Chichen Itza is one of those places you could spend all day visiting and soaking up the energy that this ancient place exudes. The more you walk around, the more you begin to feel what like must have been like in this Mayan city built so many centuries ago.
Uxmal, a Mayan city located on the Yucatan peninsula, is one of the spots on the tourist circuit and I was really surprised by the beauty and grandeur of this place. The Mayan monuments are well-preserved, the surrounding tropical environment is full of color and the sounds of birds and monkeys. That summer day, I saw an iguana waiting for his lunch. In this picture, I had decided to be the keeper of the pyramid.
More than sport or entertainment, the ball game was practiced throughout Mesoamerica as a ritual. Two teams competed to put a large rubber ball through a stone ring set in the wall, on the side. It is said that the party who lost were ordered to death. Although there were probably many different versions of the game, it was always played in a field in the form of "I" . The fields were of variable size, but the oldest was aligned in a north-south and later from the east to the west. The losing team was sacrificed after the game, which was, in those times, an honorable way to die.
Its importance is astronomical, in terms of greatness, but also astronomically speaking. The position of the ruins of the temple called the 7 Dolls is mathematically perfect. Its orientation allows light beams to cross through their doors and windows such as equinoxes and solstices, a real astronomical machine. But best of the ruins is the dip one can take in the cenote of Xlacah.
It is not entirely clear what the real purpose of this unique building was at Chichen Itza, but the general consensus is that it was an astronomical observatory. It helps, of course, the fact that the dome looks like an astronomical observatory. What is clear is that the Mayans came to have some very important astronomical knowledge (a lot more than European cultures at the same time, for example) and so this is very likely to be the building's use.
The Kabah Ruins are some of the ruins along the Puuc Route. Kabah is at the roadside and show you all its majesty just inside the entrance since almost everything inside is an overview. Anyway, this is another place where you should expect to climb some stairs, enter dark, humid rooms, and practically die of heat without stopping to take pictures. You'll be drinking water continuously. Despite all of that you'll definitely enjoy yourself, like everyone does on this route. We were completely alone when we went there, as you can see in the pictures.
For the next two days, we will explore the Puuc Route, south of Merida, visiting the great Uxmal, Sayil, Labna and Xlapak Kabah. Planning the trip, we realized that the best option was to rent a car here, simply because of the lack of public transport along the route. So what we could do with a car in a couple of days could take up to 3 or 4 without, plus the inconvenience of carrying luggage in tow. So, while Martha stayed at the hotel, I went to rent the car at the center and an hour later showed up with a brand new white Beetle.
In Oxkutzcab a bit to the right you get to the caves where the route begins Loltún puuc. Then you will continue to Labná. Labná was a small town dependent on the great Mayan Uxmal. Upon entering the site you come across a palace façade that is decorated by many rectangular doors separated from each other by pilasters. The palace has three levels or floors connected by a central staircase. Then you see El Mirador, which is located on a pyramidthat is is only a cairn. Mirador is in front of an arch that rises in the likeness of the Roman triumph but it was part of a building that is now gone. We were taking photos and suddenly we heard noises coming from the pyramid, something like falling stones and sliding as if it were an animal. Finally there were two iguanas, which are the queens of this lonely place rarely visited by tourists and we watched impassively from the heights. We were watching them for a while. The iguanas really don't move much, they just take in the incredibly hot sun of these great heights. I suppose you can't do much else.
The ruins in the direction of Uxma were those of Xlapak on the Puuc route. They are after Labná towards Uxmal and before Sayil. They are badly deteriorated so you can´t see much but it´s well worth a stop on the way to take a look. As most of the ruins sites on the Puuc route, there aren´t any tourists. So, you´ll have the place to yourself.
For the Mayans it was number. They were great scholars of the sky and the planets. They produced several calendars based on the movement of the moon and sun. And according to 20 coded sacred glyphs, each with its power and features. Here I want to show you the altar of glyphs located just opposite the Palace of the Masks at Kabah .. The altar Codz glyphs Poop is a square structure of about 6.20 meters aside. It features found on all sides carved with glyphs in bas-relief. The entry point seems to have been placed on an already built arch, as some of the glyphs occupy more than a stone. Unfortunately the altar wasransacked found when Stephens and Catherwood (the first explorers of the Mayan World) visited the site in the middle of the last century. Here is the inscription: "Happiness is the reward of the brave"
This wonder is built on the ruins of Uxmal Kabah. It is majestically on a natural elevation and is the largest building in the city. The passage of time has punished it much although it maintains two staircases to access the whole building. There are more than 30 rooms and various entries with different widths, some divided by columns. Annexed to it is a building with 2 staircases which form an arch which is the entrance to the existing apartments on the ground floor with large columns. Besides this building there connects the palace with the Codz Poop (The most important and striking building of Kabah known for the Palace. Do you know why? Due to the large number of people who are living there and the large number of chultunes that around. You will have wondered what is a chultun? Well look, I'll show the pictures on this corner. See those white holes on earth?. That's chultunes: cisterns or open to store maize (Mayan Gold) and / or collect rainwater. Behold the simplicity and perfection of the culture they were able to create an ingenious system of water collection and storage of rain (remember that there is a monument dedicated to the rain god Chac) consisting of an underground chamber shaped bottle. "Happiness is the reward of the brave"