It’s about time to start catching up. The post title suggests that the author should move his butt and start blogging regularly 🙂
We return today to Merida (again), and more specifically to the ruins nearby called Mayapan. My trip to this site was one of the most enjoyable so far. This is due to four factors: my starting point was Merida, which I love, the entire cost of the trip (transportation, entrance) closed at 76 pesos (£3.50), had the whole site almost exclusively for myself and was able to climb every building.
Mayapan (the name means “Banner of the Mayan people”) was founded in the second half of the eighth century, the peak period of development was in the years around 1220 to 1440, when the city was one of the most important in the Yucatan, and in 1441 as a result of the rebellion against the ruling family has been looted, burned and abandoned. Within the walls there were about 4,000 buildings with a population of about 12,000 inhabitants. The largest building is the temple of Cuculcan, which is a smaller copy of that at Chichen Itza.
I still had time to meet in Merida with Cristina and Noemie for a quick grub (post about Mexican food coming soon) and it was time to bed.
The next day I boarded a bus to Campeche (“Place of snakes and ticks”), the state capital of the same name. A few things prompted me to visit, beautiful pictures of the old town on the internet, the fact that the old town was inscribed on the UNESCO list and old Spanish forts.
I stayed in a hostel at the main square, and frankly, this is the only positive thing about this hostel … And the city itself is… boring. Tourist infrastructure is practically nonexistent, the old town is nice, but monotonous. Yes, all the buildings within the walls are painted in bright colours, but there’s nothing special about them. Usually people stop in Campeche to have a break when traveling from Palenque to Merida and if you’re not a big fan of the Spanish forts or brightly painted houses, I would not recommend a longer stop than 1 (one) night. One afternoon is enough to get around the old town, catch the sunset and shoot a few nice photos.
The city was founded in 1540 on the site of the Mayan city called Canpech. Construction of the cathedral on the main square was launched in the same year, completed due to pirate attacks more than 160 years later. These attacks were also the main reason for elevation of the city walls and forts mentioned earlier.
Unfortunately, I spent there four nights. I had to fill the time somehow. So, after walking around the Old Town about 16 times, more than a dozen visits to the market outside the walls, I went to a small museum showing how the Spanish nobility once lived (in Merida and Guadalajara admission to similar museums was free, but there must be something special about Campeche – 10 pesos). With a Finnish guy I met at the hostel I went on a tour of the forts, in one of them visiting a small museum with stelaes brought from the ruins around Yucatan and in the second ( San Miguel ), located a few kilometers from the city centre, a small archaeological museum. On the way back there was a funny situation, Tony (the Finnish guy) wanted something to eat, so we sat in a roadside diner, I told him that he must order at the counter, because that’s what the locals were doing in this place, but he tried to catch passing lady who worked there but wasn’t a waitress and of course tried to order in English. After a couple of failed attempts he got annoyed and walked out… The perfect example of inappropriate attitude when travelling.
In order not to waste more time in Campeche, I went to the ruins of Edzna. Very old city, founded around 400 BC and abandoned around 1500 AD. The first time I saw so called Acropolis, with the tallest building at the site, which you can not climb, but that’s not an obstacle to a Mexican with his son, when the boy told him that one cannot climb it, he just waved his hand. Unfortunately nothing has happened to him 🙂
After four days in Campeche with relief I boarded a bus back to Merida. I spent a whole week there, but I had not been idle, don’t be afraid. But this will be described next week, perhaps already in the Mexico City 🙂