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various ruins

Layer upon layer of history is evident everywhere in the Yucatan.

Ruined churchs and haciendas, out of all proportion to the extant villages, are a feature of almost every settlement in the Yucatan.

Roofless - but still in use.

The remnants of colonial grandeur persists in villages currently verging on total destitution. PRI, is a political party, the dominant political force for most of Mexico's post-revolutionary history.

A village street...

... and a typical village house.

Ancient ruins crumble forgotten outside villages... more than a convenient place to tether cows or to spend a lazy mid-afternoon sheltering from the sun...

...before moving on to the more famous Chichen Itza, which has been labelled, in a patently successful marketing ploy, as an eighth wonder of the world.

The main pyramid is indeed imposing but somehow reminiscent of a set of some 80s space movie and I find the site most remarkable for the number of trinket sellers present.

The giant ball court does, however, exert a certain fascination. Nobody really knows the rules of the ritual ball games practiced by the Mayans and Aztecs but it is thought that the ball was manipulated with only the hips, knees and shoulders of the players and that the losers of the match were ritually decapitated. The size of the 'goal,' some six metres from the ground make the task of scoring seem well nigh impossible.

The forest of pillars also intrigues me but I have no idea what it all means.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. javier | October 1, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink


    We don’t forget about you! Cool to see you made it to Cuba and that everything is going well. Further plans or is it better to let the trip decide by itself?

    Big hugs

  2. julie | October 5, 2010 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Hi Anna.

    Just caught up with your blog after a long long gap. Love the photos of colonial ruins – they always seem more picturesque and intriguing as abandoned and derelict ruins. The ball game is also intriguing and strange.

    Lots of love Julie

  3. John Varley | October 19, 2010 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Your foto of the ball court at Chichen Itza reminded me of my ‘favourite’ ugly yank story. I came across a family – college kids and middle aged parents – throwing rocks at the goal! Not at all worried about the damage so I threw rocks at them until they (quickly) desisted. No guards around. That outdid the young yank at Machu Picchu throwing stones at a young llama (or was it the other similarly looking animal that i get confused with?) to make it spit as he wanted a foto!

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