- Beautiful Vistas
- Sacrifical Altar
- Magnificant Buildings
We are groupies when it comes to the Mayan Ruins. We visit them over and over and go to as many sites as we can. When we visit Uxmal and Chichen we stay in Merida and so enjoy that beautiful colonial city. The French influence is still very strong and you can find the most wonderful French restaurants tucked away.
The area around Uxmal was occupied as early as 800 BC, but the major building period took place when it was the capital of a Late Classic Mayan state around 850-925 AD.
After about 1000, when Toltec invaders took over the Yucatán peninsula (establishing their capital at Chichén Itza), all major construction ceased at Uxmal. But it continued to be occupied and participated in the political League of Mayapán.
Uxmal later came under the control of the Xiú princes. The site was abandoned around 1450, shortly before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and was spared their gift of smallpox.
The main ruins of Uxmal cover about 150 acres, with residential districts spreading further beyond that. Uxmal occupies a grassy savannah surrounded by forest and its buildings were adapted to the varied elevations of the hilly landscape.
Unlike most Yucatan sites, Uxmal derived its not as much from cenotes (natural wells) as from man-made cisterns that collected rain water, one of which can be seen near the entrance. The constant concern with the supply of water probably explains the special popularity of the rain god Chac at Puuc sites.
The real function of many of the structures remains uncertain, and they retain the fanciful names given them by the Spanish. The most magnificant and largest is the great pyrimad, the Advino. Also know as the Pyramid of the Magician or the Pyramid of the Dwarf – me thinks that the dwarf was actually one of the Munchkins! Yucatec Maya folklore have embedded in their history “el anano del Uxmal” the dward of Uxmal. He evidently hatched from an egg and emerged fully grown and built the pyramid overnight………something a Munchkin would do.
This post is dedicated to the memory of my Mother : Annie Pauline Traugott Friesenhahn, who loved to explore the Mayan ruins and visit with the contemporary Mayan people…. probably because they are short like she was!
- A Few Favorite Faces From Mexico (blogwhenyoufeellikeit.wordpress.com)
- The Year of the Maya (petercherches.blogspot.com)
- Detour from the Coast – 8 days in Merida (wanderlustandthegirl.com)
We had the great pleasure of attending a lecture and reception at The San Antonio Museum of Art . http://www.samuseum.org/ Professor Leonardo Lopez Lujan, the archeologist in charge of the Templo Mayor dig in Mexico City, presented the latest findings and discoveries ………….. they are amazing! Professor Lujan has been the senior researcher in archeology at the Museo del Templo Mayor in Mexico City and the Director of the Proyecto Templo Mayor since 1991. He participated in his first archeological dig at the age of eight. The Proyecto Templo Mayor of the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia was created in 1978, when a monolith depicting Coyolxauhqui, the Aztec moon goddess was discovered as workers were digging a new subway line. Now, Professor Lujan’s team has discovered the largest Aztec sculpture ever found, that of the goddess Tlaltecuhtli.
We arrived at the museum early to ensure a good seat, which, of course, meant a trip to the Cafe de Artistes for some wine………who would have guessed!!?!
The lecture was quite engaging and the new finds so very amazing.
Afterwards, we were able to visit with Dr. Lujan and discuss his exciting and interesting life.
He is a most gracious and engaging individual.
To learn more about these wonderful digs, visit: www.mesoweb.com
The we were off to New Braunfels to eat some dinner at what once was the original post office and now houses a wonderful seafood restaurant.
Of course, more wine was in order, along with some yummy fried oysters and crayfish…most did not make it into the photo!
……and then the final course …… yummy fried soft shell crab. It was a most amazing day, filled with so many wonders.
We had a grand trip to Sonoma for a little wine tasting cruise. First we spent a few days in San Francisco in a boutique hotel complete with cabaret lounge on the first floor. What fun! We felt as if we were back in the Moulin Rouge in Paris! I know the Lion would have enjoyed this; however, he was enclosed in his enclave of leather a bit to the North…..oh well….you can’t always have the Emerald City. Okay, back to this story…..we then boarded a wonderful ship and sailed into the mouth of the Sonoma River and each day were picked up and taken to various wineries for tours and tastings. On board the ship we were treated to such wonderful events and lots and lots of wine education and tastings (and tastings and tastings and tastings and tastings), the staff was wonderful and we so enjoyed ourselves!
Until next time…………..salute’…………prost…………..ciao!
In the Lombardy region we were able to visit the Pratello vineyards and enjoy the company of the winemaker, Vincenzo Bertola and his lovely wife.
The Pratello farm is situated on the hills, near the Brescia shore of the Garda Lake. The lake gives out a calm and delightful warmth that heats the land, vineyards, terraced olives and the hearts and souls of those living, working and visiting there.
From the vineyards to the wine cellar to age in the beautiful barrels. The juice of these beautiful grapes was on its was to becoming wonderful and delicious wine.
…..and then a feast to enjoy these beautiful wines…………. what gracious hosts!!!
We had such a grand time visiting Matlapa located in the state of San Luis Potosi!
San Luis Potosi is named for King Louis IX of France and is also known as San Luis Rey de Francia
We went to visit our adopted son Diego and his daughter, Leslie. He promised a fun time at the markets, restaurants and of course soccer games! He did not disappoint us.
We began with the soccer tournament. The Mexicans and Europeans are very serious about their sport. We had to arrive early and were given instructions on which teams to support and which ones not to support. As with any sporting event, the snacks were wonderful. We had the most wonderful fried wheat breads with hot and fiery sauce. The drinks were served in plastic bags with a straw protruding from the top. What a grand time.
We were so proud of our Diego, the team captain!
Diego’s nephew, Juan Carlos, carried the team banner.
After the games it was off to the center of the city to the open air market. I LOVE markets in Mexico with all the exotic fruits, spices, chiles and the lively and engaging vendors.
Of course the evening was spent singing, dancing and eating. Never a dull moment when Diego is around with his guitar!
This story begins like any other on this Culinary tour of Tuscany………..a peaceful drive through Eden! Casteldelpiano (castle of the piano………wow) lies on the top of Mount Amiata overlooking the Tuscan Maremma Valley. The location of the magical bakers of the Corsini Family and their delectable Biscotti and other treasures. http://www.corsinibiscotti.com/
For three generations the Corsini family has been involved in the production of the most beautiful and fragrant baked goods. The story begins with Corrano, the most famous baker of Mount Amiata.
Today the company is headed by Ubaldo Corsini and his sons: Corrado, Andrea, Roberto and Gianluc. They are all as warm and embracing as the beautiful pastries they create. Here is one of the sons showing us the yeast Mother that they have carried forth since 1921 and who they treasure as the center of the Corsini family, as it is this yeast Mother who is infused into all of the wonderful creations that come from these ovens to grace homes around the world.
We are given a tour of the incredible factory, where every cookie, cake and delight is hand wrapped and packaged. Everyone working there had a tremendous smile on their face.
The day ends in the Pasticcerria - Cafetteria – Dolci e Biscotti of the Corsini Family where we are treated to a most astounding array of delights. What lovely people…..no wonder their products are so delightful; they are crafted from the heart by these engaging and passionate people.
A very comfortable train ride through the Austrian countryside. I keep hearing Julie Andrews singing “The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music“ We are on a train that will continue off to Zürich and I think of the families that escaped the Nazis by traveling through these very hills. We are hungry upon our arrival in Salzburg and run directly to the Restaurant Mundenhamer, one of the oldest and very typical Austrian restaurants.
Our first course is white asparagus soup with a breadstick wrapped in crisp prosciutto. It is asparagus season in Austria and special menus and dishes appear everywhere. The soup was creamy and silky –ssooooooo good!
The second course was a typical Austrian Goulash with spicy sausages and potatoes — so wonderful. The people here are so friendly and smiling all the time, such a difference from Prague where they were so sullen and unfriendly.
We just toured Mozart’s home — how incredible to walk the same floors as the Master himself. Many of his original works were on display along with his instruments. The steps going into the home were red marble and worn down through the years.
We walk the streets of the old city and gaze in amazement at the castle on the hill overlooking us. How grand life must have been during the height of the courts.
We walk about the town square and enjoy the open air market and stop here and there for a snack of weiss wurst and coffee. The surrounding architecture is so beautiful and everyone seems to have a smile on their face.
Walking across the bridge over the Danube affords such majestic views!
It is raining fairly heavy now so we decide to relax in the Hotel Ibis, dining on wonderful breads, meats, cheeses, yogurt and granola. The hotels all have the most wonderful coffee machines that by the push of a button make espresso, cappuccino, hot foaming milk and all sorts of various assortments of coffees, all made to perfection.
We ponder our next stop …………….Munich!