Travelling for one night only to the North of Mexico. A place where no tourists are recommended to go, a border we were forbidden to cross in every meeting/orientation we had, and a place so outstanding that it really was worth the visit. My most recent travel destination: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. The North East of Mexico.
All the warnings ignored and putting our safety at risk, we were boarding our flight to Monterrey, at Gate 13, with my seat number 13E… I thought that planes no longer had the aisle 13 on them… but anyway, all signs were pointing to a disaster… (Wow, I am a drama queen sometimes… haha)
… but here I am, writing this blog whilst flying over the most incredible scenery on my way to Los Cabos having just left Monterrey airport. I survived in the North of Mexico! WOO! One day and one night in this beautiful city, and it is hard to remember why we were so scared. I understand the warnings though, due to the highway hijackings and random shootings all over the news, but it really is such a shame that people are warned against travelling the North of Mexico. Hopefully the narco situation will someday change so that people can enjoy the beauty of this place without fear.
We landed to 40 degrees heat, and determined to lower our chances of any trouble we wore jeans to try and blend in with the Mexicans. The city is beautiful and I’m really glad we decided to explore Monterrey as it has a really unique feel to it, different to any place I’ve been to in Mexico before, with a modern yet culturally rich feel to the place. A place where the old and the new fit together perfectly. It is filled with impressive and typically old Mexican buildings, but you can also enjoy the up and coming development which brings intriguing new buildings and statues to the city. The numerous waterfalls dotted around the parks, streets and rivers, together with colourful lights, decorate the city beautifully.
Out of all the cities that I have visited within Mexico, this is definitely the most attractive and diverse place to explore. The air doesn’t feel polluted, like in Mexico City and there isn’t that much traffic, giving Monterrey a real “clean” feel. I really liked walking around the Macroplaza and exploring the city in the afternoon sun, it was stunning with the beautiful buildings of the centre, surrounded by the mountains of Nuevo Leon.
Our taxi driver gave us a mini tour of the centre before taking us to “the cheapest” hotel, obviously he received commission, but we took it anyway despite the resemblance to a hospital as it was only going to be one night and was pretty central. We spent the day wandering the streets of the centre, through the Macroplaza and Plaza Morelos in awe of the architecure, the high rise offices and the quirky statues and fountains before going to find the restaurant called “El Rey del Cabrito” to try the cuisine of Nuevo Leon, the famous Cabrito, barbequed baby goat. We ordered the mix grill for 4 people, with cabrito and arrachera just in case it wasn’t to our tastes. It was interesting… to be honest I wasn’t the biggest fan, as it was a bit too dry for me, but of course, like with every type of Mexican food it came accompanied with salt, lemon, habenero salsa and tortillas.
As the sun began to set, we made our way back onto the streets to find the Paseo Santa Lucia which, for $50 pesos takes us on a lanchita (little boat) on the river passing through the Parque Fundidora with amazing views of the city lighting up the mountains. The river trip highlighted the modern features of Monterrey and was lined with many sculptures and pieces of arts to enjoy, as well as water fountains beautifully lit up in different colours. What a beautiful city Monterrey is, and in my opinion, much nicer than Guadalajara from last weekend and also beats Queretaro and DF.
After our boat ride around the park, we were then treated to a ride up to the Mirador Obispado which, after walking to the top of the viewpoint, gave us the most beautiful 360 degrees panoramic view of Monterrey and its surroundings. Wow. Truly incredible. We were left speechless at the unbelievable sight of all of the shining lights. My pictures really don’t do it justice, it is indescribable and it was definitely one of the best views that I have ever seen in my life, ever. An unforgettable sight which has been etched into my memory… such beauty with all of the lights showing the impressive size of Monterrey.
All in all, we had a great day and it really is a shame that the city doesn’t receive more visitors due to the fact that it is plagued with bad publicity, and danger from narcos… to be fair we did see quite a few bullet holes along the way… but I really loved Monterrey and was impressed with how the new modern developments didn’t take away from Monterrey the beauty and the culture which makes this city so unique.