Friday, 1 August 2014

Chichén Itzá

I spent this wonderful sunny friday on the biggest and most touristic archeological site of the Mayas in Mexico, Chichén Itzá. We were warned before that we have to arrive early because at about 11 all of the tour buses with loads of tourists will arrive at the site and it might get really crowdy, so we (a canadian girl I met at the hostel and me) got up at 6 to take the bus at 7 and be there at 10. It turned out to be not as crowdy as we feared because the site is so big, but there still were lots of people.

The first thing you see when you enter the site is the big pyramid. It is really beautiful and represents the center of the city, with palaces and homes of the wealthy people all around. Unfortunately nobody was allowed to climb the pyramid because rumours told us that some years ago two people died when one of them fell and the other one wanted to help. Travel guides mostly tell that the piramid is just not made to support that many people.

Next to the pyramid there was the arena for their special ball game. On the left and the right side on the wall you might see some kind of loop of stone. This represented the goal where the ball had to go in. To shoot they were only allowed to use their waist or breast but not their feet or legs or arms. If they score a goal, they die - that's the target of the game.

A pretty long path away of the pyramid there is the holy cenote. Here, rituals were held and both voluntaries and enemies were sacrified by throwing into the cenote. Again, people volunteered to die to become some kind of god or get into the underworld. It was like the target of life for them.

As i wrote before, there were also palaces in Chichén Itzá, right now there are only ruins with lots of columns left. That's were the rich people lived - as I discovered later, there are no homes of other people left because they just weren't built in stabile stone and therefore not able to outlast more than 1000 years. That's why I always had to wonder where the people lived. But I would totally move into that palace if it was still intact.

Right now, only lots of iguanas live at Chichén Itzá. They even walk around on the pathways through the site as long as nobody approachs them too closely. After visiting the site I had the feeling I am getting used to the temperatures, at least a little bit, but I had to realize that the temperature just cooled down a little and therefore it was a little bit more pleasant. It also started raining shortly afterwards (but just for a short period of time).