Wednesday photo: Chichen Itza’s El Castillo

My first real out-of-country adventures occurred in Mexico, on a family vacation to Cancun. When your mother was a Spanish teacher and knew Cancun before the massive development, and with a childhood of educational trips, it was clear we would not spend the whole time on the beach.

One of these adventures was a bus tour from Cancun to the Mayan site Chichen Itza, famous for its nearly perfect proportions in accordance with the sun, and other things like echos, a game court and sacrifices, all surrounding El Castillo. The guided tour I took here is the best guided tour I have ever had. Usually, I despise them. But on this tour I actually learned things and still remember them.

The most useful thing I learned that day was how to properly climb the steps to the top of the pyramid. The pyramid is at a 53 degree angle, while the stairs are at a 45 degree angle. The king would have to ascend these stair to the temple on top and he would be carrying offerings and wearing all sorts of ornamental objects. Not only would it be hot out, but he had to make it to the top with all sorts of things. The easiest way was crisscrossing back and forth across the steps. To descend, many people scooted down the steps, one by one, like a child.

There are a couple of other things I remember from this day, as well. One is that it was extremely hot that day, and I compare all excessively hot days to that day at Chichen Itza in June 2005. My day in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in May 2009, comes the closest.

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5 Responses to Wednesday photo: Chichen Itza’s El Castillo

  1. TheIdiotSpeaketh says:

    My head says it can’t wait to visit there…… my legs are saying “No way Idiot!”…… I guess they can’t install a nice escalator huh? :)

  2. Caitlin says:

    Very cool!! Thanks for sharing:)

  3. Kyle says:

    Those are a lot of steps….good practice for my new apartment…which is on the 8th floor of a building with a broken elevator. Now I can justify a trip to Chichen Itza as practice :)

    • elliewick says:

      Oh golly, that is a lot of stairs to ascend frequently. In Chile, is the ground floor the first floor or is the first floor up the first floor? And I think practice makes a wonderful excuse!

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