Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pictures of Mexico!

Here is one of the largest cenotes in Mexico. When the meteor struck in the Gulf of Mexico that killed the dinosaurs, it fractured the layers of limestone that make up the land that Mexico sits on. The result was that Mexico has no over-land rivers. All of the water flows just under the ground and pools up in sinkholes and caves all over the place. This cenote is a large sinkhole where tourists can go down to the water and even swim if they want to.

After visiting the cenote, we all went to Chichen Itza. It is one of the "New 7 Wonders of the World". When the Mayan civilization was at its peak, Chichen Itza was a great temple where worship of the various gods took place.

Here is the ballcourt where the Mayans would play to the death with their enemies. There were no wars in their culture. If one group had a beef to pick with another group they would challenge them to a game of ball. The losers would be sacrificed to the gods after the game was over. The game was played with a rubber ball and the players had to hit the ball with their hips or elbows into the hoop on top of the wall. The ballcourt at Chichen Itza is the largest of all Mayan ballcourts.

Here is a statue of a jaguar. Jaguars are sacred to the Mayans.

Here is a face that was on the corner of one of the buildings at Chichen Itza.

At the end of our stay in Mexico this year, we went to Xcaret. It is a Mexican theme park. There was an aquarium with sea turtles, dolphins, and manatees. There was an orchid farm. Tom and I swam through the underground caves. There was also a Mayan village. The picture is of some graves from the graveyard in the Mayan village. The graves were very ornate and each one told a story about the person buried there. At night there was a show in this huge outdoor amphitheater. The show was about the history of Mexico starting with the Mayans and ending with the Spanish colonization. The second half of the show was different dancing and songs from the different regions of Mexico. It was very cool!!

Here is the view from our room this year at the El Dorado Royale. It was very nice!

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