Mexico. Palenque, Chiapas

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This article is not about technical information or translations of the Maya’s murals but my experience being written down in this space. Palenque I have to say is one of my favorite places in the world sharing the podium with Machu Picchu in Peru, Poseidon Temple in Greece, and Vlad Teples castle in Rumania. All of them have one thing in common it is that you can enjoy of the magnificent archeological structures in the middle of natural landscapes and with a difference where you can enjoy of the place and the nature without worry for the next tourist guy pushing back of you to share the same perspective. Palenque is a great place; I would say it could be taken out of the oldest fairy tale in earth.

But let’s start with how you can get there. Palenque located in the middle of the woods of Chiapas city. It is recommended to take one of the small towns around Chiapas as logistic point. I choose a small and beautiful town called “San Cristobal de Las Casas” highly recommended place. From there is possible to buy tours to Palenque with fairs prices, try to get yours tickets as soon as you arrive to the bus station.

The roads to Palenque are very curvy and narrow, in other words it is not easy to drive but don’t worry you are under the hands of experts and very familiar with this roads Mexican drivers. On our way to Palenque we could see that the Mayas decedents still living in the woods, you can see a bunch of them selling handmade clothes and natural food. Something got my attention is that meanwhile every passenger inside the ban feel how theirs nerves get to the top watching how dangerous is the road; there are a lot of Mayas walking one behind other at the edge of the roads making their ordinary life, going to school, to work or whatsoever their destiny could be. 

 You better get asleep if you don’t want to get sick, as I mentioned there are around four hours of continue driving and the weather is too hot with high portions of moisture.   

 Once you arrive to the National Park of Palenque you can feel or pretend to feel something special because your mind is telling you in this place Mayas used to live, fight, predict, make sacrifices and all is about this special civilisation one of the most important in Mexico and the world.

 The firs pyramid you can see is the Palace, a pyramid made of several constructions from where can over come the Observatory one, I got astonished. It is impossible not to think in how they could build this city in the middle of nowhere, their technology was so advance and until unknown for us in modern times. The Palace is amazing, from there is possible to watch the whole city and beyond. Inside this pyramid you get amazed on how perfect architectonically they were.

Palenque

To the left of the Palace pyramid there is a small field where Mayas used to play the ball game based in get a stoned ball into a circle target. The winners got the privilege to get sacrificed. This is the only part of Palenque got me disappointed I thought it would be a bigger zone.

Another great pyramid is the Inscriptions pyramid, considered the most important in Palenque where inscriptions were written making honor to the ancients besides of another relevant inscriptions to remember from this ethnic group.

DSC_0177

They also had an aqueduct from where they supplied clean water for the whole city.

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 Other pyramids are the Sun Temple, Lion Temple, Cross Temple and Earl’s temple.

  • Conclusions: One of the worthiest places to visit in Mexico
  • Recommendations: Bring cold water to Palenque and try the regional Mexican food in Palenque is incredible tasty.
  • Curiosities: The weather is so unpredictable be prepared for everything.

 Inscriptions

Cross pyramidCross pyramidInside Palace pyramidInside Palace pyramidInscriptions pyramidInside Palace pyramidObservatoryDSC_0182

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.

                                                                                                        Lin Yutang

Mexico – San Luis Potosi (La Huasteca – Sir Edward James’ Castle)

There is one magical beautiful place in Mexico called “La Huasteca Potosina” the word Potosina comes from the city where it is located called San Luis Potosi. In there you can find is a series of several waterfalls between a quite big rain forest in the montains as well as so many touristic natural and not natural attractions. This time I will focus in a very exotic or weird place, depends of the perspective of each of us, that is called “The Sir Edward James’ Castle” or “The Sir Edward James’ Pozas[1]”

Edward (1907 – 1984) was born in United Kingdom and well known for poet and surrealism art works, his most recognize surrealism work was in “la Huasteca” in Mexico.  Las Pozas were created 2000 feet above sea level, close to eh Xilitla town. It is seven hours drive of Mexico city.

Edward moved from Los Angeles to Mexico looking for a romantic place where to express himself with a surrealism piece of art. Eventually he got married with a local woman and between 1949 and 1984 built Las Pozas which cost more than $5 millions. Today the place is owned by the government of San Luis Potosi caring of the preservation of the place.

To get there by car can be a little exhausted because of the tendencies of the road, divided in first by a long straight line road and second by a curvy stretch way up in the mountains.

It is not easy to find the correct paths to each main place in the Huasteca because of the bad advertising on the road; anyway you can always reach your final destiny asking to the friendly Mexican people.

After a couple of hours and get lost several time me and my family arrive to our destiny between the rain. What your eyes see is something amazing, unreal or well said completely full of surrealism, hard to understand and associated all together as a piece of art.

It is amazing how Edward got to the friendly union of the nature and the human art, where tons of concrete enjoy of natural waterfalls and the water caresses concrete walls.

Edward not only with “Las Pozas” shows you art, but also gets you involved in a funny adventure between risky bridges, narrow paths, ramps and from the easy to going through to the most scary one remembering you that vertigo feeling all of us at least had once in the life.  

Curiosities: By the time I didn’t have a camera so all the photos are from internet.

Recommendations: Bring an umbrella

[1] Pozas = Puddles

Images taken from http://www.Google.com/images

Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan) in Vientiane – LAOS

It was built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, a monk who studied both Buddhism and Hinduism. This explains why his park is full not only of Buddha images but also of Hindu gods as well as demons and animals from both beliefs.

The most outstanding ones include Indra, the king of Hindu gods riding the three-headed elephant (aka Erawan and Airavata), a four-armed deity sitting on a horse and an artistic deity with 12 faces and many hands, each holding interesting objects. They are all equally impressive not only because of their enormous size but because they are full of interesting details and interesting motifs.

There is a local eatery and caffee offering food and drinks to tourists at one end of the park right next to the Mekong River that makes a great spot to chill after all the walking and climbing. Among the popular snacks are papaya salad, fried bananas and cold Lao beer. It also has a souvenir shop and restrooms. There is a small fee for entering the park as well as for photography.

Reference: http://www.visit-mekong.com/laos/vientiane/buddha-park.htm

Google maps

BOSNIA AND HERCEGOVINA

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a long name for a country that measures just over 50,000 km2. Bosnia covers the north and centre of the country with its name probably derived from ‘bosana’, an old Indo-European word meaning water, which Bosnia has no short of.

The southern region of ancient Hum, ruled by Herceg Stjepan (Duke Stjepan),was later named Herzegovina after the region was conquered by the invading Ottomans. Perhaps what is most important for the visitor to know today, though, is that Bosnia and Herzegovinais a stunningly beautiful country with a vast array of landscapes, cultures, traditions and people. And as the old cliche goes ‘people make the place’ – and BiH prides itself on its hospitality and treating our guests as if they were family members. And family we take to heart.

Reference: http://www.bhtourism.ba/eng/theheartshapedland.wbsp

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