Saturday, 22 December 2012

Amazing Mayans .... Chichen Itza

If you're in to Mayan ruins, then Chichen Itza is a must see.

This site is one of Mexico's most famous archaeological sites .... as the hordes of tourist buses would attest to.

But we arrived relatively early so managed to see most of the site before the multitudes descended.

The main area of the site is the Great Plaza which is home to the Castle Pyramid, El Castillo. It is designed to represent the Mayan calendar and our guide (who was also our bus driver) got very passionate about giving us intricate detail about angles of the sun, time of year etc etc. It was really rather interesting and he managed to hold my attention, quite a challenging thing to do at times.

The pyramid is a series of steps and if you look across the corners each step is a perfect right-angle triangle. There are smaller steps running up the middle of each side. You're not allowed to climb on this pyramid so the dude who was doing maintenance half way up thought he was pretty special.

There is an enormous ball court called Gran Juego de Pelota. The court has a ring half way down each side, but they are so high it makes you wonder what kind of game these dudes were playing. The acoustics in this area are amazing .... I clapped a few times but really should have belted out a song or two to really test it out.

The temple at one end of the plaza has a sacrifice stone. If you've read some of my earlier posts you would know that we tried to make use of these stones whenever possible. In another area around 50 skeletons have been found .... not sure if they were naughty and were sacrificed or if they were special people who were honored.

The detail in some of the stones is amazing. I particularly like the rows of skeleton heads.

As with all major tourist sites, the touts are about. Actually there is an over abundance of them. This would annoy many people but I managed to pick up a cool skull singlet at an over inflated price, but I was happy.

As we left the site we met a wall of people coming in. The ruins are cool but if I'd arrived a bit later I may have turned around and kept on going.

Mexico - Chichen Itza

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