Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico December 13, 2023
I was awakened at 5 when traffic picked up. It was none too early as I had to leave at 6:30 to catch a 7 a.m. collectivo. How lucky am I? I got the last spot!
In no time we were on our way and I visited with a man from the U.K. whom I later learned is named Julian. We got to Chichén Itzá at 7:20 and it doesn’t open until 8. Julian and I were second in line and soon we were in.
The first thing you see is the Kukulkan Temple, also known as El Castillo (the castle). It’s dedicated to Kukulkan the feathered serpent god-
The Great Ball Court is where Pok Ta Pok was played. It measures 229 feet wide and 551 feet long which makes it the longest playing field in Mesoamerica-
The side walls are 39 feet high and the hoops are 26 feet off the ground-
They played with a rubber ball that could have weighed up to 4 kg. To score, the ball couldn’t touch the ground, nor could players use their hands or feet. Sounds pretty much impossible to me which is maybe why the stands are decorated with beheaded players as well as other things-
At the north end is Temple of the Bearded Man which was where important people sat to watch-
After seeing all there was to see we split up and I wandered the markets, eventually buying an obsidian necklace. Soon I exited and caught a collectivo back to Valladolid. Also waiting for the ADO bus was the poor American couple with enough luggage for a family of 6. I visited with a young Moroccan couple who are both doctors currently studying in France. I suggested they come to Saskatchewan once finished their studies. They each speak 3 languages and enough Spanish to get by. So lucky!
About 30 coaches show up each day but luckily in the afternoon. When we arrived this morning the parking lot was empty-