¡Hola! (Hello in Spanish)
- Date: 2015/10/23 – 2015/10/24
- Port Name: Cozumel
- Country: Mexico
- First time there?: Yes!
- What did I do?: Interpreting for my first overnight tour to see the majestic Mayan heritage Chichen Itza!
To be perfectly and shamefully honest, I didn’t know anything about Mexico and the Maya civilization and Chichen Itza before this trip. And I thought Mexican food = Tex Mex like food you can find at Chili’s or Friday’s aka fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, etc. But hells, there’s so much more to it!!
I remember what struck me when I visited Mexico was the pristine sea water near where we docked and how it felt almost like Malaysia, because of the similar weather and plants. The sea water was possibly the clearest and lightest-colored sea water I’ve ever seen up until that point in my life. Of course everything changed when we reached Bora Bora, though!
The place was like a massive compound with these fascinating building ruins scattered about. Naturally, it was very touristy and the entrance reminded me more of a theme park than a serious historical place for archeological research. Interesting things to see as pictured (top right): The Temple of Kukulcan, whose total number of steps amount to 365 representing 365 calendar days in a year. Each side has 91 steps and the last one on top brings it to 365. On the spring and autumn equinox each year, the jagged shapes of the steps cast a shadow that looks exactly like a snake slithering toward the bottom of the temple.
Top left: Ruins of the ancient observatory. The Mayans are well known as a people who studied astronomy very closely (as evidenced by the way they manipulated the sunlight for the Temple of Kukulcan). This building was aligned almost perfectly with the motions of Venus, apparently.
Bottom left: The Grand Ball Court. Ball games (hitting a rubber ball with body parts other than hands and feet to get the ball into a hoop attached to the wall) were held here to settle political or social disputes but they were very dangerous and even resulted in death of the players. Eventually it was banned by the Spanish because it was deemed too violent.
We also visited a Cenote, a natural spring where young boys were sacrificed to the Gods but I didn’t take a picture I think because it creeped me out.
It was almost the Festival of the Dead when we visited, so the restaurant we were at was decorated with skeletons like these. No I haven’t watched Coco yet.
Dog-eared postcard for the family and le bf:
Next port: Belize City