February 19, 2003
Today we visit Chichen Itza. It is about a 3 hour bus ride from the ship. After about 2 hours we stop for 30 minutes at a tourist trap to allow us to use a restroom and to spend some money. We then continue on to Chichen Itsa. We stop at a restaurant for lunch (included with the trip) and then go to Chichen Itsa (about 5 minutes from the restaurant).
The restaurant grounds are nice. Here are a few photos of the restaurant grounds.
The small chapel in the middle is undergoing restoration. Pat can be seen in the last picture.
And now Chichen Itsa.
As we enter the grounds, we see a reptile. Photo opportunity!!
The famous pyramid temple of the Mayans. As I recall, the north and west sides have been restored. The east and south sides have not been restored. The temple has 91 steps. The steps are shallow and the climb is steep. Human sacrifice was practiced at the summit. Pat can be seen in the last photo. There is a second temple inside this one. It has 61 steps to its top.
The Warriors temple with the thousand columns (actually only 260 columns).
And still another ruin.
On our way to the well. Captives and virgins were sacrificed at this site. Artifacts have been recovered from the water.
In the second photo below, our guide Luigi can be seen pointing out an interesting carving on the stone. It seemed like all the stones had carvings on them. Many are weathered and it is difficult to see the carving.
The ball field. It appears to be about the size of a football field. As an incentive to play well, the captain of the losing team was sacrificed. At one end of the field there is a temple. I wish I had gotten a closer look at it. There was at least one individual meditating (praying?) in front of the temple.
This is an amazing site. It would be nice to visit this site again once more of the ruins are open to the public.
On to Cozemel
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Mike & Pat