Walking through the main entrance of Chichen Itza (A Unesco World Heritage Site) we were immediately struck by enormity of the stepped pyramid of Kukulkan (El Castillo). Impressing us most was the deliberate nature of construction.
- Four sides with 91 steps plus one step at the top = 365 steps (Days in a year)
- Nine Terraces divided in two =18 (Months in Mayan Calendar).
- On the terraces there are 52 panels. 52 is the cycle in the Mayan calendar with religious and solar calendars converge. There are also 52 weeks in a year.
I found this temple so amazing, built about 2000 years after the great pyramids of Egypt, yet 1000 years before the arrival of the conquistadors. I remember visiting in 1994, and climbing to the top of this temple. The stairs were much steeper than they look, and at the very top people were resting taking in the vista. There was no climbing on this trip as it was closed to the public as of 2006 after someone fell and died.
The complex is massive. We walked the ball court stadium, through the temple of a thousand warriors, we walked in the observatory and contemplated the stars, looked into the sacred cenote and perused the nunnery as well as the alter of the jaguar.
Alyssa was hot and cranky, as was her grandmother. Most people, go to Chichen Itza for a day drip from Cancun. They cruise out in an air conditioned bus for two hours, three and half if they take the local bus (I took the local bus last time and it was a great way to see a slice of life you won’t see from a tour bus). We splurged for the night staying at the Mayan Bungalows.
Alyssa played while peacocks walked around her and we all caught a beautiful Mayan sunset.