Sometimes don't you just wish you knew everything? That is how I feel when I visit interesting places, and especially historical places. I always want to know exact details of individuals who lived in those places and what they actually experienced. Visiting Palenque was no different. As we walked around the ruins I was wishing I took some sort of class that would give me greater insight into Mayan life during this period.
But even without knowing everything, our tourguide (although he only spoke Spanish) was able to give us a few insights that I relished.
In this building there was the tomb of the Red Queen, an unidentified royal woman (possibly the wife of Pakal) who was buried here. She was in a red tomb, which he said meant to symbolize blood and she was buried with two servants, a young man and a woman who were sacrificed so they could accompany her to the afterlife.
This is the temple of inscriptions, which contained one of the longest glyphics ever found. I don't really know much about glyphic, but that seems pretty impressive. :)
In the same area there are a ton of other buildings, including a palace - fit with several courtyards, bathrooms, and even a meditation area.
|Using the bathroom was a workout and required quite a bit of aim.|
Throughout the ruins there were tunnels to explore, but a lot of them were not open to the public. I was actually amazed with how many we were able to explore though. It seems to me that it should be on some sort of preservation lock-down.
The meditation courtyard. Caitlin practiced a little mediation while we were there. If you look above her - the sculpture is of someone meditating in the same pose.
Beyond the palace and courtyard there were several more buildings set up on hills overlooking the palace. Some of them were closed off so we couldn't go up to them, but they were the Temple of the Skulls, and some other unnamed temples (just numbers rather than names).
I'll just go ahead and finish this blog off with a handful of pictures of us around those temples. Since our tour guide was so verbose the group didn't make it up to these ruins. Luckily we left early enough to be able to go to the top of all the ones that were open. We did miss the Mayan Ball Court and a few other structures, but I feel that we got to see a ton for the amount of time we were there.
|Everyone needs a goofy picture at the Mayan ruins, right?|
And of course, no trip would be complete without a jumping picture. :)