Mexico City

I told my Canadian traveling partner, Simon, that I didn't even really need to see Mexico City, but if he was going there (and I was headed south, anyway) then I'd go for a day or two. I hadn't ever been much of a city person, and so I was quite sure Mexico City, the largest metropolis in the Western Hemisphere, would quickly get on my nerves. 

But I found archaeological museums that rivaled the ones I'd seen in Boston and Washington, D.C. The collections from pre-Hispanic Mexico were all new to me and all so fascinating, from the giant heads of the Olmecs to the silver and gold of the Moches. Elsewhere in town we found free outdoor rock concerts in the center square, just feet away from ancient Aztec ruins, which had been hidden away underneath the Spanish Architecture since the early 16th Century. 

Every day held some jewel of excited interest, like the snake charmer whose arms were wrapped in biting snakes. He dripped with blood and screamed in tongues right next to a market full of live tropical animals. 

It took me ten days to get out of town and begin traveling south again, on my way through Mexico's tail. If I'd had more time, I could've stayed there longer. But I was already almost halfway through my four-month journey through Mexico.