Palenque town and Mayan ruins

Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Monday, January 8, 2007

Palenque Town
Arrive in the jungle-like humidity of Palenque-town after hours on a bus with brutally cold air-conditioning, the perfect recipe for a head-cold as we later discover.
The rain is thundering down and us and all that we are carrying is soaked through just by crossing the road. Transform our cheap hotel room into a decent impression of a Chinese laundry - all our belongings are hung from ever nook and cranny.
We avoid the tacky tourist trinkets and Ed tackles a bowl of garlic soup to combat his cold. I don´t know if it helped with his cold, but it was an effective passion-killer for sure.

Palenque Mayan Ruins
Even though you have seen this site on television and in books, nothing prepares you for your first sight of enormous ancient ruins stretching out of a lush and misty jungle landscape. How striking must it have been for those original explorers who originally found these?
We´re so in awe of our surroundings that we almost forget our colds and the torrential rain which pelts down with minimal breaks. The jungle looks and smells of the richest type of green, the humidity is enormous and the mist seems to rise from the top of the imposing ruins.

Walking up the grand stairs of the first pyramid, you feel an unexpected shiver of excitement recalling all the mixture of myth and fact attached to these ruins and those who have walked the stairs before you.

We end the Mayan experience with a visit to the Palenque museum. The Mayan incense-burners and intricate jade and gold artifacts are striking (see attached photos). This is a culture which was by all accounts socially advanced, information and technology-rich but also produced a truly individual artistic output.
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