I have a small delay, but do not worry not much was happening 🙂 I had to take a break from traveling and rest on the beach – I went, among others, to the island of Holbox, but this time I had the sun all week. Probably I’ll go back again. But to the point, considering it has been 10 days I was in the States, it’s time to catch up.
In Merida we stayed with Cristina from CouchSurfing. We only had a moment to take a look at the city layout, which is duplicated in many Mexican cities and towns that were founded by the Spaniards. In the center there is always a large square, on one side of which is the church and on the other usually a public administration building. From the square, streets, intersecting at right angles and dividing adjacent to the square area into equal squares. Cities founded by Spaniards are very easy to navigate. Cancun, which was built over the past 30-40 years is very chaotic. Often along the square were houses of the Spanish nobility, in the case of Merida it was a family Montejo, which representative, Francisco de Montejo y León (“El Mozo”) founded Merida in 1542 on the site of T’Hó – a Mayan city. We visited the Casa de Montejo which was inhabited by the Montejo family up to the 70s of the last century. You can judge yourselves on what level lived descendants of the conquistadors.
Catedral de San Ildefonso, first in the continental Americas
Casa de Montejo (built in 1549)
In the evening we went to the Santiago square, where we had panuchos (deep fried tortilla with various toppings) and later we went for a ride along passage de Montejo, admiring beautiful residences, mostly occupied now by the banks.
On the second day Cristina had dropped us off at the bus station, where we took a bus to Uxmal (Ushmal), Mayan Ruins probably founded in the sixth century, built in the Puuc style. We arrived in the morning and before noon the bus tours began to arrive, so we could walk pretty much unmolested. Uxmal means “built three times”, although the main temple consists of… five different temples. The main attraction is the Temple of the Magician, 38 metres tall with characteristically rounded sides. This is the main building of the complex, but you can not climb it. Further buildings are also very impressive – Governor’s Palace (these names were given by the Spaniards), ballgame court (pelote – again, Spanish) and a square complex, with function unknown – could be a temple or military academy. I also had the opportunity to play the Indiana Jones when we went into unfrequented part of the complex and found an unrestored temple – of course I had to climb it ( ie to discover and conquer it 🙂 ). On most of the buildings, you can often see the masks of Chaac (god of rain) and Kukulcan (god of wind). It was a very successful day – finally I could see with my own eyes what I just read about…
This building houses the Museum of Anthropology
Temple of the Magician – standing and clapping in front of you can hear an echo – of course everyone clapped 🙂
The Governor’s (Royal) Palace, with the longest façades in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica
Quadrangle – part of the building, as already mentioned, with unknown function. In the background, on the left the Royal Palace
The ball was played throughout Mesoamerica. Losers often paid with their heads… Maybe our football players would play better if threatened with that? 🙂
And now we all hum the theme from Indiana Jones (apparently I looked very happy)
View of the temple from the Governor’s Palace side
The day ended with the consumption of mezcal (vodka made of agave), dancing (I only looked) to the accompaniment of songs originating in Russia 😦
The next day, Cristina again had dropped us off at the bus station, and we went to Valladolid, where Tony was waiting for us – our next CS host. But more about that in the next episode.