Unlike the subsoil of Mexico City, our tour guide's knowledge of the city was rock solid. And, not surprisingly, in reading through some of the other reviews posted here, it seems that our experience with David--which was fulfilling in so many respects--was not unique unto us. To be sure, be it David, or another tour guide, Mojdeh unquestionably pairs individuals with a guide tailored to their particular interests.
That David possessed a deep understanding of Mexico's natural and cultural heritage was obvious from the very beginning of our trip. Outside of The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, David--armed with only an iPad and encyclopedic knowledge of Mexico City's history--gave a vivid and engaging account of the city's past that served to fully enrich our appreciation for the ground on which we stood, and for the things we would see and experience throughout the day. One expects a tour guide to be knowledgeable, however, to communicate that knowledge in a way that is both instructive and compelling, requires a special kind of ability, which David has in spades.
From The Basilica, we drove to see the pyramids in Teotihuacán. During these in-between moments of the tour, it might be a difficult task for a guide to maintain the level of service in the absence of any actual historical landmark. However, David was eager to discuss any topic, and took an obvious and genuine interest in our group's hobbies and activities. Conversation was smooth and never overbearing, and one got the sense that you were just traveling around Mexico City with an old pal.
At the pyramids, David expounded at length and in brilliant detail upon the ancient civilizations' various customs and traditions. The tour was educational, but never dry. It was like attending a lecture by your favorite professor, whose method of instruction contained a dimension of pleasure, and you were acutely aware that you were in the presence of someone special. To this end, it goes without saying that the pyramids proved an edifying and wholly fun adventure. Moreover, David is game for a good climb, too; something the athlete in me appreciated. He was right there with us as we made our way to the top of the pyramids, and stood to take in the totally breathtaking and sweeping view of the land. Perhaps being a tour guide entails a certain finesse with a camera, or one would think, looking at the photos of our group that David took. We left with some great shots of the four of us atop the Pyramid of the Sun, courtesy of David. It was a truly unforgettable experience.
No less forgettable was the food. Driving like a man on a mission, David made his way past countless restaurants that lined the side of the road, courteously rejecting the entreaties to dine at this one or that. David appeared to have in his mind the precise lunch spot that would provide us with an authentic taste of Mexico's cuisine, and while the name of the restaurant escapes me, the food--and in particular, the pulque--most certainly does not. We sat outside in a perfect, quiet setting, amid the gorgeous hills, enjoying all kinds of meats and drinks. It was really something special, and which I will remember for the rest of my life. It was here where, again, David's ability to be both tour guide and friend really became apparent. He told us a little bit more about himself, was curious to know a bit more about us, and afterwards, I was left wondering: with all of David's activities--student, researcher, cyclist, tour guide--how is this guy's energy level so unwavering?
Lastly, we visited the National Museum of Art. To be in the presence of such magnificent and historically significant works of art was truly awesome. David, again, stepped up to the plate and helped contextualize and ground our understanding of the ways in which the art was in dialogue with certain political phenomena, or responding to the culture at large. In this respect, the art was vivified in a way that, without having David there, it may not have been. We were told anecdotes about the artists themselves, which also made the experience of seeing their works all the more visceral and awe-inspiring.
I would encourage anyone who is looking for an informative, fun, and memorable adventure in Mexico City to contact Mojdeh and explain to her what you would like to get out of your trip. You will undoubtedly benefit from having a guide like David, and your vacation will be all the more satisfying.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.