Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chichen Itza

Our final outing was to Chichen Itza. This site was recently added to the "new 7 wonders of the world" It was so amazing. We began on a big tour bus. One of the guides talked the whole 2 hour drive. He gave us all sorts of information. We stopped on the way at a little shopping center. We got a few Mayan statues for the kids and Grandpa and I also got myself a necklace that says "MOM" in the Mayan alphabet. It is pretty neat. We finally got to the Chichen ruins. As we walked in there were over a hundred vendors there selling all sorts of souvenir stuff. They totally lined the paths. Our guide was awesome. He spoke 5 languages. He told us from the beginning that he was going to walk fast because there was so much to see and that he would just keep talking the whole time. He made the open offer to feel free to leave him whenever you wanted. So we chose to book through it with him. He had so much information to share. First he took us to to the older part of the city. There were some amazing buildings. Homes, an observatory, lots of churches. The Mayas had several gods, so they had building dedicated to each of them. Most of their buildings had intricate carvings and amazing astronomical correlations. If you want to know more I have linked one site to the title of this post. Another great informational site is . Alright enough of the technical stuff. The buildings were amazing and the entire area was huge. We couldn't even go to some of it because it was closed due to being a current archaeological site. The main building or the castle was so incredible. It almost looked fake. It has 91 steps on each side and then one all the way around on the top to equal 365 total to equal the solar calendar. It also has 28 sections on each face to correlate with the lunar calendar. On each solstice, the sun hits it just right to make the snakes that run down each side of the building look like they are slithering. There are a couple cenotes and one of them was used for human sacrifice. They would generally shoot the person with an arrow and then throw them into the water. Pretty creepy. It was all so interesting and educational and really, really neat. I would love to learn more about the lives and culture of all of these ancient people but I guess that will have to wait.

After the tour we went back to the same little shopping center for lunch. It was really yummy and there was a mariachi band playing and dancers tapping around. When we got back to the hotel they were having some dancers perform on the patio. It was fun to see the different varieties of performers. They had a guy dressed up like he was old and doing a mute comedy act and even had a guy doing lasso tricks. We got a picture of the two of us dressed up like bambidos and sitting on a donkey but it is pretty bad so I'm not posting that one.

Even with the rain, this day was definitely the highlight of our trip.


Chris 'n Leah said...

Happy Happy Birthday Valerie dear...may happy days come to you all year! If I had one wish then it would be...A HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU FROM ME!!!!

There, I hope I am the first to wish you well for your special day (preaty sneaky, hu?). Call in sick, don't do any homework, let the house go the way of the wind, eat cheesecake, ice cream, FRIED CHICKEN, and anything else that suits your "fancy". Call some friends, and have a play day all day long then have Gary watch the kids while you go out on the town, watch a movie and blog until your vision go fuzzy!!!

You are AWESOME and I wish I could be there with you but since I can't know that I will think about you all day!!!

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