When we were asked at US and Mexican Customs if we were carrying food, our reply was "only Christmas pudding and mincemeat". At Helen's friend's home in Mexico City, we were treated like gods for bearing such gifts, and the kilo of mincemeat soon found its way out of my rucksack (at long last) and into pies. It's been great to enjoy a family Christmas in the middle of our travels, including two turkey dinners (one on Christmas Eve at a neighbour's house). It's never easy though, getting used to seeing Christmas trees, reindeer and snowmen in warm weather rather than cold, and at 2250m, it is surprisingly mild at the moment.
Sightseeing has been limited by the immensity of this city. Being one of the world's mega-cities, it takes time to move around on the often overcrowded metro, and the long walks to the tourist spots. There are some cobbled streets and picturesque plazas such as those at Coyoacán; but there is a lot of poverty to be seen too, and it seems that everywhere there is someone trying to scratch a living, from amputees showing off their football skills at traffic lights to musicians and salesmen hopping on and off the buses.
The Zócalo is not only the third largest public square in the world, but also boasts the largest church in Latin America. This and some of the buildings slowly sinking into the lake and Aztec ruins on which it was all built were our starting point for an interesting walking tour.
An extensive canal system used to exist for transport of goods across the city, but we had to travel a long way into the suburbs to see what is left of it today. A boat trip in the Xochimilco area is a touristy affair these days, but with food and beer for sale and floating mariachi bands, it was a pleasant way to spend Christmas Eve.