Land of the Sun God

27 05 2009

Built on a bluff facing the rising sun and crashing waves, is a spectacular Mayan city built in the honor of the Sun God, named Tulum.  It is one of the very few walled cities that ancient Mayans ever built, and we were lucky enough to get an up close and personal tour during our trip.

After an hour and a half trip out to the ancient sites we were introduced to Tulum by our tour guide, Victor, who took us through every single building, ruin and stone.  He even found us some pieces of old Mayan glass and pottery from the site.

entrance

It is amazing that after thousands of years, these structures are still standing in mostly full form (with the exception of all of the stones that were stolen through the years to built other people’s homes) and that you can still see hand prints on the buildings.

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We traveled through these ancients paths, along with many many iguanas, and learned the significance of all of the different temples and the importance of the placement of all of the buildings in relation to the position of the sun.  Each building had a small window on the top, which was the foundation of their calendar, since they were able to determine what time of year it was by the position of the sun in these different windows.

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Our guide took us to this one spot that was bare, really just a small incline covered in gravel.  It was nothing spectacular to see, and most of the other people there were passing it by.  It turns out that this spot was the most important spot in this ancient Mayan city.  This was the reference point for all of the other buildings.  From this point, you had a view of all of the temples in the city.  From this point, you were able to determine the position of the sun in relation to the buildings to keep track of the yearly calendar.

tulum

One of the interesting things our guide mentioned, was that the first calendar was found here and that it ended on December 21, 2012.  There are a lot of spectulations as to what this means, and some say that this date is the end of the current cycle and that the world is meant to restart and begin its next cycle (the dark (black) cycle) at this time.

After these puzzling thoughts, it was time to head to the beach that ran along the cliffs of this Mayan city.  The water was clear and turquoise, the waves nearly knocked me off my feet, and it was all a beautiful sight!

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