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Published: March 25th 2016
Tikal is one of the largest of all Maya sites
Ruins, ruins and yet more ruins
If you don't like to look at pictures of ruins, then feel free to leave this particular blog entry and look at some other. There are a few pictures without ruins in them, two or three out of twenty, lurking around in this entry too but they are preciously few. If you decide to tap out now already I would like to point out that we have published well over a hundred other entries where most of them have no or very few pictures of ruins. Don't hesitate to look at one of them. You might enjoy them.
Since you are obviously still reading I suppose you like photos of ruins. Or, to paraphrase the character Tom in Four Weddings and a Funeral, "at least the look of them don't make you physically sick
The ruins in question here are all located within the Maya site Tikal in Guatemala. Tikal is one of the largest of all Maya sites and was also one of the most important cities in the Maya civilization.
I am not going to write down a lot of facts
Tikal was one of the most important cities in the Maya civilization.
and history about Tikal here. Anyone who wish to read more, follow this link to the Wikipedia article
I arrived early in the morning because I knew that the site is huge and that I needed most of the day to see it the way I wanted. On the bus to Tikal I started talking to a Japanese guy. We soon realized that we had similar plans for the day so we decided to team up and roam around the ruins together. It was a wise decision because it would have been a bit lonely to do it on my own.
First we entered the site and looked up the main plaza where the most important and most picturesque temples are located. We had a quick look around there and then we moved on. We actually rushed through the main plaza and we also rushed through the rest of the sites and were finished already at noon. That was all part of the plan. By going very quickly we for starters beat all the crowds. Which means we could take photos of the temples without getting a Japanese tour group or two teenagers taking selfies while pouting their
One of the many temples at Tikal
I arrived early in the morning because I knew that the site is huge and that I needed most of the day to see it the way I wanted.
lips standing in front of it.
After lunch we went through the site again. This time around we went to all the minor sites we skipped the first time and we also took time to enjoy the major sites.
In the afternoon we were very satisfied with what we had seen and we also had a bunch of nice photos, almost totally cleared of people, with us home.
Like most Maya sites Tikal has for a long time been overgrown with dense forest and shrubbery and the vegetation in combination with neglect turned the monuments into ruins. The most important sites have been cleared from trees and have been at least partly restored. But even today hundreds of Tikal's smaller monuments and temples and even the occasional big one are in a similar state as they were before efforts were put into restoration and preservation of Tikal.
Although hundreds of monuments are not really visible other than as heaps of rocks or unusual looking hills the ones that have been restored are impressive enough to make Tikal a place not only worth visiting if you happen to be
View over Tikal
Much of Tikal is covered with forest. To see the highest temples rising up through the canopy is very special
in the neighbourhood but a place so magical that it all on its own provides reason for anyone interested in ancient historical sites to make a visit to Guatemala just to see it.
I absolutely loved Tikal and believe me when I say that the ruins are much better in real life than they look on the photos. You can't in a photo capture the feeling you have when you after having walked for half a kilometre through the forest arrive at a clearing and you see a slender temple reaches up towards the sky with its top well above the trees. You have to see and feel that.
I wish I could make you all feel the feeling I had when I climbed one of the temples at the main plaza and looked out over the field in front of it, a field surrounded by some of the finest temples and monuments ever created by the Mayas. I was so overwhelmed by emotions that I just started laughing.
By the way, Tikal is a UNESCO world heritage site. But that really wasn't necessary to write here, was it? It would
Me and Temple I
I don't usually want to be in the pictures myself. But Tikal is one of those places where I just have to have a Yes-I-have-been-there-picture
be more surprising if it wasn't, right?
Hope you enjoyed reading this blog entry and that I didn't deter you from returning here and read about other places we have visited or will visit in the future.
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