Ready for a mini history lesson?
The literal translation of “Chichen Itza” is
way out in the jungle where it is sweltering “at the mouth of the well of Itza” . Did you know that it’s now one of the Seven Wonders of the World? I’m assuming that that is in part because it’s one of the most important Mayan culture archaeological sites in Mexico. And it’s absolutely amazing. Even if most of the visitors during the summer almost pass out from heat exhaustion. Or maybe that’s just me?
This is the restored side of the Pyramid of Kukulcan, which is the focal point of the ruins and is 75 feet high. The pyramid has a square base with steps (now closed to the public) that lead to the top.
This side has not been restored. The pyramid was built for astronomical purposes and during the vernal equinox (March 20) and the autumnal equinox (September 21) the sunlight bathes the western balustrade of the pyramid’s main stairway. This causes seven (isosceles triangles if you want to be precise) triangles to form imitating the body of a serpent. The body creeps downwards until it joins the huge serpent’s head carved in stone at the bottom of the stairway. See the head below? Not my head. The serpent heads.
Proof that I was there, trying to catch every square inch of shade I could find.
This is inside the Great Ball Court. See the “hoop” upon the wall? The captain of the victors team “got” to be sacrificed. Sounds like a fun game to me. No stress, right?