|Yesterday we visited 3 art museums.....one dedicated to Picasso and the other two to local artists. There were many pieces we found interesting in all three. The museos themselves were as intriguing as the art. In the cultural center where Picasso reigned, there is a round courtyard with tall columns. The theater housed a local artist and the 3rd was in an arched shopping mall.
Today we left Merida early and drove to Uxmal (oochmal). This site is much smaller than Chichen Itza. We approached down limestone steps the Pyramid of the Magician. With the help of the pyramid's tempered steps we clapped and heard the quetzal call. This pyramid is actually 5 pyramids one on top of another. From the back each layer can be clearly picked out. The pyramid is oval-shaped rather than square as in Chichen Itza. It is decorated with images of Chaac , his square eyes, his large ears and his large hooked nose.
We saw a large cistern and smaller collecting cisterns that were in the shape of narrow necked urns...below ground. They collected rainwater
We walked around to the back of the Quadrangle of Birds. Carved into the facade are different kinds of birds...parrots, maccaws, hummingbirds, eagles etc. A courtyard divides it from the back of the Magician's Pyramid. A huge limestone cylinder stands in the center. It is the center of a sundial. On the solstices with the sun directly overhead, no shadow is seen.
From here we went to the Nunnery Quadrangle. Here too there is intricate carvings...of Chaac the rain god. X's, O's and corn symbols adorn many of the buildings. They were used as a school. Here the Mayan arch can be seen. Two handprints--red--are placed high up...a signature? A stella with hieroglyphics stands in the center of one side. Echos can be heard as on ceremonial days the priest would speak here.
From here the Ballcourt came next...the game ended when the ball went through the ring on the wall.
We climbed next to the palace for a view of the excavated site. We saw the partially excavated grand pyramid with its many steps from here. We noted the mask above the door of the palace which is of the last king.
We found Uxmal to be a smaller site with buildings closer together and far more intricately carved. Less has been excavated. Archeologists are still at work on this site too.
At 11a we said good-bye to our guide, grabbed a quick lunch and sped off down the highway heading beyond Campeche to Palenque. We passed numerous farms mainly with cattle, saw a sheared sheep farm, lots of fruit trees, spent corn fields and short palm trees. We passed through a town along the water. Pelicans sat on boats, along the wharves, everywhere. There were brown, white, white chested, white headed and brown chested pelicans. Fishing boats lined the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.
From here we went inland seeing more of the same. Maps Me said good-bye when the phone died. And we travelled on.....following signs and our map.
When we crossed into Chiapis there was a big inspection station but as we had nothing to declare ??? We continued on to Palenque.
In the distance we could see mountains. The temp has dropped a little. I don't think it is as humid.
We are at the Maya Hotel. It has a beautiful garden area with 3 pools in differing shapes and sizes. Gord has had a cold swim.
Dinner was okay...walked down the street. We have settled for the night.