The colors of Mexico City

At 7500 feet elevation, Mexico City takes your breath away. At that altitude, the colors are so very vivid--impossibly so. And what a city. The history is overwhelming. Today we visited the Castle of Monteczuma, of "from the halls of Monteczuma" fame. What a beautiful place, situated high on a hill in the center of Mexico City and now turned into a series of amazing museums which we raced through at breakneck pace.

My time on this computer is limited, so please forgive typos. I ain´t got time to edit.

We first went to a former cloister built in the 1600s, a monstrous building built by the Basque immigrants for their single women. It had an organ and a chapel. The chapel was impossibly ornate, with carvings covered in gold leaf. The organ was recently restored.

Or destroyed, depending upon who you talk to. We have several organ scholars and the trip, and one gave an impassioned lecture after we heard the organ saying that the woman who¨"restored" the organ actually vandalized it. He threw a royal scholarly hissy fit. We just wanted to hear the thing play. Eventually, some of the many very talented organists on the trip took turns at the keyboard, and some of them were phenomenal.

My roomate is an expert in Mexican and Spanish music, and I am learning just how much of it there is. He plays some of it. He is music director at a Catholic mission in Santa Barbara in California which held its first services in 1820. At that first service, they played a mass written by a Mexican composer. There was a symphony and several choirs. Nowhere else at that time in what is now the USA was there such a musical event. Funny how little we know about that history.

So, we have quite a group. Organists are notoriously prissy and stubborn. There is plenty of snarling. The scholars have their own snarling. Any mispronounciation is immediately scolded. I am glad to stand aside and listen to the catfights.

We are staying just off the national square of Mexico. It has been a center of Mexican history since pre-Spanish times. The Aztec temple was across the street.

As for Mexico City itself, it is fantastic. I am glad that I am with a tour group, but I find the place absolutely exotic and wonderful.

There is a line for the computer, so I must go.