Road to Chichén Itzá

el-castillo

“El Castillo” The temple of the winged serpent Kukulkan. He was a bit of a bass-ass and live-heart-ripping-out monster-god-dude.

temple-up

It is impressive to look up and think – “Glad I’m not being sacrificed today!” … but, you can imagine the scene.

temple-serpent-1

Kukulkan guards the steps to his Temple.

0288skull-corner

Here he is again on the “wall of skulls” where they use to place the heads of defeated warriors. No – these ancient Mayans were not easy going in any way. Small and very angry people by all accounts on the walls at this site.

mayan-pict-1

More graphics with common themes of heart-ripping by various animal type gods.

ball-pit-top

The ball game arena is impressive. This is detail of a high place for important people to sit. Kind of Mayan luxury boxes -This is where Mayan Chris Christie would hug Mayan Jerry Jones after the game.

the-snail-2

They call this “the snail” – believed to be an ancient observatory…you know, so the sacrifices lined up with the stars.

the-snail

Another view of “The Snail”

me-ruin

Here is “actual size” me in front of some ruins (I am not tall,…ok,…I may not even be average height, but here – I am good!).  This ancient world is a good fit, except for all the extreme violence and hardship of course.

bus-wheel

Shipping tourists to this site is big business – these buses are new, clean and plentiful. Here is a selfie of me and my son taken in the reflection of a shinny wheel.


This was a great trip — I need to say that all the violence and sacrifice came from the tour guides who would remind us of a chilling new way to be dispatched at each ruin we visited. This site was already abandoned a couple hundred years before the Spanish arrived – where we had another great round of blood-letting and savagery ensue.

I loved the food at the Mayan restaurant we visited after touring the site.

And I feel a connection and sadness for the Mayan people that still live in the area of their “lost’ civilization. It seems that they do not share in the fruits of this great peninsula  as much as those that came after them.

I was only here a week so I may not have an accurate grasp — they have been here for thousands of years — they have already seen their world completely destroyed at least twice over — and they still approach the day with a smile.

Cheers from the cave!

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17 thoughts on “Road to Chichén Itzá

  1. During our visit, was amazed that there was a position on one of the alters where you could hear the echo through-out that area clearly, as it seemed to be designed that way. At the time we went you could still go up… my wife attempted but didn’t make it all the way. Very nice. Great pictures!

  2. Fantastic pics and story! Have you seen Mel Gibson’s movie, ‘Apocatypto’? I mention it here because the visuals are very much in line with things you talk about.

  3. My wife and I did a honeymoon trip from Cozumel to the ruins at (At first I thought our guide, Marcos, said, ‘Chicken Pizza’). It was hotter’n blue blazes, so while some of our party actually climbed the pyramid in 100+ heat and humidity, Amy and I sat with Marcos in the shade and had an ice cold Coke. Marcos told us that in the arena not only was it hot but these guys wore armor made from stone plates when they played and sometimes the games would last days! There is a stone ring there up about 12 feet and the object of the game was for a team to get the ball through the ring – only one time to win. There is some confusion as to which it was: Either the winning team got the honor of being sacrificed, OR the losing team was sacrificed for being losers. That point is lost in history, but I think we can deduce the answer. . . and that would also explain why the game would last for days, wouldn’t it?

    GREAT, clear, pics, man. Very pro shots…

    Was it hot?

    1. Yes it was hot!- 37 on their scale – they don’t let you climb on it anymore, now that it is a wonder and everything – and thanks for kind words on the pictures-I am getting better!

    1. Thanks Apple – probably a couple more of these as I go through all my pictures. This trip was an assault on my psyche in a good way. 🙂

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