tour of ancient mayan cities

2012 is not the end, start the party!

2012 is not the end, start the party!

We’re back in Vancouver, Canada, although living in a downtown hotel until January 1, when we will be moving into a new apartment. So in a way, we feel we’re still “on the road” for week 52, making it legitimately a full year away from home.

Just before returning to Canada, we toured a number of ancient Mayan cities in the Yucatan Penninsula, from small and quiet Kabah to hyper-active Chichen Itza, which we visted on the day the Mayan Long Count calendar came to an end, December 21. We posted a day-by-day report under the tab labelled “dispatches from the end of time” (above this post).

Here now are the photos from that tour — sorry they aren’t formatted as a gallery– WordPress changed how users must upload and insert photos, but without new instructions so we’ve done our best — enjoy!

Tulum - noble's house

Tulum – noble’s house

Tulum - temple of the wind

Tulum – temple of the wind

Tulum - noble's house

Tulum – noble’s house

Tulum - temple of the paintings

Tulum – temple of the paintings

Tulum - pre-Columbian lighthouse

Tulum – pre-Columbian lighthouse

Deborah with our wonderful guide, Ricardo

Deborah with our wonderful guide, Ricardo

Tulum - iguanas everywhere!

Tulum – iguanas everywhere!

Coba - riding a "tricycle" across the site, powered by Israel

Coba – riding a “tricycle” across the site, powered by Israel

Coba - Nohoch Mul

Coba – Nohoch Mul

Coba - view from top of Nohoch Mul

Coba – view from top of Nohoch Mul

Coba - Nohoch Mul (42m pyramid)

Coba – Nohoch Mul (42m pyramid)

Coba - Xaibe Palace

Coba – Xaibe Palace

Coba - ball court

Coba – ball court

Coba - ball court hoop

Coba – ball court hoop

Valladolid market

Valladolid market

Sign showing Ek'Balam glyph (like a city crest)

Sign showing Ek’Balam glyph (like a city crest)

Ek'Balam - oval palace

Ek’Balam – oval palace

Ek'Balam - stone carving

Ek’Balam – stone carving

Ek'Balam

Ek’Balam

Ek'Balam

Ek’Balam

Ek'Balam - glyphs at acropolis

Ek’Balam – glyphs at acropolis

Ek'Balam - tomb of The River King

Ek’Balam – tomb of The River King

Ek'Balam - tomb of The River King

Ek’Balam – tomb of The River King

Ek'Balam - tomb of The River King

Ek’Balam – tomb of The River King

Ek'Balam - our crew

Ek’Balam – our crew

Ek'Balam - tomb of The River King

Ek’Balam – tomb of The River King

Ek'Balam - view from top of the acropolis

Ek’Balam – view from top of the acropolis

Ek'Balam - arch at entrance to the city

Ek’Balam – arch at entrance to the city

Old sisal factory near Merida

Old sisal factory near Merida

Old entrance to hacienda near sisal factory

Old entrance to hacienda near sisal factory

Uxmal - pyramid of the magician

Uxmal – pyramid of the magician

Uxmal - pyramid of the magician

Uxmal – pyramid of the magician

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Uxmal – representation of Mayan rain god Chaac

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Uxmal – representation of Mayan rain god Chaac

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Uxmal – entrance near top of pyramid

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Uxmal – stone macaw

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Uxmal – more Chaac masks

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Uxmal – view of nun’s quadrangle

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Uxmal – snake/serpent carvings above door

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Uxmal – stone carving

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Uxmal – nun’s quadrangle building

Uxmal - macaw

Uxmal – macaw

Uxmal - house of the turtles

Uxmal – house of the turtles

Uxmal - ball court

Uxmal – ball court

Uxmal - double-headed jaguar throne

Uxmal – double-headed jaguar throne

Uxmal - governor's palace

Uxmal – governor’s palace

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Uxmal – view from the governor’s palace

Kabah - Kodz-Poop structure

Kabah – Kodz-Poop structure

Kabah - Kodz-Poop features 250 Chaac masks

Kabah – Kodz-Poop features 250 Chaac masks

Kabah - blocks from Kodz-Poop structure

Kabah – blocks from Kodz-Poop structure

Kabah - Kodz-Poop structure

Kabah – Kodz-Poop structure

Kabah -- rebuilt entrance arch

Kabah — rebuilt entrance arch

Visit to Mayan home - extracting fibre from sisal plant

Visit to Mayan home – extracting fibre from sisal plant

Visit to Mayan home - tortilla making

Visit to Mayan home – tortilla making

Ricardo translates description of Mayan ritual

Ricardo translates description of Mayan ritual

Our tour group at Mayan home

Our tour group at Mayan home

Sunset on the last night of 13 b'aktun

Sunset on the last night of 13 b’aktun

Chichen Itza - first view of El Castillo (The Castle)

Chichen Itza – first view of El Castillo (The Castle)

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Chichen Itza – platform of the eagles and jaguars

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Chichen Itza – venders along the pathways

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Chichen Itza – Tzompantli (wall of skulls)

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Chichen Itza – El Caracol (observatory)

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Chichen Itza – ancient steambath

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Chichen Itza – the “church” building

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Chichen Itza – east annex of the “nunnery”

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Chichen Itza – the ossuary, tomb of the great priest

Chichen Itza - platform of venus

Chichen Itza – platform of venus

Chichen Itza - Tzompantli (wall of skulls)

Chichen Itza – Tzompantli (wall of skulls)

Chichen Itza - platform of venus

Chichen Itza – platform of venus

Chichen Itza - platform of venus

Chichen Itza – platform of venus

Chichen Itza - platform of venus

Chichen Itza – platform of venus

Chichen Itza - morning sun over El Castillo

Chichen Itza – morning sun over El Castillo

Chichen Itza - famous Mayan shaman being interviewed

Chichen Itza – famous Mayan shaman being interviewed

Chichen Itza - temple of the warriors

Chichen Itza – temple of the warriors

Chichen Itza - serpent heads at foot of El Castillo

Chichen Itza – serpent heads at foot of El Castillo

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Chichen Itza – with the crowd on December 21

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Ik-Kil cenote near Chichen Itza was open for swimming

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New Mayan museum in Merida

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Stone figure at new museum

Ring from Pok Ta Pok ball court

Ring from Pok Ta Pok ball court

Inside the new Mayan museum in Merida

Inside the new Mayan museum in Merida

Reproduction of the Dresden Codex at the new Mayan museum

Reproduction of the Dresden Codex at the new Mayan museum

Last stop: Dzibilchaltun

Last stop: Dzibilchaltun

Dzibilchaltun - Deborah climbing structure 44

Dzibilchaltun – Deborah climbing structure 44

Dzibilchaltun - structure 44

Dzibilchaltun – top of structure 44

Dzibilchaltun - view down ancient road to the observatory

Dzibilchaltun – view down ancient road to the observatory

Dzibilchaltun - the seven figures found in the observatory

Dzibilchaltun – the seven figures found in the observatory

winter solstice in mundo maya

Happy New Era to you all!

From the moment the plane landed in Cancun we were in a state of transition. Going from little corporate advertising in Cuba to seeing the air traffic control tower totally covered in a Corona bottle ad, knowing our current adventure is coming to a close, finding a place to live for the next year… it is definitely transition.

We stayed at the Royal Mayan… it was a great name for the experiences to come. We are currently on a Mayan Tour. As most of you know the Mayan Calendar ended officially this morning at 5:11am.  We are 24 in all… we have 10 other adventurers in our tour bus… great group of people. Lots of laughter is happening as we are experiencing the great ruins, temples, palaces, etc of the Mayan people in the Yucatan.

Our tour started with a trip to Tulum and to Coba, we then traveled to Ek Balam, staying the night in the colonial city, Valladolid. Next we moved to the city of Merida where we are staying for three nights. Off to Uxmal (pronounced Ishmal), which is the city with feminine energy happening. It was lovely, with lots of decorations on the buildings. In front of the Magician’s palace we clapped our hands and reflected back to us was a crisp, whiz sound… very cool.

I am barely touching on what we have experienced. Don is righting a page on our blog about our Mayan experience. Click on “Dispatches from the End of Time” on the menu bar above.

We got up and joined a few others this morning to put good energy out to the universe and to think good thoughts for the human race and our planet.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Deborah