Xochimilco and Museo Dolores Olmedo – CDMX

…and why it’s not worth it.

Dolores Olmedo was a businesswoman, musician, and friend to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. During her lifetime, she collected art from every era of Mexican history and the art of her friends. Before her death, she turned her home in Xochimilco into a museum. You find more information here, the price is a bit more expensive than most of the other art museums in Mexico City.

So getting into the juicy bits…why I thought the museum and area wasn’t appealing to a solo traveler. When I had read about the museum, it was described as a hidden treasure and the best place to see many Kahlo paintings in one place (normally you can see 1-2 at most in the museums around town).  Perhaps the paintings were out on loan but the museum was disappointing.

I really wanted to have another post called “Diego Rivera and His Naked Ladies”. If anything this was a great place to see some lesser known work and sketches by Rivera. I don’t recall seeing any actual work by Kahlo, just some replicas.

I did like this exhibit of different iterations of the classic Two Fridas but I wasn’t sure who had created these for the museum and I didn’t spot any plaques nearby.

One of the things I did really enjoy was the personal photos of Kahlo and the sketchings Rivera did of her. Photos like this, similar to the ones you can see at Casa Azul, mirror the actuality of Kahlo’s pain that she shows us through her paintings.

Like I mentioned above, Olmedo had a large collection and some of it featured some more quirky pieces like the statues pictured above.

The sand art pictured above was just one section of a larger 40ftx40ft sand mural, it was super religious and centered around the Virgin Guadalupe.

Most people at the museum got a huge thrill from the free-roaming peacocks. Not going to lie, I got a little scared every time the puffed up and thought they were going to start charging at people. Olmedo also bred Xoloitzcuintli, the hairless dog native to Mexico, they were also on display for people to view.

This last part is much shorter but it’s my less than exciting experience at the Xochimilco canals. The canals are sold to tourists and travelers as a sort of Venice of Mexico City where you can spend all afternoon on a boat eating, drinking, and partying. Given this is an activity that is normally done with a large group and I was by myself, I should have known that I wasn’t going to get anything out of it. I had read this blog post and had decided against my better judgement that I should still go. Xochimilco is super far south in Mexico City so it took me a long time by public transit to get down there (most people Uber). I also had some confusion with the buses. Seriously, what was I thinking? That I would go on a canal tour all on my own? They are pretty cheap for a group of 8+ but alone it was way out of the budget. Also, keep in mind that there is not much else to do in this area other than to take a tour on the canals. I did a lot of reading about a market in this area but I couldn’t find it and can’t imagine it would be that different from the countless other markets I visited.

I did get a bomb piña agua fresca, so the day wasn’t a total loss. Sometimes my posts aren’t all glowing remarks but I try to be honest with other travelers who are considering the same activities. I would be willing to try to go to the canals again but only if I was with a larger group and someone else did the planning.

Ximena.

 

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