A Travellerspoint blog

July 2014

Bienvenido a México

First days en los Estados Unidos Mexicanos

Though it took a while before I figured out how to get to my gate in Paris, it was nothing compared to the time I spent at the Mexican airport. I arrived a bit late in Mexico City as my plane had to circle above the airport for 30 minutes due to an air traffic jam. Going through immigration was not difficult, they barely looked at my papers but the whole thing is super unorganized and has taken more time than was necessary; f.e. the person organizing the lanes is more than useless. After that my luggage was checked very thoroughly, each bag, and they asked me questions about it! My luggage was checked 5 times during my first 3 days, at the airport a couple of times, at the bus station and on the road from the trunk of a car when we were stopped on the way to Pachuca. The Mexican airport is also not the most well- structured one and I have never experienced such a slowliness in selling tickets! I was repeatedly told that I cannot buy sim cards anywhere and the wifi is even worse than in Paris, something I could not believe when I was in France. But then again, I am spoiled from Estonia, even Germany is far behind in this regard. So I had some trouble telling my friend when I will be arriving as there were also no public coin-phones, only payable with visa card, and of course mine was not accepted. Just as with almost all ATMs which forced me to open a Mexican bank account, which is a foreigner-unfriendly process due to its (new) requirements.

With Eduardo, who I had met just like 2 months before in Riga when my friend Jasmin came to visit me in the Baltics, I went around Puebla. Puebla is one of 31 Mexican states and also the name of its capital. Its origin in today's form is from the Spaniards who founded this place 1531 in order to secure a trade route from Mexico City to the port of Veracruz. But settlement dates back thousands of years, the youngest ones known by the general population are the Aztecz. Those before include tribes and cultures with funny names such as Mixtecs, Olmec-Xicalancas and Nahuas. Earlier findings cannot be connected to names.

At a certain point in time the Spanish people came and the great pacifist Hernán Cortés called for peace talks, f.e. in 1519 with the Massacre of Cholula (an old city, now part of Puebla). It was peaceful after that. As can be seen in the video, the Spaniards also tried to take over land spiritually and built their own Christian buildings. Today many Aztecs pyramid are covered by plants, some can be entered for a small fee.

Pachuca seems like a cursed place...
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This has been the most "typical Mexican" photo I have taken so far
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A club/bar in Puebla (Cholula). I like that things are so colorful here
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Posted by nerikimmera 07:12 Archived in Mexico Tagged paris mexico puebla semester_abroad pachuca Comments (1)

Frankfurt - Estonia

Hot chocolate and Song Festival Parade

The EURICA programme is open to students at certain universities in Europe and Latin America (mostly South America). As Germany is excluded from this programme I was not allowed to fly from there but had to follow proper procedure: flying to Estonia where I study and then getting a paid flight from Tallinn to Mexico. As no direct flights can be expected for this route I had to transfer in Paris. Considering how close Mannheim and Paris are, I do feel bad for the unnecessary CO2 emission but otherwise they wouldn't pay it. My return flight is even crazier. I forgot about the time difference and instead of 23rd I will arrive 24th December in Europe.From Mexico city I am flying to Amsterdam and from there I go on to Tallinn. Then I have to pay for my flight back to Germany for which I could only find one affordable flight: from Tallinn to Amsterdam and onwars to Frankfurt ... a shame considering time, my wellbeing and the environment. But I had to follow procedure, so I could't get off in Amsterdam and take a bus or train home. So I experience the EU bureaucracy in its pure form broken down to the individual and how it can be damaging, as well as not cost efficient.

In Tallinn I stayed with my Taiwanese friend and former tutand Wayne.

The Song Festival is at TALLINNA LAULUVÄLJAK (Song Festival in Estonian: Laulupidu) and is held every 5 years in July. It is also organized in Latvia and Lithuania, celebrating the national awakening and peaceful fight against Soviel occupation. Usually around 18.000 singers perform at once on stage, in front of 100.000 people. 2009 at the 140th anniversary of the Song Festival about 34.000 singers performed for more than 200.000 people from all over Estonia and a rising number of international visitors of which some learn Estonian songs and are allowed to perform as well.
For more information check this website

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credits: Rainar Kurbel ja Endel Grensmann at laulupidu.ee

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Lili, Wayne and Max

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credits: Estonia.eu

Posted by nerikimmera 09:57 Archived in Estonia Tagged travel festival frankfurt estonia abroad song semester Comments (0)

It's about to start

preparations and intro

HELLO!!!

I am about to start my next travel chapter: MEXICO. I will be spending 170 days in Pachuca as an exchange student with the EU program EURICA. This may well be the most challenging time abroad yet as I do not speak Spanish but have to attend and PASS these classes in order to keep the scholarship (and I am not talking about Spanish-language classes). Also I am a lot less prepared for this part of the world than I was for Asia. Hopefully I will be able to go on vacations during this semester as I will have to leave on the 170th day and fly back to Tallinn. My main goal is to do a Carribean Island trip (on budget of course).

Here you can see the path up to the Flaggenturm. There are small, steep parts, difficult ones with tiny stones and easy parts. For people who actually do a few minutes of sport a week, there are probably no difficult parts climbing up.

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Posted by nerikimmera 23:38 Archived in Germany Tagged hill turm intro duerkheim bad_exchange Comments (0)

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