Teotihuacan

(February 2  – written by Dave)

Today was all about seeing the pyramids and ancient city of Teotihuacan.  I’ve had this site on my mind for a long time when planning the trip – mostly because it was a spot east of Mexico City and mentally, it put us beyond Mexico City.  I honestly hadn’t given much thought to Teotihuacan.

Well, as happens all the time on this trip, slowing down and discovering things is really what the trip is all about.  From my school boy days I sort of remember that central Mexico was ruled by the Azteca, until the Spanish conquistadors arrived.  Well it turns out that this was only partially correct as Azteca were not first major civilization in central Mexico.  The Teotihuacanos preceded them by a good 700 years or thereabouts.

Teotihuacan was the largest city in the new world at its peak and thought to be the sixth largest city in the world at the time.  They were quite advanced, having running water, sewer, multi-story apartments and highly reformed planning skills.  It is not clear why the city, and civilization in general, collapsed but one common thought is that the environment changed and they could not grow enough crops to sustain the population, which led to unrest and ultimately infighting (ignore the climate at your peril – maybe a message for our leaders today).

At the peak, the city was thought to have 125,000 inhabitants.  By 700 AD, it was probably no more than 2,000 to 5,000.  Ultimately the Azteca settled in what is now Mexico City and the city of Teotihuacan became more isolated.  It is believed that the Azteca still visited for religious ceremonies and actually are given credit for naming the two largest pyramids – the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon.

While it was never really fully abandoned, the “buildings” eventually began returning to the earth and over time mostly becoming just large piles of dirt out in the desert.  After the Mexican revolution, while exploring sights for a new railroad, some government folks became interested in seeing what was under the dirt and restoration began.  This started a 100 year project that gives us what we have today.  As we were standing on the Pyramid of the Moon today, we both could only wonder what this place would have looked like 2000 years ago – it would have been quite a site.

Once again, we’ve discovered place a full of history and intrigue, we’ve scratched the surface and we’ll move on.  I’m sure that I’ve overdone the photos but we have good internet today, so enjoy…

Pyramid of the Sun early climbers

We were up early but some folks still beat us to the top – when we got there, there only two others.  Later in the day, you’ll see that hundreds of folks are up there at a time.

Pyramid of the Sun 9

Northwest corner of the Pyramid of the Sun

Pyramid of the Moon 2

Pyramid of the Moon – from half way up the Pyramid of the Sun

Nancy on Pyramid of the Sun 3 (2)

Nancy near the top of the Pyramid of the Sun

Us on Pyramid of the Sun 1

Us on top of the Sun, looking out towards the Pyramid of the Moon

Pyramid of the Sun from lunch 3

We had lunch just outside the gate – this is the view up to the top at about 12:00

Pyramid of the Sun 8

We climbed alone – this is later when the conga-line up and down is going

Pyramid of the Moon 4

Pyramid of the Moon in the morning

Pyramid of the Moon steps 1

Stairs to the Pyramid of the Moon – the tour buses let off near here and the hoards have started arriving

Pyramid of the Sun 5

Nancy and Pyramid of the Sun

Wall detail

Close up of one of the walls, not sure how authentic it is

Restored wall details 1

Restored column

Guard on Pyramid of the Sun 2

Security guard first thing in the morning

Details in museum 4

Found during excavations – they have a small onsite museum

Four sellers 2

Lots of locals out selling trinkets – these four guys were resting up, waiting for the next bus to arrive

Dave on Us on Pyramid of the Sun 2

Trying to catch a balloon from up on the Pyramid of the Sun

Details in museum 5

Weird face man – in the museum

Us on Pyramid of the Sun 2

Us in the morning with Pyramid of the Moon in the packground

San Juan

Taken yesterday but I liked this church in San Juan Teotihuacan

We had an amazing lunch again today – we ate at Restaurante Mayahuel.  It scored well on tripadvisor and it scored well with us.  Our meal is below for those craving Mexican food!

4 thoughts on “Teotihuacan

  1. Pingback: Teotihuacan — Leave Without Pay – Turista Estado de Mexico

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