Do you miss the surprises of traveling, matching wits against a novel situation? I do. In 2005, we learned a lot on our trip to the Yucatan Peninsula. In Mérida, I was researching articles for a translation. I’ll save that story for another Thursday. When my work was complete, we bought bus tickets for the Sunday Ruta Puuc bus tour from Mérida. (Ruta Puuc means Hilly Route) This is an inexpensive, convenient way to see several Maya ruins in the Yucatan. The more recent fee per person is approximately $12 US for the bus trip (8 am to 4 pm) and $24 US in cash for the entrance fees.
On the bus, we felt like we were seeing the sights with the seasoned travelers. We met people from Spain, Germany, Australia and Mexico. The bus stopped for 30 minutes at several sites along the Ruta Puuc. Today I’ll cover Sayil and Kabáh. These sites were built by the Maya civilization 1000 to 1400 years ago. Here are a few highlights:
Built around 800 BCE. It developed into a city of 10,000 people around the year 900 and was abandoned around the year 1000. Sayil is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
I think people were a bit shorter a millennia ago. I am around 5’8″ (172 cm).
Life in technicolor, or the vintage look?
On the second floor of the palace above where I’m standing as scale figure, you can see the Maya rain god Chaac who has a very large nose. A close up of him is on the header and footer of this post. To either side of him right and left are stylized corn plants sprouting (fertility). To the right of the face and corn are another series of small columns.
Built from 600 to 1000 BCE. Kabáh is now a Yucatán State Park. Below you will see sculptures waiting to be restored and placed on the façade of the building that Evan and I are standing in below. Each piece of stone fits above or below the circles that represent the eyes of Chaac. Good rain and good harvest were very important to the Maya. In their mythology, humans were made of corn.
What’s your favorite form of transportation when you travel?
Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco! I appreciate your comments and poetry challenge entries. ¡Olé! –Rebecca