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Uxmal and Palenque


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large_938978_1368126312929.jpgThe nex day we set out a little early, about 6.30 am. Today we planned to go to Uxmal, another Maya site, this time in the jungle. This on the contrary to Chichén Itzá, which is a flat, nearly treeless site compared to this one. Also way more busy then this one because it is reasonably close to Cancún, and this one is a bit further away.

As said, Uxmal lies in the jungle. Because we arrived early, neary no one was here. and it was stil cool. As soon as the sun starts shining...hide ;) so the first thing you simply notice, is that it's green, trees everywhere. Also this site isn't completely excavated. Sometimes they even only did the fronts of some temples, and the back would still be covered in jungle. The guide told us that this was because the jugle preserves the buildings.large_938978_13681263021584.jpg ..so it wouldn't cost money on upkeep. Not the entire entrance fee goes to the specific site or a cultural fund, it's split up in different parts and only a little bit is used for the monuments.

Uxmal is a very decorated city/site compared to Chichén Itzá. The first temple you see is huge! It is called the Temple of the Magician or Temple of the Dwarf. The most well known legend is that when a certain gong was sounded, the town of Uxmal would fall to a boy "not born of woman". One day a dwarf boy, who had been raised from an egg by a witch, sounded the gong and struck fear into the ruler, who ordered him to be executed. The ruler promised that the boy’s life would be saved if he could perform three impossible tasks, one of which was to build a giant pyramid in a single night.large_938978_13681263089080.jpg The boy achieved all the tasks, and became the new ruler of Uxmal.

The next thing we saw was the Nunnery, or so it was named by the Spanish, it was probably a goverment building. Here you could see the very ornate decorations, the faces of the rain god Chac are really well preserved. There are different decorations above each of the four buildings.

From there on we walked to the ball court, it was like half the size of the one we saw earlier. The rings were gone as well, only the sides were standing. Straight ahead was the Governors Palace, this was a very well preserved building as well. The climb up was pretty steep, the steps are a bit comparable to those of the Great Wall, pretty high for steps. Certainly if you imagine that Mayan people werent very tall. Later on it was explained that the stairs were also used as benches. The view was gorgeous, especially when the sun came through as well. When we went on our way to the exit, we saw a lot of lizards, bathing in the sun.

Palenque would be the next stop, it was still a couple of hours driving though. We had lunch about halfway, close to the Gulf of Mexico. We arrived at our hotel in the late afternoon. Palenque is a colonial city as well, and named after the archeological site close by.

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Posted by Astreia 17:00 Archived in Mexico

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