Day tripping.... Chichen Itza & more!March 5, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C
Today we visited Chichén Itzá, another one of Yucatán's incredible Mayan ruins. It's one of the largest, and arguably most famous, ancient cities. The site is absolutely huge! In our 2 hour visit we probably only managed to see about 10 percent of the massive 26km squared complex but what we did see was truly amazing.
We started the day at a nearby cenote. These are underground lakes where the waters are usually really clear and ice cold ❄☃️ due to the lack of exposure from the surface. This one was particularly popular and full of tourists but it was still pretty cool to swim in it and bask in the thin beam of sunlight that shone through a hole in the roof of the cave.
Afterwards we headed to the ruins where we had a guided tour of the archaeological site. The main square is dominated by the famous Temple of KuKulcan, named after one of the most worshipped Gods in the Mayan religion. The temple itself is incredibly impressive but it became even more so after our guide explained a few of the architectural features. The entire temple is orientated in such a way that around the summer and winter solstices a shadow is cast across the stairs that gives the appearance of a snake (a symbol of Kukulcan) moving up or down the staircases. Also the stairs themselves are built smaller at the bottom and larger towards the top, removing the natural perspective so all the steps look the same size, it's quite weird 😂 This also creates a strange echo, when you clap at the bottom of the stairs the echo it creates is a high pitched squawk that sounds like a bird! More strange acoustic engineering is apparent in the Great ball court, a 150m long stadium where the Mayans played literal life-or-death ball games in which the captain of the losers (or winners? Depends on who you ask) was sacrificed to the gods! The walls of the stadium are angled inwards so that even in such an open space the sound carries all the way across the court. Our guide demonstrated this by walking away from us while talking, we could still hear him clearly all the way at the other side!
I could write pages and pages about this incredible site, there's just so much facinating history in each building, but I've gone on for long enough already so I'll just end it here 😂Read more