Freitag, 26. Dezember 2008

En la calle solomente / On the road alone

"I've decided to travel on alone and after one night in my hammock at Chichen Itza, I am finally in Merida. I'm very well and like the city. I like Mexico, don't want to think about going home." (26.12.2008)


Pisté is a smallish town right next to Chichén Itza. One should think it flourishes with tourism, but the people here don't care about tourists. I happened to walk into a Christmas service and lingered for a while.
The first night alone wasn't exactly pleasant. Pisté was much colder than Tulúm. The fact that the young French couple that also stayed where I was had decided to test the strength of their new two-person hammock didn't help the sleep much either. I was up early the next morning to go to the ruins.

Chichén Itza

The great pyramid of Chichén Itza is really an ancient Mayan calendar with 364 steps. It comes with a second, smaller pyramid on the inside that used to be open to the public. Since the pyramid has become one of the seven new wonders of the world, visitors have to remain outside.

The steps create an echoe when you clap your hands in front of it. This way everyone gets fun out of going there, even if they don't care about the history.

Chichén Itza has the tourism industry that Pisté does not know. This is what tourists think Mexican art should look like and one wonders how much it was assimilated to Western stereotypes.

After the tourist buses from Cancún had arrived around noon, I couldn't wait to leave the ruins and continue my trip via bus to Mérida, the capital of Yucatan. On the way I met a Spanish couple and we helped each other find a room. I ended up at a backpacking place.

Mérida is a beautiful city heavily influenced by the Spanish conquistadores who tore down the original Maya buildings. Accordingly, there are lots of churches...

... and life evolves around the central public square. Around this square there are interesting chairs called "confidentiales". These S-shaped sitting facilities allow people to chat closely while at the same time creating a physical boundary.

At night time, Mérida turns into a giant party. People from cafés get up and start to dance and have fun. I met a couple of people from the Netherlands and the UK the second night and hung out with them. After cooking my own meal with "fresh" Mexican cheese and ham I had some trouble with my stomach though, so I decided to go to sleep early.


On that dame day in the morning I had taken a day trip to Uxmal, the last Mayan ruin on my list. It was interesting, because it was very different.

Most impressive (of actually all the pyramids) was the Pyramid of the Magician below. For some reason it bewitched me towering there in the jungle above the trees. It's irregularities were fascinating to me.

Like some of the other places, Uxmal is habitat to many many Iguanas. With the iguana up front, the pyramid of the Magician looks even more magical. I got a sense of "The Lost World!" Wonder who has been around for longer?

Isla Mujeres

Returning from my single escapades, I reuinted with my friends in Cancún and we went to spend the last night at Isla Mujeres. Evelyn and I visited a turtle farm walking through the sweltering heat. This and the halfcooked chicken soup I had for dinner was too much for my body and I got sick. Sick, sad and tired, we left the stage after our last intermezzo on the Isla and headed back home.


BUT the adventure wasn't quite over yet. After recovering a little from the sickness, Oleg and I snuck out of the airport in Dallas to see "Downtown" Dallas. Little did we know that "Main Street" was an incredible euphemism and wiped of all life. We took a little stroll and eventually ended up at the 6th floor museum where Kennedy was shot.

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