I have been thinking about this picture of Popocatepetl for a long time. Ever since I read „Under the Volcano“ by Malcolm Lowry, I had the desire to take a photo as an homage to the book.
The story is about the last day in the life of a drunken English consul who lives in Cuernavaca. As the title indicates, Popocatepetl plays an important part in the book and is a metaphor for the consul’s life. In the book, there are descriptions of the central park in Cuernavaca, Palacio de Cortés and the view of the volcano.
After the conquest of Mexico, Hernán Cortés was granted the title Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca and a large estate that included a couple of states of today’s Mexico. He decided to build himself a palace/fortress in what is Cuernavaca today, using the location and the materials of a former Aztec temple.
A long time ago, this must have been a marvelous place with a wonderful view and one of the best climates in México. Unfortunately, the pollution and the uncontrolled growth of the city have spoiled the view and so I was not able to see the volcano during my first visit. I actually doubted that the volcano is visible at all from Cuernavaca.
Luckily, I found a great homestay and a host, the 84-year-old artist Francisco Maza, who I enjoyed talking to so much that I decided to return.
Upon my arrival, I went for an early dinner and as I was returning, I could not believe my eyes. I saw Popocatepetl right behind the Palacio, which means that not only the consul but also the Aztecs and Hernán Cortés must have enjoyed this view a long time ago.