Two months in Mexico travel blog

Yucatan dancers. Free show in Plaza in Merida

second part of the dancers

dancers in plaza

sorry this is dark, the flash didn't go far enough.

dancers wearing native huipil dresses all hand embroidered called 'terno' for fancy...

two couples that agreed to have me photo them in exchange for...

Dzibilchaltun pyramid site north of Merida

sculptures in museum garden Made in sections and assembled. look like ball...

platform with stelle on it, temple of dolls in background

site was dry and sparse, kinda shabby, but the buildings were nice.

This is called the temple of the dolls because 7 small doll...

looking from the top of the temple of dolls back across the...

inside temple of dolls looking up at ceiling peak

looking from out the back door steps through the temple down the...

tree trunk ceiling rafters to give stability to roof. note window may...

outcrop of stones is second layer built on top of this temple.

view from temple platform looking at section with rooms for meditation

figure carving on top of door lintel. looks like he is holding...

walking down the raised road to west temples stood this platform with...

the platforms behind the round one were all in a row with...

back of chapel built in the middle of the temple plaza by...

front of chapel. There was a grass roof built in front to...

niches for saints and doors for priest entrances

inside chapel with doorway that enters the side room.

arched doorway on the other side of the front of chapel

looking at the chapel from the far side of the plaza. This...

building on the far side of the plaza looking from the chapel

looking down into a passage way in the building on the far...

closer view of passageway

whole tree of guavas. Not ripe enough to eat. Tried one it...

sacred cenote with clean fresh water next to temple buildings

looking down from the temple at the cenote with the waterlilies

swimmers enjoying the water. Looked great, but not for me.

on top of the temple looking down into the rooms below

tree with big puff balls of cotton looking stuff coming out of...

at the museum area is this mayan house on display

rock base and sticks stuffed from the inside with moss or adobe

this is the salt flats close to Progresso where the salt was...

the coast looking toward the south

this small town is south of Progresso about 5 miles

the shore line and the edge of the Caribbean sea. Took pic,...

took another pic and see the shell on the beach, picked it...


Merida and ancient site of Dzibilchatun:

I arrived in Merida this Thursday afternoon the 25th. I went from quaint, pristine and refreshing in Campeche to dirty, smelly, crowded, neglected, un-repaired and old peeling paint and downright nasty city of Merida. What a shock. I wasn't expecting this mess. (Most of it was in the downtown area and I did find some cleaner areas on the outskirts of town). I had in mind a cute colonial town like Campeche turned out to be. No way. A taxi took me to the Delores Alba hotel. Not much on the outside but the interior had a huge courtyard and my room was comfortable. I checked in and took a refreshing shower. After that I walked up the crowded streets to the place where I was going to rent the VW from mexicorentacar.com and met the Alvaro Alonzo family. They had been so nice on the Internet with tips and info and I found them as charming in person. I was due to pick up the rental car tomorrow morning to use for the next 30 days. I just introduced my self and continued walking up to the museum here in town. It was another ten blocks. Thank goodness they were short blocks. In the middle of this dirt and grim it stood out in grand marble splendor. It used to be a governors palace, hence the fancy architecture. The staircase alone was carved out of huge pieces of marble. Amazing. It was a great museum that had super pieces from Chichen Itza and other Yucatan sites. The whole museum had great displays with backdrops done in hand painted Mayan designs. Of course, no pictures, so I was reduced to buying a couple of books. After I walked back to the plaza area it was time to go to a dance exhibition in the plaza that the Alvaro family told me about.

I took some pictures of the Folk dancers of the Yucatan with their fancy dresses. While I was in the plaza I looked around for some food. Sure enough right on the corner was a stand that was making hot dogs. He was doing a real brisk business. I looked at the food, which was fresh and hot. I decided it was safe and had one. It was pretty good and hit the spot. After the dancing show was over I walked back to the hotel and called it a night. Some of the streets I walked on were bus routes. The diesel smell was over whelming on the narrow streets and was so overpowering I was gagging. The fumes didn't reach over the tops of the building to clear the air, but hung about nose high. Besides that there were some very strange smells that lurked down some of the street drains that make one wonder if they were alive and would come up and grab you. That made for a very negative impression of downtown Merida.

The next morning I went to pick up the rental car from the rental car family. I was all set to go to see the ancient site of Dzibilchatun located just east of Merida. After some directions on the map I was ready to take off. The drive was smooth and I didn't have any trouble finding the way. The site was set in a dry dusty, parched area of the Yucatan lowlands. Not far from the sea, but drier than a bone. It wasn't well kept and had trash in the bushes. I made my way through the outside museum area on my way to the main site. There were three statues of the ball players complete with the stone yoke around their waist. The site was big and I walked and walked. There were many interesting temples and buildings. The pictures show most of it. On the way back to the entrance was another museum section that had a Mayan house and showed how it would have been furnished in the past. Inside the regular museum building had nice displays of the Yucatan cultures from past to present showing the regional clothing. I bought a couple of things from the gift shop and made my way up the road to the beach at Progresso. That wasn't worth more than a couple of pictures. The sea was rough and the sand gritty. I did however kick up a couple of big conch shells, that I promptly scooped up and took with me. I drove back to town and wandered around the plaza. They had many fine artists showing their wares. I bought a wonderful feather picture of a Mayan figure with a feather headdress framed under glass. I found the shops interesting and full of nice crafts, clothing and knick-knacks. One shop had some wonderful batik cloths. I searched the huge piles and finally found a wonderful piece with the figure of Pacal standing on the Earth Monster holding an image of Izamma. It was very well done. The salesman spoke enough English to badger me to death and after telling me the piece cost 100.00. I told him no. We hemmed and hawed around for a while and when I turned to leave he told me 50.00 and the purchase came with a free plastic bag. I really wanted the piece so I said ok; can't beat a deal like that. (Including the free plastic bag.) I found some T-shirts, a couple of soft muslin fabric pants and some embroidered outfits. I also found an outfit with a feathered serpent done with a batik design on the pants and T-shirt. Snapped that one right up. Merida may have stunk but the crafts, clothes and art goods were wonderful. That includes the bookstores and nice restaurants. More later, Gay



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