San Cristobal de las Casas and Palenque
Trip Start May 31, 2007
25Trip End Ongoing
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SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS is almost 1700m high - a cool place
where low, whitewashed red-tiled houses huddle together on the plain,
giving it an unrivalled provincial colonial charm. The town was
designed as a Spanish stronghold against an often-hostile indigenous
population.Today San Cristóbal remains one of the most restful and enjoyable
places in the Republic to spend a few lazy days, its infrastructure
catering mainly for predominantly European visitors
plenty of colonial churches and several absorbing little museums, but
the true pleasure here lies in simply wandering the streets.
Myself and Sven take a tour of a local village called Chomula. Here in Chomula they have an interesting church where they sacrifice chickens and hens to god and also where Coca Cola is a ritual drink. They believe that when they belch that it removes whatever sin they have in their bodies. so it was strange to witness chicken killing people belching inside this church.
We spend a few days here in San Cristobal before heading off to more sights and Palenque ( the mayan temples near here where Star Wars was filmed with the Ewoks)
We spend the day walking around Palenque and we are lucky as it is cloudy. Otherwise it would be unbearably hot.
a little about Palenque...
Palenque's architectural style is unique
closer resemblance to the Maya sites of Guatemala than to those of the
Yucatán, but its towered palace and pyramid tomb are
like nothing else, and the setting, too, is remarkable. Surrounded by
hills covered in jungle, Palenque is right at the edge of the great
Yucatán plain - climb to the top of any of the structures and you'll
see an endless stretch of low, pale-green flatland. Founded around 100
BC as a farming village, it was four hundred years before it began to
flourish, during the Classic period (300-900 AD). Towards the end of
this time the city ruled over a large part of modern-day Chiapas and
Tabasco, but its peak came during a relatively short period of the
seventh century, under two rulers: Hanab Pakal (Jaguar Shield) and Chan Bahlum (Jaguar Serpent). Almost everything you can see (and that's only a tiny, central part of the original city) dates from this era
Next stop is Merida.