Saturday, July 13, 2024

Heaven on Earth, Mexico



Hello, today I will tell you about Mexico…

I’m going to talk about Cancun, a city I’ve been to a few times because it’s only 2 hours from Miami, and the historical sites nearby. It’s also very close to the ancient city of Chechen Itza, one of the seven new wonders of the world. When you go to Cancun, you don’t only experience Mexican culture, you can feel like you are in one of the coastal cities of the United States because it is a very modern and developed city. It is possible to come across many American brand restaurants and hotel chains. Since the most developed sector is tourism and most of the people work in the tourism sector, you can get by in English without knowing Spanish. The hotels are magnificent and lined up along the coast waiting for rich tourists, but being a tourist here is a bit risky. A few years ago, sunbathing tourists were shot at by passing boats on the beach. Official and civilian security forces overprotect the tourists. One evening when I went down to the city center to have dinner, I saw full of soldiers getting out of the truck and mingling with the people with their guns and I thought “Is there a coup?” It turned out that these were soldiers who were assigned to the touristic areas where the crowds were dense to protect the tourists.

The Intercontinental Presidente Hotel where I stayed on my last visit was next to Madonna’s house in Mexico. There was no wall between us, so we shared the same beach. We were very pleased with the hotel, both the pools and the beach. The eagle named Morgana, which we saw with its keeper while walking in the garden, was kept in the hotel garden with its mouth closed and the iron mask on its head was removed only when it was allowed to fly. They made her fly on a full stomach so that she wouldn’t attack anyone or their food. Anyway, Morgana’s job was to prevent other birds from attacking the food of the tourists who were eating outdoors, and they flew it at meal times to prevent other birds from coming.

The currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso. However, they also accept US Dollars in the bazaar. Most of the people working in the tourism sector speak English. Many American tourists can have a vacation without any difficulty. Public buses are also very convenient. Many times, I preferred the bus instead of a taxi. I traveled cheaply and had the chance to test the local life closely. Unlike in America, there is also the opportunity to bargain in the shops here. Generally, tourists are given high prices. Do not shop without bargaining. They give discounts with bargaining.

When we think of Cancun, we think of the sea, sun, sand, and entertainment vacation in the evenings. However, there are many historical monuments and ancient cities very close to the city that you can visit for a day. One of them is one of the new seven wonders of the world.

Chichen Itza. The first time I visited this ancient city, which is a legacy of the Mayans and fascinates every visitor, was in 2005, so the claims of the Mayans that the end of the world would come in 2012 were still on the agenda. The Kukulcan temple, also called El Castillo, which means castle in Spanish.

It was built by the Mayans between 8-12 AD as a temple to the snake god Kukulcan. If you go up and clap your hand, you will hear a sound like the chirping of the quetzal, a bird native to Central America.

I was lucky enough to go to the top of the temple and experience this when I first visited in September 2005. At that time, the stairs of the Kukulcan Pyramid were open to the public. I climbed the 91 steps of the temple to the top of the pyramid. They had stretched a long rope so that people would not have difficulty during the ascent and descent. Those who had difficulty were holding on to it, but believe me, going down was much more difficult than going up. Because you couldn’t see the next step. I am glad I made this ascent that year, it is no longer possible. climbing to the Pyramid is no longer allowed. After an 80-year-old American woman, Mrs. Black, fell to her death while climbing El Castillo on January 5, 2006, the El Castillo Temple was closed to ascents. You are only allowed to walk around and look at the monuments and those who want to climb them illegally are fined heavily. For the safety of visitors and the protection of the structures, climbing the monuments is no longer allowed.

According to legend, this pyramid, dedicated to the feathered serpent god Kukulcan (or Quetzalcoatl), is visited by his namesake twice a year, when day and night are in balance. These dates also coincide with the Equinox, when Kukulcan returns to earth to commune with the worshippers, to provide a blessing for a full harvest and good health before entering the sacred water, bathing in it, and continuing on his way to the underworld.

If you go to Chichen Itza, try to time your dates to coincide with the equinox. During the March 21 Spring Equinox and the September 21 Autumnal Equinox, watch the “light and shadow” on the north staircase of the Citadel. At around three o’clock in the afternoon on equinox days, the sun projects seven triangles of light onto the parapet on the northeast side of the Castle. These begin to move up and down along the parapet to form the silhouette of a snake. The Mayans were advanced in astronomy, mathematics, architecture, and art, and their religious rituals were also very interesting. Our guide told us about their bloodletting and sacrifices to offer to the gods and mentioned a ball game. This ball game was not only for religious rituals but also had political and economic aspects, allegedly at the end of the games prisoners of war were sacrificed and the winners were given prostitutes as gifts. It is known that Atatürk had a special interest in the Mayans, read books about them, and commissioned a Mayan-Turkish dictionary.

Another place to visit during a visit to the Yucatan Peninsula is Tulum, which has become very popular in recent years. It is an increasingly popular tourist destination thanks to its unique combination of beautiful beaches, impressive Mayan ruins, delicious food, vibrant nightlife, and relaxed bohemian atmosphere.

Xel-Há is a theme and natural water park with endless activities to do in Tulum: snorkeling, ziplining, rappelling, and more.

While the tourist attractions in Mexico are very elegant, clean, and beautiful, most of the people living there are very poor and neglected. The crime rate is also high. Problems such as theft, human trafficking, and drug cartels continue. For this reason, I recommend you to be careful in unfamiliar places and not to go to places far from tourist attractions. Its history and culture are very rich. It is possible to hear the famous Mexican music everywhere. Small music groups called Mariachi are also found in most places. They make music while you are eating. Mexican food already has many varieties that most people try, love, and like. Taco, Nachos, Quesadillas, Tortillas, Gazpachos, Fajitas, Burritos, and Enchiladas are some of the ones I can think of. I am sure most of you have already tried them in Mexican restaurants. It is already common knowledge that they love spicy food and consume a lot of foods such as beans and rice.

In the hotel I stayed in Mexico, I was very surprised to see products such as beans, rice, and spicy tacos at breakfast. Like other Latinos, they can eat what they consume for lunch in the morning.

In Mexico, the homeland of many world-famous dishes, cooking is considered a religious and philosophical culture.  In 2010, UNESCO included Mexican cuisine in its list of world cultural heritage and boasts of being the origin of many world-famous dishes.

It is also possible to go to Mexico by cruise ship. You can explore the famous resorts of the Yucatan peninsula by taking Cancun, Chichen Itza, and Tulum tours with the ships sailing from Florida to the island of Cozumel. From California ports, you can go to Caba San Lucas, Mazatlán, and Puerta Valerta regions.

When Americans think of Mexico, they first think of illegal immigrants from the southern states, especially from Texas, but Mexico has already taken over America with its unique culture. Mexicans live in most American cities and keep their language and culture alive there. I remember when I was driving from Arizona to California and the state police opened my trunk to see if there were any illegal immigrants inside. Since Mexico is not a very developed country, there is a constant crossing to the American side. These are not only Mexicans but also illegal immigrants from other countries who are helped by gangs. There are people in Mexico who are very rich and famous around the world. Among them, famous businessmen, athletes, and movie and voice artists continue to make Mexico’s name known in other countries.

It is good to be a tourist in Mexico, but you need to be very careful, security weaknesses and theft are unfortunately a big problem. Nevertheless, the hospitality of its people, the beauty of its nature, and the richness of its historical monuments continue to attract tourists. Mysterious Mexico is waiting for you, where you will not get bored even if you go many times and where you can constantly discover new things. I think it is a place that should be at the top of the list of countries to visit. If you can’t go because it is far away, go to a Mexican restaurant, listen to their music and even eat Mexican food will make you as happy as if you had been there.

Your fellow traveler

Canan Sezgin

Instagram: @cansez2013

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  1. Harika bir yazı hem bilgilendirici hem de eğlenceli. Yararlı tavsiyeler ile dopdolu.


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