Friday, December 11, 2015

Uxmal

Visiting the ruins of Uxmal was one of the best things we did while in Yucatán! It was a short 2-3 hour ride (I've forgotten now) from a quaint bus station (that's the nice way to say that it wasn't quite modern, LOL). But, most importantly, the buses had AC! 

Anyhow, the bus made a quick stop by a small road that led to the ruins, for us travellers who were too stingy to fork out loads of cash for a private tour or who couldn't rent a car (I didn't have my driving licence yet). And we proceeded to enter some of the most beautiful ruins I've ever seen...



This is a UNESCO heritage site, and is over thousand years old. Just so you know. The pyramid you see above and below? That's the Magician's Pyramid. If you've been to Aztec ruins, you immediately notice this Maya ruin is indeed completely different! So elegant! I was flipping with with the curved sides, they were gorgeous!



From there on, it was just a half-day full of admiration for the Mayan sense of harmony, for their artistry, and for how much it diverged from the ruins we see in the centre of the country. I mean, look at all the details! 



We spent a lot of time at the Nunnery Quadrangle, looking at the intricate designs on the walls, appreciating the geometry of the place and its alignment with the rest of the site's buildings...





Remember my post on Méridas architecture? I'm probably wrong, but one of the churches I posted (the white one) seemed like it had to have been inspired by this design at the House of the Doves!



Then, there were the majestic views from atop the Great Pyramid (the only one you're allowed to climb)...




Plus a healthy population of iguanas! Some of them feasting on the yellow flowers of the local trees!



There was the Governor's Palace too. Beautiful, and with more views from its terrace...






And some orchid-like (were they really orchids?) by one of the sides of the Magician's Pyramid, where we ended our tour.



Afterwards we headed to a nearby restaurant for some food (we were famished!), which included lime soup and a crazy thing called queso relleno (stuffed cheese), which is basically a Gouda-like ball of cheese stuffed with minced pork, almonds, capers... lathered in a white wheat sauce, served with banana peppers... It's probably the craziest dish I tried while in Yucatán! And my favourite!

The way home involved waiting for the bus - which had no clear fixed schedule - by the side of the road for about an hour, But at least we got to experience some delicious light showers. You know, like, it's sunny all around, then you feel this lightest of rains in just a tiny area, it lasts a few minutes, and then it stops! I loved it!

I know Chichén Itzá is a gazillion times more famous. And it is indeed very impressive. But Uxmal is beautiful. It's elegant. It's a true delight. Plus, it's lesser fame means there are far less people around. I'm so glad we chose to visit!

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