A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

An ancient ceremonial center that the early Spanish explorers never found…

A United Nations World Heritage site and one of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico…

Off the beaten tourist path…

A place of great beauty…

El Tajín.

EL Tajin Mexico -- first look

The first view

The first sight of the ruins was astonishing. The emerald green of the grass and forest, the textures of the rocks, the soft grayness and coolness of the gentle rain, and the view of several pyramidal structures all combined to caress the eyes and invite exploration.

We meandered around the huge site. Over 30 of the more than 160 buildings known to archaeologists have been excavated. The further we went, the more amazing the buildings became.

I gave myself over to being in a place with so much life and history, such a strong feeling of people of the past. It was grand to be there, and also a reminder of how short my own time will be, in the great scheme of things.

El Tajin at one of Mexico's great ruins

Statue of El Tajín himself

The city was both a spiritual and a political center – the two concepts were intertwined. In the Totonac language, tajín means thunder, lightning, or hurricane, all of which can occur mightily in the region, between June and October. The god of these forces was called Tajín by the Totonacs.

Scholars generally seem to agree that most of the site was built by the Totonacs, who occupied a large geographical area in this part of Mexico. El Tajín’s epoch of splendor ran from about 800 to 1200 AD and probably involved a population of 25,000 or so, spread over a larger area than the site itself.

[Next: photos and thoughts about El Tajin]

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