Blog #00 – June 30, 2014
by Bill Reimer
It looks like we are all here in Toluca – safe and sound. Several of the participants had arrived earlier so I can only report on my adventures en route.
After an uneventful (thankfully) flight from Montréal I stood in line for customs, then baggage – wondering if I would make the shuttle bus to Toluca. As I searched for the designated meeting place I was comforted by Bruno yelling “Bill!” from across the concourse. He escorted me to the gathering of new and old participants waiting for the bus.
Toluca is about an hour and a half from Mexico City via a combination of divided highway and mountain road. Given the size of the City (20 million – the largest city in the western hemisphere) most of the trip was through urban landscape – ranging from slums to highrises – until we climbed the mountains to Toluca. At 2 million people, Toluca is a junior member of Mexican cities. It was unfortunate that most of the trip was through rain since it limited our views of the various landscapes.
Once settled at our hotel we were greeted by a lovely buffet and stimulating company – a welcome harbinger of the days ahead. I was particularly pleased that the rain let up after dinner so that we could make a quick tour of a few blocks in the vicinity of the hotel. Since it was late on Sunday, most of the shops were closed –with the characteristic metal “garage” doors of Mexico – although the streets were sufficiently full of people to keep my sociological inclinations satisfied. Now off to blog and bed to recuperate for the 7 am breakfast then shuttle to the campus in the morning.