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Published: April 1st 2010
Dec 22, 2009
After the church tour we left for the pyramids…. Or so we thought. As with a lot of our other tours, the tour groups always get a special cut to hook up their buddies by taking us to gift shops/convenience stores/restaurants/etc. Well, this was quite a stop - over an hour at a gift shop. If the Belgium/Mexican couple wouldn’t have bought something, I think they would have kept us there until we bought something. It was a nice gift shop, most of their specialty was Aztec carvings and statues from obsidian. Very authentic, very well done, but very pricey, so we just drank our free tequila shots and waited by the van. Outside did have some interesting things. The picture describes their “beauty” much more than I can, but we got to see the pre-Colombian era dogs that were native to Mexico. They are hairless and look slightly like the demon dogs from Ghostbusters. We also drank some honey-tasting water and saw how ancient papyrus derived from a plant.
Thankfully, the Belgium guy bought a souvenir so we could head to the pyramids. The entrance was not very far away from the gift shop. Our
guide told us he would accompany us to the Temple of the Moon, but we would be our own for the Temple of the Sun. He told us the “pyramids” we were looking at were not pyramids by the definition of the word. Archeologists say the only pyramids in the world are in Egypt. He also told us the city was not constructed by the Aztecs. No one knows who exactly constructed the city - a city that may have been the largest in the world beside Rome around the time of Christ. The city was built around 200 B.C. and was completely deserted around 500 A.D.
The city and temple complex is still massive. They are still excavating around the area and finding new temples. Rumi and I saw the platform where they performed human sacrifices. Historians think they performed the sacrifices to coincide with celestial events. They also sacrificed animals that possessed mythical powers by the method of burial while alive.
The Temple of the Sun is the second largest “pyramid” in the world next to the one in Egypt. It has not been fully excavated, but archeologists did find a tunnel inside. The Temple of
the Sun is said to recharge a person with sun energy. Especially on the Spring Solstice, March 21, the sun is directly positioned over the Sun temple giving great power to the people on top. The locals will take a picture of people before they climb and a picture after the come down. There is a visible difference in every person - some type of strange glowing aura around them…pretty cool.
Our guide left us fairly early and told us we had over an hour to look around and climb the temples. We climbed half way up the Temple of the Moon first. You can only go half way up because the temple is not safe to climb the remainder. As usual, Rumi practically ran down the temple and made fun of me for descending slowly. We walked through the main avenue trying to avoid harassment from the local vendors. Making it through without buying anything (almost drastically overpaid for a Christmas gift) we began our ascent of the Temple of the Sun.
The climb to the top of the temple is not too bad. You can stop every segment and relax if you need to. Rumi and
I stopped only for some pictures and quickly got to the top of the pyramid and recharged ourselves with sun power. We stayed on top for awhile before heading back to reach our deadline. When we got back to our van, the family was there waiting on us.
The trip back took a little longer (almost 90 minutes) because of evening traffic. The van dropped the family off first and then the guide tried to persuade us to get off in the same spot claiming it was a good area to eat. Rumi and I wanted to get back to our area so we didn’t have to pay for transportation back. I then told him we needed to pay him for his service. He then realized that he hadn’t collected the money from us and the family they had just dropped off! Therefore, we went back to the hotel and got the money.
As soon as we returned we rushed back to the market to finish some last minute Christmas shopping. Afterwards, we decided to get a really good dinner - our last dinner of the trip, so we stopped at a higher-end place on our street.
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