Va va Valladolid
Chichen Itza Travel Blog› entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
Jiyoung and I left Nashville at 6:30 in the morning and rolled up to Valladolid, Mexico at 7:30 that evening. In between were two flights (one with a two-hour delay), one 45 minute bus ride to Cancun, and one three hour ride to Valladolid. We chose Valladolid as our first base of operations due to its proximity to Chichen Itza and Coba, its numerous cenotes (underwater caves), and its more Mexican feel, far removed from the tourist hordes of Cancun. Being only 30 minutes away from Chichen Itza meant we'd be there an hour or two before the day trippers from Cancun and Cozumel and better able to soak up the ambience of the place before it was overrun.
Success on all accounts. We walked down to the bus station the next morning at 7, only to find the first bus didn't leave until 8. Hmm. We caught the 8 oâï¿½ï¿½clock bus and wound up at Chichen Itza before we knew it. Chichen Itza is the largest pre-Colombian Maya city on the Yucatan peninsula. It was granted UNESCO protection in 1988 and was voted one of the new 7 wonders of the world a couple of years ago.
I've been fascinated with the Maya since my first introduction in Guatemala in 2007 when I stayed with a wonderful Maya family for two weeks and made some great friends with my Maya coworkers at the hostel I worked at for another two weeks. I also visited the sites of Copan in Honduras and Tikal in Guatemala and was absolutely blown away by the ruins at those places.
Anyway, Jiyoung and I got to walk around the place fairly isolated, with maybe only a dozen other people being there at the time. Climbing up the pyramid is no longer allowed so we had to observe and admire from ground level, but it didnâï¿½ï¿½t take too much away from it. I wouldn't say the pyramid induces an immediate jaw-drop, but itâï¿½ï¿½s certainly not something to miss if you ever get the chance. The size and sophistication is truly intriguing, and once you get into the symbolism and the significance of certain architectural aspects, it becomes even more amazing. Truly a magnificent piece of construction, never mind the whole '1000 years old' thing. :D
Back to Valladolid after lunch and Jiyoung and I were going to hop on some bikes and find some cenotes! Woohoo.