General News · 23rd November 2009
Richard and Carol
Today we got up and decided to go to Izamal. We took a taxi to the bus station and got the 10.30 bus. It took one and a half hours. And only stopped once. We seemed to be the only gringos around all day. Lots of Mexicans doing their Sunday visiting and going to Izamal as it is a religious destination.
We took a walk around and seeing the great Franciscan convent looming over the town decided to go there first. It is built on the site of a huge pyramid and one can see it in a way. Especially the steps up to the main level and the convent. Quite imposing with huge one to two foot walls in the building. Lots of chapels and a big grassy forecourt. This convent was founded by Frey Diego de Landa. The town is probably the oldest in the Yucatan. Frey Diego is famous for burning the Mayan scripts and then regretting it, he wrote a book from his memories of the former called “Relations of Things of the Yucatan”.
There were people bringing aged parents and flowers up to the big chapel.
We then rested in the square and had a snack and had noticed a big pyramid looming over the town to the north. It is so big it is seen over the trees. So we hired a horse and buggy to take us around. The town is mostly painted yellow and has lots of portals around the center. Also we found it too hot to walk but we got out and clambered around a couple of really ruined and not restored sites and then went on to the big one. Our driver parked in the shade while we joined a big throng of people going up to the top of the pyramid. It has been partly restored and it says that in the 1600s it still had it’s frescoes. But time and looters took their toll and now it is just a magnificent big stairway to heaven. We stopped on the main level and could see that it encompassed about a city block. We descended to our carriage and got taken to a nice restaurant and had a pleasant lunch. My salad was impressive with much variety. We also got lots of appetizers. Seems a bit different, food wise, from the West coast. All seemed very pleasant and a happy atmosphere in the town. I really like the Mayan people they have a pleasant and calm demeanor. Also lots of Mayan profiles all about.
We then headed back to Merida for a cool down in the pool. A very interesting outing.
Notice the giant base of one city block