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We're off again!

Mexico prequel: the journey

View Mexico 2024 on ToonSarah's travel map.

Another overnight flight and late evening take-off meant a day spent breakfasting in a favourite local coffee shop, packing, and catching the first half of Newcastle's match at Nottingham Forest. It was 2-2 when we left the house at half time to catch a bus to Ealing Broadway, as the Piccadilly line was closed for improvement work (readying the track for the new trains promised for next year).

By the time we had taken the Elizabeth line to Heathrow and checked our bags Newcastle had scored again to secure a 3-2 win –a good start to the holiday. We got through security quickly and as we knew we wouldn’t get dinner until late had a drink and a cookie at the Caffe Nero.

The departure lounge got quieter as time passed, with ours the last flight of the night at 22.30. I'd been unimpressed by the Aero Mexico website and online check-in process, but the staff at the airport were both friendly and efficient, organising a smooth boarding process.

A nearly twelve hour long overnight flight is never going to be fun, and this was no exception. By the time dinner (lacklustre lasagne and dry chocolate cake) had been served, eaten and cleared away it was after midnight. But although really tired I struggled to sleep, finding it hard to get into a comfortable position. I usually choose an aisle seat for overnight flights but the issues with the online check-in process had left us with a window and middle. When we swapped seats part way through the night and it was my turn for the window I fared better, and managed several hours of off-on dosing.

With around three hours to go, and by now approaching breakfast time in the UK, I gave up trying and instead read a bit and watched a TV programme about modern architecture in Japan. Breakfast was served about 90 minutes before landing (dry pancakes but good fruit salad and yoghurt).

We arrived over Mexico City when it was still dark, so no chance of photos from the plane – maybe later in this trip. But we could see the city's lights below us as we descended, landing a few minutes early. The queue for passport control was long but moved quite quickly, thanks to an admirably brief approach to the checking process. ‘How long are you staying?’, stamp, ‘Welcome to Mexico’.

The wait for the bags however took longer, as did the queue for those bags to be scanned by customs. But eventually we were out, to be met by friendly Francisco and driven through still dark streets to our hotel, the Hampton Inn in the historic centre. Despite the darkness I could see lots of street art, and Francisco told us it was a recent initiative by the mayor to invite artists to paint murals here. I hoped for the chance to photograph some in due course.

The notorious Mexico City traffic wasn’t too bad at 6.00 on a Sunday morning and we were soon at the hotel in a restored colonial building. Francisco left us saying that he would see us later in our stay (he didn’t) but meanwhile his colleague Lisbet would pick us up later this morning for a city tour. But first, time to catch up on some sleep in the welcoming large bed in our rather dated but comfortable 'suite'.


Our suite at the Hampton Inn

Posted by ToonSarah 09:17 Archived in Mexico Tagged hotel mexico flight

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I find the older I get, the less I enjoy flying. I used to love it when I was younger, then it became a necessity, and now I positively dislike it - especially long flights. I personally prefer overnight flights, as the time goes quicker when I can get some sleep. I still manage to sleep quite easily on flights, thankfiully.

by Grete Howard

Yes, Chris prefers night flights for that reason too Grete. Personally I'd rather a day flight going out, so I can crash on arrival, but a night one coming home :)

by ToonSarah

Hello, Sarah! All's well that ends well! I remember having a terrible jet lag after our flight to Washington D.c. in 1999. I hope your stay was eventful and exciting...

by Vic_IV

Thanks Victor, it was, and I got over the jet lag pretty quickly :)

by ToonSarah

I don't mind overnight flights, but like you I struggle sometimes on it as well ... the aisle is the best but I also end up in the middle as usual so I feel you ... :)

Never been to Mexico City, still on my wishlist. I am really looking forward to reading all about that! :)

by Ils1976

Thank you Ils - I reckon you'd like Mexico City :)

by ToonSarah

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