This last week, Caitlin and I took a little day trip over to Toniná, which is a set of ruins about 2 hours away from our house. It was so amazing - and actually really big. It isn't really a tourist spot, so there were only a handful of people at the ruins at the same time as us, so we could enjoy the ruins in near silence.
We had to take a shared transport out to the town of Ocosingo, then a small truck/taxi thing to the ruins. Once we got to the ruins, we tried to pay to get in, but the guy told us they were all out of tickets, so we could just go in for free. Yay! What a deal.
We spent a little bit of time in the museum learning about the civilization that once lived here, and seeing a few of the artifacts that were uncovered within some of the collapsed ruins.
Our first stop at the ruins was the Mayan Ball court. This game is intense (we got to see a game back in December) and it was way cool to see where they actually played it when it was popular.
The court was incredibly intact. All the sculptures were in great shape, and as we walked around we talked about the sacrifices made from the players of the game. We have learned it two ways, either the losing team was sacrificed, or the winning team was sacrificed. I think either way, I wouldn't ever play the sport, but maybe I could be a spectator.Then we went up some of the pyramid type ruins. They had a ton of tunnels and weird small rooms. We don't really know what they were all used for, but this civilization was extremely powerful, and actually took down the civilization from Palenque, as well as many others. In the museum, we learned that they kept many prisoners in this city, and they have a lot of sculptures depicting decapitation. Before going to Toniná Caitlin asked how they knew they depicted decapitation, and weren't just statues that had the heads broken off over the years... Well, a lot of the statues are kneeling with their hands tied behind their backs, and other sculptures are holding their own head in their hands. Some engravings even depict a decapitated body with blood coming out around a fallen head. So I think they had a pretty good idea of what those were about.
The tunnels were also extremely dark - no windows in a lot of them, and the rooms were actually just a dead-end in the tunnel. Not sure why - but I would love to talk to someone who actually lived in the ruins back in it's prime. So much of history is lost because people die. :(
The ruins were really tall. Really, really tall. So we climbed up them forever.
And the view from the top was spectacular. Seriously.
We spent a ton of time at top, just relaxing. It was pretty warm, and at the top of the pyramid there was a nice breeze, so we enjoyed it.
After our time at the top, we decided to go down to the bottom again and enjoy a picnic lunch and get ready to go. Overall, we spent about 3 hours at the ruins.
I'm getting really excited for my dad to come and visit in April. We are going to take him to Tikal, Guatemala, and Copan, Honduras. I can't wait to explore more ruins!