Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chichen Itza, the iron hat and the picture challenge

If you've been following my Instagram account you probably noticed that I recently traveled to the south of Mexico to check one of my dearest bucket list items: Chichén Itzá!

We spent beautiful sunny and busy days at Yucatan sightseeing and eating everything, from their chicken dishes to the famous Cochinita Pibil, drinking litters of lime water and visiting ALL the spots that we marked in our wish list: the colonial cities, the pyramids, the cenotes (natural pits or sinkholes resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath) and a beautiful beach.
Dzibilchaltun's Cenote

There are so many stories I could share about this trip but I think it will be fair if I summarize it in the following 3:

1) Chichén Itzá

If you recall the recent contest to define the new 7 wonders of the world you probably are familiar with the most popular image of Chichén Itzá that depicts the "Temple of Kukulkan" pyramid.

We could spent days talking about the Mayas and this magic place, which most popular event is the celebration of the spring equinox when there is a light-shadow effect in which the feathered serpent god appears be seen to crawl down the side of the pyramid.

This place is also famous because of its acoustics, one hand clap in front of the staircase of the El Castillo pyramid is followed by an echo that resembles the chirp of a quetzal, I was so amazed listening to the echo that I forgot I wanted to record it, but we went later to Uxmal which has the same acoustic effect, check the video below and you'll hear the quetzal right after the clap sound ends.

Finally I found enthralling to know that the place was just recently (2010) purchased by the Mexican government, it belonged for a long time to a US citizen and later to a Spanish guy, although it might seem weird the fact that the owner wasn't a Mexican for so long it actually helped this place to be kept safe during the Revolution and other social movements; not long ago was also  discovered that "El Castillo" was built on top of a cenote as there have been studies demonstrating the existence of water below the big structure which make it incredible to understand how a huge and robust construction like this can be so stable being build on a water base.

2) The iron hat

Paseo Montejo in Merida
We started this trip by flying to Merida, the capital city of Yucatan State,  also known as the "White City". Merida is very famous for its downtown, the weather, the food, the gentle people (their lovely  accent) and also their production of hats, in fact, locals are very proud to say that the biggest amount of Panama hats in the world is produced in Merida and their hats are very appreciated for being so well constructed that you won't be able to damage them even if they are crushed. You can actually place one of these hats inside your luggage and after a long trip you'll be amazed to see how it was not damaged at all.

Merida's Cathedral

I took this video to demonstrate how these hats can be manipulated without harm, and as you can tell the sales man was very amuse to perform the hat demonstration for the million and one time ha ha but he was very kind and I was extremely happy that I finally found a hat that fits my small head.

3) The picture challenge

Finallly I must confess that what I´ve enjoyed most about this trip was the companion (insert heart emoji here), but if you ask me for the next best thing I wouldn't hesitate in saying that it was the fact that there were so many beautiful places worth taking pictures, that I just couldn't stop clicking. Even before we get on the plane I remember telling my bf that I really really wanted to get a picture jumping on the main pyramid of Chichén Itzá (I have this thing with jumping), so if for some reason we could not take more pictures because of the crowds or if we got tired or were feeling heat exhaustion and needed to get back to the hotel I was OK, but I couldn't get back home without my jumping picture.

So here we are in Chichén, after our 2 hours guided tour, in a very hot day and somehow we couldn't find the right angle to get my picture, I jumped so many times that I considered that my cardio quota of the day was completed by then but we just couldn't make it right, finally, after 4000 attempts I got my picture and was ready to move on with the trip, I wasn't planning in telling this or showing the failed attempts but when my sister saw ALL the pictures just couldn't stop laughing so maybe is not that bad if we share these embarrassing moments for more people to enjoy (the people near us at Chichén just had a blast)

Spending the afternoon at Celestun
The truth is that the best pictures that we took in this trip were not posed at all, just like the one included above, but hey, If you feel like jumping don't let anything stoping you from doing it, you may regret it later.

Getting ready for a dive in Samula's cenote

I still feel like I could add more and more pictures so you can see all the amazing places that you must visit in this region, not only  Chichen Itza, but also been able to see the pyramids from the Ruta Puuc (Uxmal, Kabah, etc), to spend a nice day in the nearby beaches (Celestun, Sisal and Puerto Progreso), swim in the cenotes (Xkeken, Ik Kil, Dzibizaltun) or enjoy a city tour (Merida, Valladolid).

Ruins at Dzibilchaltun

You definitely need to come visit (and  I wouldn't mind getting back soon)

Swiming inside Xkeken's Cenote
Hope you´ve enjoyed this post, have a great day!


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