late lunch in an old restaurant (La Opera) with traditional food. The funny story about the restaurant is that Porfirio Diaz and other famous Mexicans that were involved in the 1910 Revolution used to come here and eat and one day Diaz was upset and he took out his gun and shot in the ceiling and you can still see the bullet hole in the ceiling. Very touristic-nice-little-story but there were no tourists in the restaurant, only Mexicans! And me then... ;)

Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City

On the 22nd, I went in the morning to the huge Museo de Antropología which, apart from being a cool 70's-style building, hosts a huge collection about the many cultures in Mexico: aztecs, olmecs, mayas, etc. You could spend the whole day in the museum and not see everything. But the problem is that the collection is so rich that after a couple of hours you get an overdose of information. But it was a great foretaste of things I was going to see during the following weeks. There my friend Carlos came and picked me up. Carlos and I studied together in Halmstad in 2005 and we've always been in contact since then. I was so nice to see him again after all this time and still feel like it was the week before. Anyway. Carlos also used to live in la Condesa until last summer when he moved south to San Ángel. So we headed south to Coyoacán (neighbourhood next to San Angel) for lunch but more than this for the famous blue house: Frida Kahlo's house. I had already been there in 2002 but who cares? The house where she lived with her husband Diego Rivera (also a very famous painter) was transformed in a museum so you can see how she lived, where she painted, etc. After that we went to pick up Carlos' girlfriend Alba who is half Mexican, half French and totally cool. And what did we do? Eat and drink. It seems that's all you do in Mexico, eat! Hehe!

Museo de Antropologia, Mexico City

On the 23rd, it was time for a thing that stood quite high on the list of things I wanted to do. Especially because I had wanted to go in 2002 and didn't because of wrong information. So this time I wasn't going to miss it! So we got up early and headed south of Mexico City to Taxco. Taxco is a small town quite high in the mountains and it's a mining town. What do they dig there? Silver! Yes, Taxco is the solver capital. Now you know why I desperately wanted to go there! Once a week you have a market with lots of sellers in the street and where you can bargain a lot. It was not market day when we were there but there is still silver everywhere in the city. As we discovered they were two kind of shops, some well established shops with the bigger and more expensive pieces. Probably the most adapted to our European taste. And some mini-markets, usually in the cellars, sometimes driven by cooperatives where you get to more simple pieces but at good prices. I could have spent millions there! But I was very reasonable and bought a necklace and 4-5 pairs of earrings since I now can wear some. Plus some presents but I won't tell what since I haven't given them yet, hehe!


In the evening I stayed in Cuernavaca, 1h south of Mexico City and half way between Taxco and Mexico City. That's where Viviana's parents live. Cuernavaca is called the city of the eternal spring, it's around 27-28 degrees almost all year round. Amazing uh? But be careful, when it rains, it rains A LOT! Fortunately, the weather was great when I was there. The day after, on the 24th, when went to the city centre and visited Hernan Cortez house that he had let built in 1522 before we went to a hotel with a precious hidden garden with peacocks, parrots etc. There we had some margaritas and I learnt that there are at least 3 ways of doing margarita: frozen, on the rocks and another one but I can remember which. Since they have so many tequilas in Mexico, they also ask you which tequila you want in your margarita. The one on the rock is much stronger that the frozen one, let me tell you! Hehe! After that I headed back to Mexico City where Carlos picked me up and we went to his parents house for a traditional Christmas dinner. The food is different from what we have in Europe but the principle is the same: gather with your family, eat & drink and share presents. Being all together being the most important thing of course. It was a great experience and I wished I hadn't been so tired because of the jetlag.

On the 25th, Christmas day, Alba's family came over for lunch and we had more food! I also called France and talked to everyone in the family. It was nice but strange to imagine all of them without me... well, well, that was my choice, right? ;) In the afternoon, I headed to the airport because I was flying to Cancún and mini-trip number 2. I was flying with a local low cost company but let me tell you, nothing to do with the shitty RyanAir, the service and the quality was great! Like Air France or Lufthansa, only with cheaper prices. The flight left from an airport around 30km outside of Mexico City so I went there by bus. And I actually did my check-in at the bus station, I had already done the check-in online so I had my boarding pass but I dropped my luggage there and they took care of it at the airport. I thought that was great! Get off the bus and go directly to security, no need to worry about your luggage!

And there you are, 25th of December and I arrived in Cancún in the night so that's the beginning of Mexico: part II...