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To the ruins of Copán!


View Mexico-Guatemala-sidetrip Honduras on Astreia's travel map.

It was early...4 am. We left for Honduras, and because we had to go through Guatemala City, which is one big drama at rush hour, we had to leave very early. We had breakfast somewhere along the way, after we passed Guatemala City. After passing the border it was still about an hour drive. We arrived at the site around 9.00 am.

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Copán is very beautiful. It's not as big as other Maya cities, but an important one. There are a lot of hieroglyphics that tell much about the history of the city and who ruledand lived there. There was also supposed to be many written documents, but unfortunately the Spanish invaders burnt all of it. Besides that the Copán River that ran close to it (and has been moved to run around Copán now) destroyed quite a few places of the city by erosion.large_938978_1368303508390.jpg

What is different about this site is that it has stelae, we never saw it anywhere else. Each one was also decorated with hieroglyphs ont the side and it was decorated at the back.

Altar Q, as it is called, is a famous monument on the site. It depicts the 16 rulers of Copán, each one connected to the previous rule, the 16th one connected to the first. It is believed that the 13th ruler, 18 Rabbit, was the greatest ruler of Copán, based on the number of structures and monuments constructed during his reign.

Next there is the Ball Court. This is different from the other ones as wel. It doesn't have rings, but heads of macaws on the sides, three on each side, and is smaller then the others and has slopes near the walls, not straight walls. The most special about this site is the hieroglyphic stairway. It is a big stairway completely full with hieroglyphs and statues, that's why it is a very important part for archeologsts. In front of the stairway is the stela of the 15th ruler of Copán.

We also saw real macaws there. They also have a breeding program, to build up the macaw population again.

It was very hot though, like 37 degrees celsius at around 11 am. So if you go there, go as early as possible if you can. It's probably more enjoyable if you don't have the feeling you're melting on the spot ;)

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Posted by Astreia 17:00 Archived in Guatemala

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