Friday, February 7, 2020

Sunset at the Top

Just a five minute walk from my apartment is the Mexico City World Trade Center, and atop that skyscraper on the 45th floor is the world's largest revolving restaurant, Bellini.  A couple of times when friends have been down here to visit I have taken them to Bellini at sunset.  But unfortunately both times the weather did not cooperate.  The skies were gray and the views were disappointing.

On Thursday we had another day in which the strong breezes were clearing out the air pollution.  The sky was exceptionally clear, and mountains which, if visible at all, are just hazy silhouettes were crisply defined.  In the afternoon, there were just enough clouds in the sky to portend an interesting sunset.  I decided I needed to get some photos from on high. I didn't feel like making the trek downtown during rush hour to go to the Latin American Tower, so I called Bellini for a reservation at 5:30 P.M., an hour before sunset.

I walked the short the distance to the World Trade Center, and took two elevators to reach the 45th floor.

The restaurant was not crowded.  As soon as I was shown to my table, I was up and about taking pictures.  At that moment my table was facing the east, and I could make out the form of the volcano Popocatépetl.    

The mountain appears to be covered in snow.  Between climate change and the volcano's frequent eruptions you do not often see the 17,000 foot high peak covered in white anymore.

Popocatépetl´s volcanic companion, Iztaccíhuatl, shrouded in clouds, was barely visible, and I was unable to get a decent photo of her.

In between courses of my meal, and even during courses, I was wandering around being a typical tourist with my camera.  

To the south looms the peak of Ajusco, also of volcanic origen.  It is located within the Mexico City limits, and with an elevation of nearly 14,000 feet, it is the highest point in the city.

Looking to the northwest, the green swath running across the photo below the horizon is Chapultepec Park.

Right of center in Chapultepec Park, you can make out Chapultepec Castle (right below the twin apartment buildings.)

Near the entrance to the park, is the phalanx of Mexico City's four tallest skyscrapers.

After 6:00 P.M. I was able to get some sunset photos.

Night begins to settle over Mexico City.

My meal was not as spectacular as the views.  My corn chowder was good.  My Osso Buco (braised veal shank with vegetables) was very fatty, although the broth was tasty.  My bill, which also included a glass of sangría, a dessert of "mamey" ice cream and coffee, was outrageous by Mexican standards... nearly $50 U.S.  However, if you were to go to any other big city restaurant with a similar view... for example in New York City... you would pay far, far more for a meal.  Besides, you don't go to Bellini for the food.  There are countless restaurants in Mexico City that are far better.  You go there for the view, and I was happy to finally get the photos that I was seeking.


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