Since I don’t really count Tulum, this was day 2 with Mayan ruins. I wasn’t expecting much from Chichen Itza, even with its wonder-of-the-world status, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was interesting – not that we took a tour. So, you will have to excuse the lack of information in the picture captions, because I know not what I am looking at specifically. I mean, they are all ruins right?

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The big pyramid in all it's early morning glory, plus a bit of construction.

This side is a mess... it's ruined!!! hahahahaha

Column madness

Ancient Mayan tic-tac-toe

More columns

I detect some greek influence here as well.

The classic shot

beautiful stone color

The ball court

skulls, skulls, skulls

mmmm, a fresh one.

Mayan iguana knows all the secrets to the universe.

We didn’t get to the site as early as we planned, but it still wasn’t too crowded for most of our visit. The whole double ticket thing is crazy – one is for the state and one is federal. Apparently, there is no way to just have people buy one ticket at one counter and some sort of computerized system keep track of these things and split the money later. I wonder if it is a lack of trust. That would tie into a lot of what we see as a culture of intellectual protectionism at the scientific and engineering centers, where the centers are hesitant to work together and many times even researchers within the same center. Enough work talk though.

What I don’t have pictures of but should are the place we stayed the night before. Have to put the camera down sometimes…After the meh experience in the town of Cobá, we decided to skip the town closest to the Chichen Itza ruins and drive a little out of the way to the town of Ek Balam. The Lonely Planet assured us that there was an eco-lodge near the ruins there. After a few missed turns, we did find the Genesis Retreat, and it was worth the effort. This eco-lodge felt like a very special spot. The Canadian owner, who blogs here, has built a place with a variety of green technologies including dry toilets and bio-filtered water pool, all for which I am a sucker. A lot of eco-hotels seem no different from regular hotels, but that was not the case here. After relaxing by the pool for the afternoon, dinner was a wonderful vegetarian affair, and such a nice change from the usual. There was a chance for bedroom tarantulas, but no luck, only cute geckos. :)