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Pamela MacNaughtan

I have always made fun of open top tourist buses (and I know I’m not alone). Like how cheesy and touristy can you get?! There is no way I am ever taking one of those tour buses around a city, wielding a camera, and gawking at everything around me like it’s my first time out of my home country.

And then I went to Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world, and due to a stupid fall in Morelia that left my ankle weak and sore, I reluctantly decided to try not one, but TWO Turibus tours in Mexico City.

Do you need to sit down, place your head between your knees, and breathe deeply? It’s a shock, I know. It was a shock for me as well, but after failing to appreciate Guadalajara I decided that taking a couple Turibus tours of Mexico City would be a great way for me to get an overview of the city and to know where I should focus on.

The first tour I did was the Sur (south) route (which was still a 300 pesos cab ride from my hotel in Santa Fé), starting at the Frida Kahlo Museum, and ending at Fuentes de la Cibelas (Plaza Madrid).

After touring the Frida Kahlo Museum I waited almost an hour for the bus to come, then boarded, walked to the very top, sat down and took out my camera.

OMG, I have now become one of those people!

The breeze on the top of the bus was heavenly as we drove around the city, stopping occasionally for people to either hop on or hop off. We passed parks, and people selling furniture at street lights (I am not even kidding about this). We passed old churches and modern architecture. As we drove around I set my camera to the sports setting and started taking photo after photo. After photo.

And you know what? I actually enjoyed it. I couldn’t understand anything they said, and my headphones were not working, but I was enjoying myself. Especially when the bus stopped and boxes of Kellogs Baked Chips started to rain down from out of nowhere.

Okay, there were people on the ground throwing boxes onto the top of the bus, hitting us in the head, hitting traffic on the other side, landing in the aisles.

I admit, I wondered if this was set-up as an advertising ruse for Turibus passengers, especially after I received FREE ice cream during a circuito centro tour the following day.

Free things aside, I did get a fairly good overview of the city, and when I explored on my own later on I knew exactly where I was; which is always helpful in a foreign city. Admittedly I didn’t really use the Turibus the way it’s supposed to be used. I used it as a visual map and then explored on my own after ward. Still, it was cheaper than taking a taxi around the city (Each tour was only 165 pesos), and I managed to take a couple cool photos, got some free stuff, and had a plan for what to see and do with my remaining four days in the city.

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