Chichen Itza

Trip Start Jul 09, 2012
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Trip End Jul 23, 2012


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Flag of Mexico  , Yucatan Peninsula,
Saturday, July 21, 2012

Today had to be the day I was most looking forward to on this trip.  Today would be the day that I would visit the final Wonder of the World!!

The day began when I awoke at 6 to be ready to leave the hostel at 7AM.  I met up with two new friends from South Korea and France.  By 7:40AM we were concerned that our ride hadn't showed.  When it did we were relieved, but just for a moment for as quickly as we boarded the van we were then kicked off.  Apparently the hostel couldn't find the money we had paid so they could then pay for our tour on our behalf.  On top of that, the only hostel worker could not speak spanish and he couldn't contact the owner.  Our van left without us.  Five minutes later a co-owner pulled in and we finally convinced him to drive us to the meeting point.  We hopped into his jalopy of a car and we were on our way...for a minute.  Then he decided to stop for gas.  Ok, so then we were on our way.  We arrived to the meeting point 20 minutes later only to find that the bus was fully loaded and ready to pull away.  We quickly got on board and left on a 2 hour ride.  I had the chance to talk with my new friends and we met another guy from Italy.

Our first stop was at a cenote.  It was beautiful but unfortunately it was a commercial area with loads of people getting on and off buses.  It wasn't nearly as inviting as the cenote I visited a couple of days earlier.  I opted for a few Mexican beers instead.
  






















 

Back on the bus and our next stop was for lunch.  We enjoyed an overabundance of tequila tastings.


Around 2:30 or 3PM we arrived at Chichen Itza...finally!!  I was so overcome with joy and accomplishment to now have officially visited all seven of the New Wonders of the World.  But the visit was bittersweet because although the ruins were fantastic, they made a confusing decision to allow vendors in the park.  It took so much away to be bombarded by shady sellers while trying to enjoy one of the Wonders of the World.  On top of that, because we waited until the end of the day there was another obstacle.  Our guide gave us until 5:10PM before we needed to get back to the bus, but most of the ruins closed at 4:30 so we lost out on some time to look around.


Occupation of Chichen Itza began in 150BC and reached its zenith in 987 AD as a capital of the Itzaes.  Chichen Itza came to an end about 1200 AD.

The most impressive structure was the Pyramid of Kukulkan.  The pyramid is 24 meters tall with four staircases each with 91 steps.  If you add those steps plus the platform on top it euqlas 365; symbolic of the Mayan calendar.


I also enjoyed visiting the famous ball court.  It was 168 meters long and 70 meters wide.  At the center of the two walls were the stone rings.  The Ball Court was built during the Maya-Toltec period.  The object of the game was to move the ball from one side to the other without it being stopped.


Other sites visited included the cenote, Temple of Jaguars, Platform of the Eagle and Jaguars, Temple of Warriors, the Market and Group of Thousand Columns.


After a long bus ride back we arrived at the hostel at 8:30PM.  I was surprised to find Matt and Luz having a drink next door as they waited for me to get back.  I checked out of the hostel and they drove me to my new hotel, Temptations.  I took an incredibly quick shower and then the three of us went for dinner and drinks.


Going to bed was a sweet experience to finally have a comfortable bed without 12 other roommates.


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