10 November 2008
Mexico City: The Aztec Kings' Lake
It is called the Aztec Kings' Lake, but that's just a name that someone in the tourist office thought up. You can find it in the Tlahuac district of Mexico City, but it is quite a trek from the city centre. Actually it isn't just a lake, it's a part of the old system of lakes and canals that encircled Mexico City until the late nineteenth century. Various drainage schemes reduced the once massive lakes to manageable sizes, until finally even the government realised that the flooding in those areas would cost millions to prevent, and the waters were allowed to return. A cynic might argue that bringing the waters back also prevents thousands of people from moving to the Valley of Mexico every year from other parts of the country.
Whatever the reason, in the early 1990s what had been a swamp was restored to its former glory, but it is still only a pale shadow of what it once was. Older people can still remember how produce from this area was taken via the canals to the north of the city. Those days have gone, but what has been reopened is still a little gem and well worth the trouble that it will take to visit it.
By the way, the video was shot by me - I hope that you like it!