We woke up in Holiday Inn Express, had a delicious breakfast (even fruits, usually in the motels there is only toast and coffee). I put one apple to the bag for eating during a day.
We took I5 south and passing the signs that said "Last US exit" and "To Mexico", we went to the Border station parking. When the car was parked we went to the gates. This was it – you can just walk in, nobody asked any documents. It was just needed to walk through the gates and we were in Mexico for a first time.
It was 11AM and the city was quite sleepy. From the border we took a taxi to the center, although later we learned that it is a ten minute walk, so next time we would not take a cab. The environment changed completely after rotating steel gates. Although Tijuana is Mexico's fourth largest city, it was rather featureless, sun bleached and dusty.
Tijuana is the most visited city in the world with so many people traveling through to and from the US. About 300,000 people cross the border between San Diego and Tijuana every day. As many border towns, Tijuana is place for shopping for Americans – tobacco and alcoholic beverages are cheaper here. Here is also a famous Baja shopping complex. We were not up to shopping, although we did some. We have now at the souvenir cup on the shelf. Then we bought the cup, Tijuana was handwritten there by felt-tip pen. At the market we saw many colorful Mexican clothes on sale, we also bought very good Mexican cardigan, it is warm and natural.
At the streets we saw donkeys who were painted to zebras. There was a possibility to take a photo with sombrero and “zebra”. We did not do that.
I had heard before the trip that in Mexico you should drink Margaritas. Although it was about noon, we had it. And I would say this strawberry Margarita was best I ever had.
In accordance to our plans we left Mexico at 3PM. Opposite to the entry to Mexico in the morning the border inspection for US was quite heavy. Our documents were properly looked and also my bag. They even asked me to open the bag and show what is inside. And they did not like that I had the American apple still in the bag – it is not allowed to bring food to USA. So they took my apple (what I just forgot to eat during a day).
Our next major destination was Grand Canyon, so we took Interstate 8 west. After the California-Arizona border we turned a clock by one hour and found a decent motel in Yuma, AZ.