Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chichen Itza

On our last full day in Mexico, we traveled by bus to Chichen Itza...
(the kids in front of "El Castillo")

I have to say that it was amazing to see. You truly are just in awe of this civilization that established this city around 1,000 years ago.

Here is a shot of one of the hoops from the ball court...
another part of the ball court....
In the information about the ball court that I linked to above, it mentions how sound travels through the court. Our tour group tried it.... and it works. Simply amazing.

Here's Alex in front of something (perhaps a time where a shallow depth of field was not a good idea :-) ....
The observatory....
(the information above references that you can go into most of the ruins.... this is no longer true)

The nunnery...
Aren't the carvings amazing?

The backside of the ball court....
The temple of the warriors (back) and the snake on El Castillo (front right)....
The top of El Castillo....
El Castillo was pretty amazing itself. Did you know that it has exactly 365 steps? 91 on each side and one more into the doorway at the top.

Also.... if you clap in front of the pyramid...

the echo comes back as a birdlike noise. Alex was obsessed with this and tried it a bunch of times.

The place was absolutely incredible. I just wish that we hadn't been so hot and tired so we could have seen more of it. Perhaps being back here in Chicago has turned me into a heat wimp! :-)

Oh... before we left for the trip I had checked out a bunch of books about the Mayas from the library. I had intended to read them together for school.... but we ran out of time. Alex ended up reading most of them himself at bedtime so he was well prepped for the trip. Also, we were on the upgraded tour so our bus had tv screens.... on the way to the site they showed us a National Geographic special about the Mayas which was great.... it wasn't specifically about Chichen Itza but it had lots of good background information. Alex used his spending money to purchase a book about the Mayas and read it cover to cover in a couple of days. It was a comic book style book.... I'll have to look through it myself.

2 comments:

Jocelyne said...

All of your travel photos are making me itch for our vacation! We are heading to Victoria Canada very soon for about 10-days. I have been wanting to go there for years and I am so excited :)

Alycia in Va. said...

Thanks for sharing your pics. What a great learning experience, I didn't even know that there's an echo when clapping in front of a pyramid. Makes sense though...