Earlier on this trip I wrote about meeting up with Scott, the author of the blog "Gringo Potpourri". Scott is a world traveler who lived in Mexico City for a while. After an absence of several years, he returned to Mexico City last month, and, after having followed each other's blogs for a long time, we were finally able to meet face to face.
We made plans to get together a week after our initial meeting, and Scott took me someplace that I, even after my many, many trips to Mexico City, had never visited. We went to the "Cerro de la Estrella" (Mountain of the Star), an extinct volcano which rises more than 700 feet above the Mexico City district of Iztapalapa. Iztapalapa is Mexico City's most populous borough, and also has the reputation of being one of the poorest and most crime-infested parts of the city. But I figured that I was going in broad daylight with someone who is familiar with the area. When I told Alejandro about our planned excursion, he said, "Cuídate" (Be careful), but he did not seem overly alarmed.
Scott and I met near the "Centro Médico" Metro station and took the subway to, logically, the "Cerro de Estrella" station.
The Iztapalapa Passion Play is the largest in the world with more than 450 actors portraying the Biblical events over the entire course of Holy Week in locations throughout the borough. Here, at the foot of the "cerro", the actor playing Jesus is tied (not nailed) to the cross.
The road came to the entrance to the Cerro de la Estrella Natural Protection Area which covers the top of the hill. Although the paved road continues upward, cars are not allowed beyond this point.
A short distance farther up the road there is a look-out point from which you can look westward across the city. Unfortunately, the day was quite smoggy, and the view was not as spectacular as it would be on a clearer day. Through the haze you can make out the skyscrapers of the city, including the Torre Mítica, Mexico City's tallest building.
The summit of the hill was now in sight.
The final portion of the climb was up a flight of stone steps, although there is also a ramp for handicapped visitors.