Merida -> Chichen-Itza -> Merida

Up very early yet again with a quick dash to the loo for Andy and went out to the community area of the hostel for our ‘free breakfast’ of toast and coffee. We then sorted ourselves out for the day trip to Chichen Itza. The coach took about 2 hours. Once we were there our tour guide Francisco took us around the site telling us the history and interesting points about the Maya civilization. Fascinating. The main structure called El Castillo was phenomenal, standing tall in the heat of the sun and once facing the north side echoed the sounds of an eagle when you clapped. You have to experience it for yourself. It is a structure of architectural, mathematical and astrological genius, quite amazing. It is a pyramid structure with 4 sides each side representing a number of months of the calendar. There are 91 steps leading up to the top and these represent the days in the month (I think but can’t quite remember). During the summer and winter solstice the 4 corners of the pyramid depict the shadow of a serpent travelling up the pyramid. Serpents, jaguars and eagles were all sacred animals and were important in the relationship the king had with the Gods. The buildings in the site itself were also positioned to represent patterns in the stars. Quite remarkable. After seeing most of the sites we stopped for lunch at a restaurant where they gave us a ticket for an all-you-can-eat buffet which was fantastic, they even had Mexican dancers entertaining us. We then headed back to Merida. Once back at the hostel we chilled for a while before heading out for drinks at our favorite balcony restaurant bar. Didn’t stay out too long as we were too tired to do any more roaming around. We did spot all the locals building temporary wooden constructions for the Day of the Dead celebrations tomorrow though.