Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Touring Tikal

A hole in the limestone of one of Tikal's seven temples looks out on another.

I'm back from Belize with loads of pictures to sort through, but despite the sensory overload of it all, I've had trouble figuring out how to address my vacation here. The Well-Appointed Catwalk is dedicated to design, and Belize's natural beauty far exceeds its man-made attributes. Contemporary architecture is typical of the Caribbean, and fashion in the jungle is a non-issue.

What the region does have, though, are ancient structures that are almost eerie in their engineering achievement.

We crossed the border from Belize into Guatemala on foot on a cloudy Sunday and rode with a guide to the ancient Mayan city of Tikal. Architecture in Tikal dates back as far as the 4th century BC, but the kingdom reached it's height of power between 200-900 AD. But here's the kicker: the Mayans built all of this without the wheel, pulleys or metal tools.

Unfortunately, I had to glean most of the facts from online sources since our guide turned out to batshit crazy. Every answer was a metaphysical riddle, and apparently blood sacrifice is no longer necessary because of the phase of the moon or something. Yeah, the day pretty much went on like that.

I can't express the impressiveness of Tikal with photographs, so you'll just have to take my word for it. George Lucas seems to agree, though...

This view was captured in Star Wars IV: A New Hope.

And just for kicks here is a photo of the adorable little coati that followed us as we crossed the city.

Hope you all had a wonderful week while I was away. Now back to regular blogging!


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