We were scheduled to leave for our 7 hour journey to Copan
at 5:00AM. I met everyone in the lobby and we loaded our packs onto the van. Everyone was really tired and pretty much slept through the windy and bumpy trip. We stopped at a small restaurant for some breakfast and a break before continuing our journey to Copan. After about an hour more we reached the Guatemala/Honduras border. We gave our passports to our tour leader and she went to the border office and took care of everything. There were a bunch of people at the border offering to exchange money, a few people tried to get rid of their Quetzales for the best rate they could negotiate.
Our guide pointing out the reconstructed sections
We finally arrived in Copan and checked into our hotel. We dropped off our things and cleaned up a bit before heading over to the bank to exchange some Limpiras. There were crazy security guards situated in front of every bank carrying shot guns. They only let a few people enter the bank at a time. After the bank, we headed over to Picama for some lunch. It was a small quaint restaurant that had really good fruit juice concoctions and food.
After lunch, a few of us walked over to the Copan Ruins, where we hired a guide to show us around. Our guide was really good, full of information and plenty of cheesy jokes. This was my first Mayan ruin experience so I was pretty excited. I had a great time exploring the ruins and wasn't overwhelmed with information.
We hiked over to the Acropolis first, which was the highest temple of the Copan ruins and where the King and Royalty once stayed. The temple reminded me of the Egyptian pyramids, very similar in design. We continued along the path and had an overlooking view of the Cemetery Group, which was once the residential complex for the ruling elite. The Hieroglyphic Stairway was probably the most impressive. It is the longest known Maya hieroglyphic stairway, made up of 27 stone steps with about 2,200 glyph blocks. Next we moved onto the I-shaped ball court, which is dedicated to the great Macaw deity. There are 3 beautiful sculpted Macaws positioned around the ball court. After exploring the Copan Ruins, I decided to check out the Museum of Mayan Sculpture.
There were several original artifacts and replicas on display. The main replica to see at the museum was the Rosalila temple. The real temple is located beneath Temple 16 and can be entered through a short tunnel for an admission price of $12. I would have liked to have seen the original temple, but I didn't want to walk through the tunnel by myself. Besides the replica shows how the temple once looked in it's full glory. Decorated beautifully with several colors, mimicking the colors of the macaw. The museum itself is pretty small, with 2 levels of artifacts. It was closing time so I tried to appreciate as many artifacts as I could before having to leave the museum.
I returned back to the hotel, where I met the rest of the group for a meeting. It turned out that the President of Honduras was arrested today for trying to change the constitution to extend his presidency. This major event caused several protests and road closures, beginning the military coup in Honduras. This meant that we may or may not be able to continue our scheduled trip to Utila Bay and the rest of Honduras. The new plan was to stay an extra day in Copan and see if the buses would run again tomorrow.