Sunday, May 04, 2008
The Ruta Maya!
To celebrate Tanner's graduation with a Master's Degree in Psychology, (and both of our birthdays,) we took a nine day trip to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico to explore the Mayan Ruins. The first ruin we visited was Uxmal where Tanner is pictured above at the Magician's Pyramid.
After Uxmal, we drove through the Ruta Puuc or hill country to tour 3 smaller ruins. This is the Palace of Masks at Kabah. It features 250 masks of the rain god Chaac, always depicted with an elephant nose.
The last ruin of the day before we drove to Chichen Itza for the night, Labna is most known for this arch.
Outside our budget accomodation "Dolores Alba" 3 km from Chichen Itza. This hotel only had screens for the windows, without glass, and we heard jungle sounds all night. I woke up with a Mayan tick on my belly - yikes!
El Castillo at the light show at Chichen Itza. We rented english headphones to experience the saga of the Mayans in the midst of a drought, pleading with Chaac the rain god to accept their sacrifices and send rain.
The Caracol (shell) observatory at Chichen. Sadly all of Chichen Itza was roped off but suposedly there is a spiral staircase inside called the snail.
This is a view of the sacred cenote for which Chichen Itza is named for. Chichen roughly translated means "at the mouth of the well" and Itza is "water sorcerers or a family named Itza" (we heard 2 different explanations.) It's excavtion has yielded many treasures and sacrificial victims, including children.
This is the Casa de las aguilas or the House of the Ealges next to the tzompantli or platform of skulls.
The Ball Court at Chichen Itza. You could stand at one end, shout something, and hear it echoed from the other end. We saw a game reenacted at the theme park Xcaret where the players bounce a small ball off their hips, head, or kick it with their feet to try to get the ball through the hoops on the sides.
A kodak moment at the Carribean Sea with ruins in the background. I must say that the French tourists can take pictures much better than the Mexican tourists! Almost every other photograph we had someone take of us together ended up cutting off important parts or turning the camera to ridiculous angles.
Tanner aka Mr. Whisker's, Santa Claus, Kukulcan, and Quetzalcoatl stands in front of the Tulum Ruins.
Our beach bungalow in Tulum, the best money we've ever spent as far as accomodations go. The beach was so private that more often than not, no other soul could be seen.
Inside the rustic cabana, sun light crept through the walls and the mosquito net kept bugs off of us at night. Note the Mexican Towel Bird perched lifelessly on the bed -- a common animal found in this region of Mexico.
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