Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some Idiots Abroad: Chichen Itza Edition

 We hired a private guide in Playa del Carmen to take us out to Chichen Itza, which is about a 3 hour drive.  It was terribly crowded as we went on a Sunday, which is Mexicans Get into Chichen Itza Free Day. Who knew?  The crowds really impeded our novelty photo efforts. but we did what we could.   Things I learned- Chichen Itza is a Mayan City established around 600 AD, and is a World Heritage Site and one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World.   According to our tour guide, it is also a big pilgrimmage locale for Mormons, who believe that the Second Coming of Jesus already occurred in Chichen Itza. 

Declan in front of the Temple of Kukulkan, which is most famous for the serpentine pattern of light that moves either up or down the staircase on the autumnal and vernal equinoxes.  There are also some auditory phenomena designed into the Temple, where you stand at a certain spot, and clap your hands, the pyramid will bounce the sound back to you. 
This is our tour guide Guidelio.  He was very knowledgable about the blood thirsty ways of the Mayans.  Pretty much every carving at Chichen Itza is one warrior or another holding up some still-beating heart of a vanquished foe. This is the most drawings of still-beating hearts that I have ever seen.
Here's Declan and Shane in the Mayan Ball Court.  Be awhile before Dec can make a slam dunk.

Guidelio also took us swimming in a cenote, one of the system of large underground water pools that were sacred to the Mayans.  I couldn't get any good pictures with the crazy light, but the water was so clear, you could see forty feet down to the bottom, and the water was an amazing shade of blue. 
We stopped in a quaint Mexican town with a beautiful town square, and had a delicious and authentic meal in a food fair across the street.  Too bad I can't remember what the town was, seeing as how I was there 6 months ago.

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