April 20, 2010

Our Last Days in Merida

Press HERE to see a slideshow
of Merida in April photos.

Chichen Itza Pyramid
IMG_0516: The Main Temple
Stairway to the Convent
 IMG_0558: The Convent of St. Anthony of Padua
Johanna at the Window
IMG_0570: Johanna at the Window

We took a day trip to Chichen Itza, which is the premier archeological site in the Yucatan peninsula. From Merida we drove less than one hundred miles to the southeast before arriving at Chichen Itza. The visit was not the greatest of experiences. I questioned our presence almost from the moment of our arrival. The entrance to the site was overwhelming; there were hundreds of people from all over the world in line to buy tickets. Thousands of tourists come every week, mostly on a day trip from a week on the beach at Cancun. Unlike Uxmal, visitors are not allowed to climb the pyramids or tramp through the ancient Mayan buildings. All the visitors would certainly degrade the site if they were allowed to tramp all over. The grand pyramid is the most majestic that I have seen in the Americas. But both Tikal and Uxmal were much more satisfying places to visit. One other thing that surprised me, was the hundreds of souvenir vendors on the park grounds. There are dozen of photos at my flickr photostream of the amazing structures of Chichen Itza or check out my YouTube video.

First Swimming Lesson
IMG_0586: First Swimming Lesson
Seth and Lucy with Gitta
 IMG_0590: Seth and Lucy with Gitta
Nora and Juan
 IMG_0600: Nora and Juan

After leaving Chichen Itza, we drove to the beautiful, old colonial city of Izamal. The town was built on the site of an old Mayan town. We stopped for a very late lunch. The food was wonderful. We drove through the town and stopped at the town's most impressive building the Convento de San Antonio de Padua or the Convent of St. Anthony of Padua. The convent was constructed about 500 years ago. The striking building was very beautiful. I panned the court yard with a short video. You can see it at YouTube.

Betty's birthday was very special this year, because that was the day that our grandchildren came for a visit. Johanna, Lucy, Birgitta and Seth arrive late on the 8th of April. They stayed for ten days. The first few days were incredibly hot. They survived but did not thrive. We went to a country house that Nora owns about 50 minutes to the south of Merida for a wonderful barbecue. The girls had trouble settling in, still they were pretty good. We all went to the city center on Sunday. Johanna was horridly afraid of getting in the water when they arrived, but Seth did a great job of accustoming the girls to the pool. Before they left, all Johanna wanted to do was get wet. One day we went to the Parque del Centenario or the local zoo. This one-hundred year old park is extremely kid friendly. It is funky, funny and super old-fashioned. Unfortunately we did not come on a day when all the kiddy rides were available. Still, all the animals were great, especially the big cats: lions, tigers, leopards and panthers. We did bring them to Uxmal, but it did not workout all that well. The girls did not appreciate the 70 minute car ride and by the time we got there it was really hot out. Still I am glad that Birgitta and Seth got to see the Mayan ruins.

Last night we had a wonderful shrimp diner with Juan and Nora. We talked for hours and shared two bottles of wine. They have been wonderful neighbors. After leaving Merida, we hope that we will see them again one day.

Today we are packing and getting ready to leave. If all goes well we will leave tomorrow morning. You can expect an entry in week describing our progress.

Posted by bill at April 20, 2010 06:24 AM

u have an incredibly beautiful Daughter & BOTH Granddaughters TOO ! Johanna has Betty's smile xx Seth is very nice looking too......You & Betty r good to look @ too.......must be the VI....KING & Irish Blood........lol.
Jim & I are & I empasize ARE to leave on Plane Edm- Minn - Amsterdam - Barcelona.....On this Fri 23 April.........LOL....The Volcano Cloud is still determining our FATE!!!
we r laughing about it.......Best laid plans.....Mother Nature still RULES !!
If we were
going with Grandkids & Family I would be dissapointed....but we can always go on a Pleasure trip another time......
Our Owen had a superbe European Tour...got home last week..U were right u two.....get the Grandkids Travelling. Owen said." I will never be the same Meme !!'.To Jim.."u were right, Jimmy , I will do this a lot in my life."...nice eh??

tickets r safe....the $ we have paid to owners of Apt in Barcelona & Villa in France....well we will see how the owners feel about Mother Nature.....in times like these...the BEST & the Worst come out in people..
Talk to u soon.........xxxxx

Posted by: Lise at April 20, 2010 12:03 PM

As always, the photo's and commentary are awesome. You both have retired in style!!

Posted by: Marty Christensen at April 20, 2010 04:48 PM

sharp pics

Posted by: g at April 23, 2010 09:31 PM