México Fabuloso II

09Jul08

Originally written on July 9, 2008

Hola todos!!!
 
This is probably going to be my last email from the trip to Mexico as I will be heading home within several days.
 
Most of my trip so far has been very relaxing. However, aside from all the fabulous night life, bottle services and champagne, I should write a bit about rich culture and nature that Yucatan peninsula has got to offer.
 
The tribes of Maya lived in this area for centuries, creating a sophisticated civilization, and stunning architecture devoted to their religious ceremonies and astrology until the arrival of conquistadors in the 16th century. The remains of their civilization can only trigger ones imagination in how splendid yet violent and deeply religious their society was. 

Dzibilchaltun, Mexico

We spent the weekend in Merida, the capital of Yucatan state, which is surrounded with Mayan temples. The purpose of our visit to the city was the 58th birthday of JP.G’s dad. The celebrations were held in the family house in Merida, and I was introduced to the closest family members. It was actually very welcoming and fun over all.

Merida, Mexico

As it seems, most of the upper Mexican class that lives in this region, has been born in Merida. Ever since the founding of it, Merida has kept to its proud heritage and considered itself having closer ties with Madrid than with Mexico City. The city is full of colonial structures and beautiful villas. All of this came as a stark contrast to the ever growing, highly modernized Cancun. Two monuments were specifically pointed to me because they were dedicated to JP.G’s ancestors and their fight for the rights of the Natives in the 19th century.

Merida, Mexico

The unfortunate thing about this city is that every afternoon rained, and I couldn’t enjoy the weather as much as I would have liked to.
 
One night we went to Uxmal, the second most famous Mayan site in Mexico. The ride over there was very relaxing, and it was nice to see the change of landscape from flat to hilly. It kind of reminded me of small Tuscan hills except that the vegetation was completely different. We were in the jungle after all. We came to the night show of lights, and the site was completely serene. I loved being at such a peaceful place in the middle of nowhere albeit many bats and mosquitoes were flying around. 

Cuadrangulo de las Monjas (Nuns Quadrangle) in Uxmal, Mexico

Chichen Itza is probably the most famous Mayan site in Mexico and one of the new 7 Wonders of the World. I always wanted to visit it on my trip to Mexico, and today my dream came through. The boys decided to let me wander through the site alone as they had been there so many times, and didn’t feel well today at all. As I walked into Chichen, the first thing I saw was the famous Pyramid of Kukulcan. At the beginning, I didn’t think much of the site, but as I continued to wander, I’ve started to appreciated Mayan culture even more – their craftsmanship, the intricate details of their art, and above all their amazing knowledge of astrology. For example, the main pyramid contains exactly 365 steps, and when the season changes in the spring and fall, sun creates the shadows on the pyramid shaped as a snake, the symbol of Mayan god Kukulcan.

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Within first 20 min of my visit the weather went through all the season. Starting with sun, rain and then dusty wind, leaving me completely covered in the thin layer of filth on my skin. FABULOUS! lol Yet, I didn’t care and left Chichen Itza with a smile on my face. This was definitely one of the highlights of my trip, and I would recommend everyone to visit it if you ever happen to be in this region of the world. Its worth the trip!

Chichen Itza, Mexico

The trip back home to Cancun took as longer than expected as we did not end up on the highway but rather went through the rural area. Aside from being a tiring trip, it was interesting to see how the less privileged Mexicans lived. Some houses did not have windows nor doors, and barely any furniture would be found inside those shacks aside from hammocks. Stray, skinny dogs roamed fearlessly in the middle of the roads slowing down the traffic. I couldn’t wait to get back to Zona Hotelera of Cancun where sights of poverty are no where to be found. It was depressing to look at the poor, unhygenic conditions that those people lived in.
 
In addition, I have to mention briefly that one night after dinner, as we were walking on the beach around 1 am, we saw two sea turtles making their way up on the beach to lay eggs. It was a beautiful and unexpected sight that I will never forget. These wonders of nature I had seen so far only on TV, yet this time I was a witness of them happening. I just wish I had my camera with me that night.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

That would be all for now. If everything goes well, we will be off to infamous Playa del Carmen tomorrow for several nights, and I will finally experience the fabulous beach and nightlife that the town has got to offer. We still plan to go to the ecological site Xel Ha and Tulum, whose beach and ruins pictures make it look as a paradise on Earth. 

Xel Ha, Mexico

I am off to bed now. Its been a long day for me!

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