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Rhymes with chicken pizza!

Chichen Itza, by Mirren

sunny 30 °C

We checked into the hotel on the grounds of Chichen Itza but the site was closed to visitors for the night. Instead we got to go swimming in the hotel pool. I was cool with that! The hotel was really fancy and the huge breakfast the next morning was delicious. Here is the view of the Observatory at Chichen Itza from the window in our room:

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The gates near our hotel opened early so we got to the ruins before any tour buses and had the whole place practically to ourselves. We made sure we had our sun hats, water to drink and our camera and went to meet our guide. Barrio has been a guide at archaeological sites all over Central America for the last 25 years and he told us all about the Mayans. Their human sacrifices, war strategies, ball games, calendar, religious beliefs and their building techniques. Only 4% of Chichen Itza has been excavated. The other 96% is still covered by the jungle.

The main pyramid was built so that on Solstice (longest day or shortest day) and Equinox (same length of day and night) the sun casts a shadow that makes it look like there are snakes crawling up and down the sides. There are four main sacred themes that were repeated on a lot of carvings on the buildings: jaguar (nighttime sky), eagle (daytime sky), snake (Mother Earth) and mask (mankind). At one special spot outside of the main pyramid we could clap and the echo sounded like an eagle's cry. It was pretty amazing!

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The ball court was a bit like a quidditch pitch. And all the snake carvings made us think of Harry Potter! Very cool!!

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By 10 am it was too hot in the sun for us and it was starting to get busy so we headed back for another swim in the pool!

Posted by Salsa Sojourns 09:00 Archived in Mexico Tagged ruins

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