Sunday, 3 August 2014

Ruta de Puuc

Some days ago I received an advice on how the mexicans visit the archeological sites of the mayans and how I get to see sites that are not really touristic and therefore hard to visit. Every sunday there's a bus for the "route of puuc" - puuc is an architectural style that was very common in that area between about 700 and 1000 A.D. - with a bus driver that only speaks spanish and mostly mexican couples and families. We got to visit 5 archeological sites: Labna, Xlapac, Sayil, Kabah and Uxmal.

Some of them were really small, only one or two buildings left that are partially intact, like in Labna which was the first one.

The second one, Xlapac, also only had some ruins left. They all had about 2000 inhabitants in the age of 700 to 1000 A.D. Sayil, the third one, still had a beautiful palace that was mostly intact.

The fourth mayan city we visited was Kabah, which had once been a pretty big city with lots of leftovers, but most of them deep in the jungle and therefore not open for visits. we only got to see the palace. Kabah even had a stone street to be connected to Uxmal, the most important city of this region that time.

I pretty much looked forward to seeing Uxmal, because lots of people told me how beautiful it is and that it is much better than Chichen Itza because you are allowed to go up the pyramid. So when I entered the site, saw the pyramid next to some big building where the nuns lived, and I saw it was prohibited to climb it, I was really disappointed. Really, that's the best part of visiting a mayan city. Well, not exactly the climbing part but standing on top of a pyramid, seeing all the buildings and just enjoying the view. (The following picture was taken from the palace that was built on a kind of hill, not a pyramid.)

I couldn't believe that there was really no mayan city left where you are allowed to go up to the top of a pyramid. So I combed through the area, looked what it had to offer. There was also a ballgame area (of the game I wrote about in the Chichen Itza post), seems like this game was quite popular. And I was lucky - there was another pyramid on the backside of the area, about 80 meters high and open for visitors. Up there there was no place to hide from the sun but the view was worth it.