Friday, November 6, 2015

A Day at Teotihuacan

World Heritage Sites

431 days until my travel buddy retires.  The count down begins.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with Teotihuacan?  For the simple reason that Mexico is where we began our global travels nearly 40 years ago and where we will begin again when he retires.  There's still so much to see.  Like Copper Canyon.   Oaxaca.  The cliff divers of Acapulco. The Franciscan missions around Queretaro.  My uncle's grave site in San Miguel de Allende.  That perfect margarita.  (It's still out there.)

But back to Teotihuacan . . .

I pulled out my travel journal to refresh my memory.  Funny how you remember the good and not the bad.   We rented a car in Mexico City and drove the 50 kilometers out to the site.

Mexican drivers are maniacs, I wrote.  They weave in and out.  Form 5 or 6 lanes in a 4-lane highway.  Never use blinkers.  Go 70-80 mph.  R. was marvelous, though, and we managed to drive without accident all day long.


R. and I climbed all the way to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun and what a climb it was.  I had to stop quite a lot because of high altitude and hot sun.  How stupid we were not to wear sun screen or sun hats.  We got burned to a crisp.

I do remember the vastness of the place, the beauty and the mystery.  Archaeologists still don't know the ethnicity of the original inhabits.  Teotihuacan means "the place where the gods were created" in Aztec although the Aztecs never lived here.  The city flourished between the first and seventh centuries. (Same time period as the Roman Empire.)  Reasons for its abandonment are also unknown, but its magnificence leaves no doubt in anyone's mind that the city was the most powerful cultural center in Mesoamerica.  This is precisely why the United Nations placed it on its World Heritage List in 1987.

From the top of the Pyramid of the Moon, the vastness of the city unfolds.  A long Avenue of the Dead is lined by many monuments and places of worship.  All of them are superb examples of pre-Columbian architecture and unbelievably, many of the interior murals have survived.

My favorite things were wall paintings and the palace with columns of birds and circles.  Birds had obsidian eyes.

Happily, we have grown smarter in our older years.  We now carry sunscreen and sun hats, water bottles and snacks whenever we travel.  We wear sturdy, comfortable shoes and appropriate clothes.   But I have to admit, I feel a bit wistful looking at this old photograph of our better-looking twenty-something selves.

  Ah, youth!  So full of hope.  Wonder.  Energy.  Where have you gone?

 Maybe in 431 days, we will find it again.

1 comment:

  1. Marea, this takes me back , we visited there in 1983. Isn't it an amazing place. So true about the hope and energy of our youth , I often wonder where it goes, like you I hope with more travel it will return. Good luck with your travel buddies retirement , I have found it takes some getting used to.