The pyramids of San Juan Teotihuacan

San Juan Teotihuacan Travel Blog

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A miniature recreation of a monolithic Olmec Head dating back to Columbian times

And so, I had this whole European flavoured theme going on since I got to Mexico, I was almost convinced that that was the history of Mexico - strong cultural Spanish influence. But I guess what even the Spanish didn't realise when they invaded Mexico 300 years ago, is that there was a far older culture, far stronger culture and a culture which would continue to live on, and actually get larger than life - the Aztecs. It's surprising that a lot of us forget that this is the Mexico that historians and archeologists have wondered at, and tried to make sense of, and still not succeeded.

And when you hear the word "historic", you know what that means - tourism! Almost every travel resource tells you to visit this place. Coming to Mexico City and not visiting the Pyramids is like going to Cairo, Egypt and not visiting the Pyramids! So I naturally booked the tour which usually clubs this as well as the city's flagship Church (more in the next blog entry).

Forgot the name of this special stone!
We started off around 1030am, the drive was about 30 minutes and as one would expect, we started off the day with a pitstop at a cheesy tourist store and demo of some special stone. Sadly, I don't remember what stones they were, but they actually had one of the last few living Aztec dogs (??). It looks like a stray dog actually - no hair, skinny, the Paris Hilton of dogs if you get my drift. Only imagine Paris not showering for 2 months in a row. Anyway, we spent about 1 hr in here - everything was very very pricey. Some nice things though were free shots (samples) of almond tequilla. I met a nice German/Swiss couple and spent time with them.

We went to the Pyramids only around noon and it was fairly hot today. This area reminded me so much of the Pyramids of Giza - and not just because of the pyramids but also because of the numerous tourist and ice cream shops along the way.

More artifacts...
Our guide showed us the various jaguar drawings, and the geometric shapes on the pillars. The advancement of science seemed so Egypt again.

From here, we went to the Pyramid of the Moon. Teotihuacan was a city of about 200,000 inhabitants and at one point was the epicentre of commerce and culture for the ancient Mesoamerica. The Aztecs believed that the Gods created the universe here, which is what Teotihuacan means ("places where Gods were born"). The Pyramid of the Moon, one such exhibit faces the north end of the Avenue of the Dead. This place is overly crowded, and not in a nice way. Tons of people, even more than the Pyramids of Giza.

From here, the Pyramid of the Sun: This is the world's 3rd largest pyramid, the other 2 being the one I saw at Cholula and the Pyramid of Cheops I saw in Egypt last year.

Loved the colours
However, the Pyramid of the Sun, unlike the Cheops wasn't built as a tomb but as a protective structure for sacred caves, which today is closed to the public. They allow you to get to the top of the Pyramid which is what I did.

We left around 2pm, and had lunch at a nearby hotel. Obvious tourist trap. So bloody touristy they actually have separate menus for locals and the more expensive ones for the foreigners! But food was good, can't complain. Only annoying thing in Mexico is when you go to these kind of fancy resnts, you end up getting the noisy Mariarchi bands blaring the guitar into your ears. They not only play awful but expect you to tip them as well. *rolls eyes*. Talk about a misplaced sense of self importance!

From here to another of Mexico City's most popular Church and a symbol that means a lot to every Mexican...

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A miniature recreation of a monoli…
A miniature recreation of a monol…
Forgot the name of this special st…
Forgot the name of this special s…
More artifacts...
More artifacts...
Loved the colours
Loved the colours
Jaguar drawings
Jaguar drawings
Pyramid of the Moon taken from the…
Pyramid of the Moon taken from th…
The Pyramid of the Moon
The Pyramid of the Moon
The Pyramid of the Sun
The Pyramid of the Sun
From atop the Pyramid of the Sun
From atop the Pyramid of the Sun
Nice view of the Pyramid of the Mo…
Nice view of the Pyramid of the M…
Close up shot of the Pyramid of th…
Close up shot of the Pyramid of t…
Rsnt nearby
Rsnt nearby
A Mariarchi band playing requests
A Mariarchi band playing requests
San Juan Teotihuacan
photo by: boicot