Thursday, December 1, 2011

Family's Visit: Birria, Tlalpan and La Llorona in Xochimilco

On Sunday my family went to Birria Michoacanísimo for lunch. The family-style tables fill up on weekends and the sound of conversations mix with norteña music from the live band (pay-per-song) and probably a soccer game on the tv as everyone enjoys their birria (stew made with goat meat) and beer. This is one of the places where, whenever I visit, I'm reminded "I'm in Mexico. I live here." 

birria -- a stew made with goat meat

prepped with onion, cilantro, lime
and salsa and ready to be eaten

flan for dessert

and pineapple icecream in a pineapple! 

the family at Birria Michoacanisimo 

From there we went for coffee and to explore quaint downtown of Tlalpan. 
(And apparently the only photo is of the cream liqueurs we tried and what looks like the police coming after my dad -- he wasn't. You can see a few more photos of Tlalpan from a previous visit here

That evening we went to Xochimilco, one of the delegaciones in the DF, which is famous for it's canals and trajineras. It's the "Venice of Mexico," but with history and traditions dating back to prehispanic times. On any given day, you can rent a trajinera (including the "driver") and enjoy the leisurely ride, eat/drink (with food or drinks you bring or purchased from venders in canoes or trajineras along the canal) and be serenaded by a mariachi band (pay per song of course). 

(For photos and a video of my visit to Xochimilco last year click here and here).


This particular evening we went to see the show La llorona. We took trajineras out to an island, were we watched the performance from the boat. According to our "driver", there were 80 trajineras (each seating about 20) that took people to the show. Along the canals we bought ponche (a hot fruit drink; it can also include alcohol but ours did not), atole (a corn-based drink) and esquite (corn mixed with mayonaise, cheese, lime and usually chile) from venders also in trajineras.  

La llorona is a popular legend in Mexico and other Latin American countries. While there are many versions, this show told the story of an indigenous woman who fell in love with a Spaniard. They marry and have children, but one day he must return to Spain. Once he is gone, the woman is raped by another Spaniard. In her grief and rage, she walks into the lake with her children, drowning them all. She is said to haunt the nights, dressed in white and wailing and crying for her children. 

show La llorona

show La llorona
After the show, all 80 trajineras making their way back to the docks would have been enough to cause traffic -- but there was another show after ours and trajineras going both ways along the canal! While slow (and chilly!), it was a bit entertaining to observe the dynamics of traffic jams with trajineras

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