El Castillo, the Temple of Kukulcan
We visited Chichén Itzá on a very warm day. The ruins were voted to be one of the New Wonders of the World along with the Christ Redeemer statue outside of Rio de Janiero, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, Petra in Jordan, the Roman Colosseum in Rome and the Taj Mahal.
Unlike our last visit there, the crowds began at 9 AM and all of the ruins are now roped off and can't be climbed. Last time, the only ruin that was off limits was El Castillo, since it was very steep and dangerous. I remember walking around on El Caracol, the observatory. There were many more vendors along all of the paths trying to get your attention, making our visit less enjoyable than before.
The ruins were still fascinating and Jim's great uncle's name is still fairly well known there. While walking around, we talked to a tourist guide about Jim's relative, Sylvanus Morley, and within minutes he told his friends that he had met a relation of the famous archaeologist. It was an interesting response, since Jim is not exactly a well known person in the United States. We were somewhat amused to have contributed to this man's day. He probably talked about Jim all day!
Quetzalcoatl, the snake, slithers down the side of El Castillo.
The stone hoop can be seen high up on the wall.
Tzompantli, the Platform of the Skulls Plataforma de los Craneos
Plataforma de Venus
Quetzalcoatl, the snake
El Osario, the Bonehouse or the Tumba del Gran Sacerdote (High Priest’s Grave)
El Caracol, the Observatory
Sylvanus Morley suggested framing the observatory between the doors of our hotel, the Mayaland (in my next Mexico post)
The Nunnery, Edificio de la Monjas
The Church, La Iglesia and it's many decorations
A red summer tanager