Mexican influence extends the world over, with its cuisine, music, style and traditions. With more
than one hundred million people, it is a rapidly developing nation and in 2015 had the second largest
economy in the Hispanic world, behind only
itself. It also has its fair share of history, with
the well-preserved ruins of various indigenous peoples such as the Maya, Aztec and Olmec dotted
about the country.
Our family visited Mexico just for a long weekend during our move back from
Dubai in 1990.
We stayed in Mérida, capital of the Yucatén Peninsula, an area of land perhaps more famously known
for Cancun and partying
The highlight of our trip was a visit to the ancient city of Uxmal.
Our hotel in Merida was a classical colonial Mexican affair, fairly simple place but with lots of charm.
Here my sister and I brave the cold waters of the pool.
The ancient city of Uxmal, deep in the Mexican jungle. Perhaps not as widely known as nearby Chichen
Itza, but nevertheless impressive, the city sports the curved-wall Pyramid of the Magician. I felt
like Indiana Jones exploring around.
Even in Mayan times game were played, this is one of a number of Mesoamerican ball courts, in popular
use during the late first millennium. Records of the rules are sketchy, but this simply allows us
to postulate that the losing team's captain would be decapitated and his head lobbed through the hoop
in celebration. Probably.
The Pyramid of the Magician was built around the sixth century, and saw continued use until being abandoned
around the turn of the second millennium. This makes it considerably younger than its
counterparts, although it is quite unique among pyramids the world over for having rounded sides
and being extremely steep.
We took a well-deserved break at the top of the pyramid, to gaze across the Mexican jungle. Since our
visit in 1990, the whole city has been designated a Unesco World Heritage site, and tourists are
no longer permited to climb the pyramid, in order to better preserve it.