4.15.2009

Day Three ...

Where do I even begin? The day to visit Chitzen Itza - Mayan ruins.

Absolutely amazing doesn't even begin to describe the experience. Had we flown down to Mexico just for this day, and flown right back to Utah - it would have been worth it!

We decided to do a LDS tour as to get as much information as we could ... A Book of Mormon twist if you will. :)

Our tour guide's name was ... Lemuel. Yes. Lemuel. But don't worry. He said, "I don't follow Laman anymore." Hahaha!

Here is Lemuel the Lamanite standing on a city wall ... (literally):


In Mexico, to be a tour guide of the Mayan ruins you have to be certified. Lemuel actually got a degree to become a tour guide. He knew everything one could possibly know about it all. He speaks Spanish, English, French, German, and Mayan. He is also the bishop of one of the Cancun wards.

Now ... let's jump into some pictures (with captions of course):

Here we are in front of the Temple. Visitors used to be able to go up those steep steps and go inside where the Holy of Holies is. However, after one too many visitors plummeted to their death coming down, it is now blocked off. An interesting note: the set up of the Temple and the buildings surrounding that are exactly the same set up as Solomon's Temple in the Old Testament. I wonder how two civilizations on completely different and non-connecting continents could have the exact same sacred rituals ... Hmm. I bet the Book of Mormon would explain this. :)

Some more photos of the temple:


I feel as though in this photo I am standing totally stupid. Don't worry, I did it in most photos while in Mexico. Mexico makes me stand stupid.

Now, people ... you are going to love this next one ...

What building is this?? Basically, this is their Spectrum! It's their athletic arena!

Those are the box seats. :)

Can you guess what they did in this area? This is when the people became naughty and did human sacrifices (as mentioned in some book ... What book? Ohhh, the Book of Mormon). They found hundreds of skeletons here.

Just by the city wall.

Oh, what do we have here:


A road, referred to as a highway because it was a walk-way built high from the ground. Cool.

Hmm ... what else would you like to see from Chitzen Itza? (My Facebook account will have more photos. It just takes too long here.)

I'll put one more ... This is of a building that they are still in the process of restoring. A restoration team comes to Mexico for three months out of every years to work on the ruins. Chitzen Itza alone has over 2,000 structures! It's gonna take a long time to finish that restoring at the rate they are going (P.s. They put every stone back in its original spot!):

After Chitzen Itza, we were off to what is called a cenote ... Oh, I think you are going to like the cenote!



And what do you do in a cenote?



Oh, and did I mention: there is no bottom! They have never been able to find bottom to this cenote!

After playing in the cenote we went to another area of Mayan ruins, Ek Balam. It isn't as popular as Chitzen Itza or Tulum because it doesn't have as many structures and not as many have been restored. However, you are allowed to go in and on the buildings (which you cannot do at Chitzen Itza or Tulum).

This is the entrance to the city ... Just chillin' with Lemuel (now that he is no longer murmuring).


The temple ... And, yes ... I did go to the top of that (can you comprehend the steepness of the stairs? Notice no railings.)

Inside the temple:

To some of you, you will understand the some symbolism with the main statue featured.

And then ...

Notice the original paintings have the figures with lighter colored skin and darker colored skin. If you ask any certified tour guide why the Mayan people (all darker skinned) painted pictures with light and dark skinned people, they don't know the answer. But Lemuel does. Because he reads ... the Book of Mormon.

Remember how I went up the steep, steep, terrifying, rail-less stairs:

Remember how we looked at the view and took pictures at the top:

Remember how I suddenly got a fear of heights on the way back down and was terrified ...

I never knew until this day how much I loved handrails.

This was just an amazing day. I cannot even begin to tell you all the things I learned. There were so many things that testified of the truth of the Book of Mormon. It was extremely spiritual. However, my favorite thing of the day that Lemuel said at the end after all of the evidences of truth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was, "I know this Church is true without seeing all of this - and so do you."

And I do.

And that pretty much sums up day two.

P.s. Still sun burnt-less at this time. Shocking, I know.

5 comments:

Mike said...

Wow, that looks like such a fun trip. That would be really cool. Who names their kid Lemuel?

Allred Mom said...

A bishop named Lemuel???
Oh my!
Good thing he reads the Book of Mormon! He must have repented of his ways!

jill said...

There are a lot of skeletons in the spectrum too. I mean, What?

um Go AGGIES!

Linze Kate said...

Those temple pictures are the coolest pictures EVAH! You look like you had SO much fun... jealous!
Plus, that water is SO BLUE! They aren't kidding...
*muah*

Meg said...

I would love to go see those places some day.

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