Monday, November 21, 2011

Ancient Ruins

Okay before we start, I'm just gonna warn you of the picture overdose you're about to experience.  While in Cancun we went to the sites of several ancient ruins.  With the information the tour guide gave us the sites were fascinating and in gorgeous locations.  Our cameras were snapping nonstop.  
Without all the incredible information of our wonderful tour guide Helaman,  they probably won't look like much to you.  Get ready to see a bunch of rocks, crumbling old buildings, and the same four people in all of the least I'm warning you first right? 

Chichen Itza was really cool.  It was huge with several large ruins.  The main one you used to be able to climb, but not anymore.  I would have loved to climb all those stairs!
This was one day I didn't mind the overcast skies and the wind to keep us a little cooler as we walked outside all day from site to site.

There was nothing about the construction of any of these buildings that was done on a whim of just because someone fancied it.  There was symbolism and meaning behind all of it.
On the top floor of the building behind us in the very center you see a small almost u shaped altar.  This is where they placed human hearts as an offering of sacrifice to their Gods.  They did not take the saying of a broken heart and a contrite spirit lightly back then.
Every detail from the number of stairs, the exact placement of of the windows, and how many of each, represented their calendar and the significance of dates, times and seasons and how all of it related back to a higher being.
I was in awe as we saw this temple that was being renovated.  The archaeologists were putting this back together piece by piece, stone by massive stone, like the most complicated puzzle I have ever seen.  I was truly awe struck
As new leadership came or one group of people conquered another the Mayans would build above and over the existing temples. I couldn't believe that the Mexican government hadn't even dug down to see just how much more building was still in tact below.  It was fascinating.
It was amazing to me to see how so much of what the ancient Mayans believed in resembled what I know to be true, but yet they had twisted it just enough that it changed the meaning of it all.
The grounds were beautiful as we walked along, but most of the paths weren't empty like this one but full of vendors selling every cheap souvenir you could imagine.  Well, except for the one Jeremy took home to remind him of his one true love...or was that just because he couldn't say no to the guy following us around?  The street vendors everywhere could see Jeremy's big heart from a mile away!
I am always one to appreciate the little details. Probably because I lack the patience to do them myself I am always especially interested in the work that comes from someone else taking that time.  The stone carvings were everywhere in these giant structures and I couldn't believe the details in them.
Helaman gave us a little time to wander on our own a take a few pictures and hit the vendors before we moved on to lunch!
After an interesting buffet and an hour and a half drive we arrived at Tulum.  The location on the beach was gorgeous!!
The ruins here were much smaller but seemed to me, more personal.
And while the shapes and sizes were different from the ruins at Chichen Itza, the components of the structures were the same.  

This seemed more like a little village though with the residences for the various priests and the walls of the city being more visible.

The beach on the back side of Tulum was somewhere I wished I had some sun and some time for!
It looked like something from a post card!
Here we are in the last group shot of the day with Helaman joining us.  He was a wealth of information and did a fabulous job of making the history and stories come alive for us!  It was a long day with over  6 hours of driving and almost as many spent walking, but it was one we were all grateful we had taken the time for.


Tawna said...

Jen! I love it! Both of those places were among the ruins we visited when I was down in the Yucatan. Tulum was awesome because we had and LDS guide. Coba was probably my favorite. But they are all amazing! (The beach at Tulum was perfect, and I'm sad you missed swimmin' in it.) I have pictures taken from some of the exact same places you do here. (The one of the details in the carving looks exactly like the one I took of that same thing! haha.) Love that you guys got to see this!

caligirl said...

Thanks for the post. I loved reliving our awesome trip:-). I didn't even mind seeing the same 4 people in all of the pictures!!!