Okay, so first things first. I know I was really good yesterday with the accent thingy on Coba, but the whole thing is getting tedius and Chichen Itza is just going to have to be Americanized today. I’m sorry, but my keyboard is American, and so this post will be as well.
Chichen Itza was one of my favorite parts of the whole Mexico trip. It was a three hour bus ride, which was painful, but very worth it. Unfortunately it rained a lot and Avery had missed her nap so I missed the tour that the rest of my family got to go on. Consequently this post is going to be mostly pictures with a very little bit of explanation I picked up from signs and the very beginning of the tour, before the rain started.
First, the main temple. The temple was way impressive. I was really awestruck by it’s size and how it just juts out from the flat field the way it does.
This picture is actually from behind the temple. The front face is more restored and even more impressive. The tunnel is part of an archeological project. They apparently decided to dig a tunnel under the temple and as they did so they discovered another smaller temple underneath the big one. Inside were two statues. They think the bigger temple was built over the smaller temple when two cultures meshed around 400 AD. Other details support this theory. There was also a Mayan ball court that Dad and I saw from a distance that everyone else saw closer up.
About ten minutes into our tour it started pouring and Dad and I went to find refuge under an awning to keep Avery dry. It didn’t really work, but while we were gone our tour group moved on around the park and we never did catch up with them again. Eventually, in spite of being soaked, Avery fell asleep for a few minutes. After the tour the rest of the family managed to chase us down, but we had wandered into the older part of the city and never made it back to look closely at the main part that the tour covered.
Here’s what we did see.
A mayan hut. They made them rounded so they wouldn’t have any corners for the evil spirits to hide in.
These columns seemed to go on forever. Some of them you could still see engravings on and it was fun for me to imagine how impressive they would have been when they were new and held up a roof.
I’m not sure what this building was used for, but I liked it because you can see the snake head sculptures on the sides of the bottom of the stairway. In the older city there are no snakes and there are no signs of human sacrifice. They think that around 400 AD when the older civilization and the newer one (possibly the toltecs) meshed the newer one brought both these traditions – the snake god and human sacrifice.
A lot of the buildings were little more than rubble.
This was a church in the older city.
I liked the carvings on this building. They were remarkably clear.
Another cool building.
We had a good time in spite of the rain and lack of nap and Avery even got a cool pink hat that she refused to wear. I really wish I could have heard more of the tour, but maybe I can check out a book from the library or something. It was really an amazing place.
About five minutes from Chichen Itza is another cenote. We took a side trip with some of the group we went with to go see it. It was really cool and really deep. I don’t have any pictures because the rain at Chichen Itza did bad things to the camera, but there are pictures here http://www.wohlmut.com/Maya/Ik-Kil.htm The water was 150 feet deep and you can swim in it.
We hadn’t brought our swim suits, but Linden, Clair and I jumped in anyway. I was in jeans and man was I worn out after swimming around a bit. Wet jeans are HEAVY. It was totally worth it though, even though we froze in the air conditioned bus all the way home. The place was really beautiful and there were even little shark-like fish swimming around. If I ever have the chance I’ve told Ivan we’re going back there to stay in the little hotel right next to the cenote for a second honeymoon or something like that. It was lovely.