Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Uxmal otra vez

Posted by Hippobean at 11:16 PM
Uxmal (you smell) was always the dark one. Chichén Itzá had white monuments. That was how I remember them. But Uxmal this time looked very clean as if they've restored the monuments. The first sight you saw upon entering the site was the back of el Adivino Pyramid with a mighty steep staircase. Legend has it that a dwarf, son of a witch, was challenged by the ruler to build the tallest monument overnight. The dwarf ran back to this mother for help and the next morning the people found him sleeping on top of the 35m height pyramid. Nice story. This step pyramid is unique because the sides are round. For me this is the most impressive mayan pyramid. 25 years ago I climbed to the top of this pyramid. As we rounded the pyramid to the front, another 60 degree staircase with images of chaac on both sides and at the top of the temple entrance. there were structures with corbel arches in front of the pyramid and further away the Nunnery Quadrangle with intricate pattern carvings and a serpent covering the entire building. Further up was the governor's palace with a jaguar altar in front. SmallLeo took many photos with his cousin jaguar. Last time I was able to climb el Adivino but this time it was blocked off. But the grand pyramid behind the governor's palace was climbable and so I did.

After Uxmal, Luis took us to have lunch at a restaurant that cooked the meat in a pit. Like in a hawaiian luau and camping in wadi rum. I had mixed meat, chicken and pork. The meat was tender as all meat cooked in the earth were. We also had the lime soup for the first time which was most tasteful. It was a very good meal. After that, a señor with a big sombrero came offering tequila pops and playing cucaracha.

After lunch we reached Mérida. Forrest kept saying Mérida was a big city. I dont really remember Mérida being a big city. In fact, last i was there, our local guide gave us some free time to explore on our own, and we decided not to stay as there wasnt much to see. Well not interesting to us anyway.

The Casa del Balam hotel was another colonial style hotel, perfectly located a few blocks from the main plaza which i remember quite well with cloister like arches in the buildings surrounding the square. The hotel courtyard had spanish tiles, terracota, carved stone arches and walled gardens. We were all put on the 5th floor with quite big rooms, colonial antiques, wrought iron accessories and marble floors, and overlooking the universidad and the theater. Towards the evening, we went to see the video mapping on the Francisco Montejo house which is now a bank. The video mapping was quite nice, mildly entertaining. Afterwards we dined at the cafe la Habanna which had very interesting regional menu with longanizas, panuchos and chochenitas. I've tried one not really knowing what they were. it was just so so. None of us bought any coffee there even though it was reputed to be very good. Tomorrow a free day in Mérida. Shopping and sight seeing. A slow day and looking forward to not do much and just chill.

Uxmal = The present name seems to derive from Oxmal, meaning "three times built". This seems to refer to the site's antiquity and the times it had to rebuild. The etymology is disputed; another possibility is Uchmal which means "what is to come, the future." By tradition, this was supposed to be an "invisible city," built in one night by the magic of the dwarf king. -wikipedia

Uxmal photos:



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