All Fall Down

Little more than a month till I leave. There’s plenty of time to reflect. Starting now. This is one of the oldest photos I have of Mexico on Flickr, taken way back in June 2003. Some photos I took are missing, including all of my Mexico City ones from that trip – I’ll have to look and see if I can find the CD.

This is a pretty familiar Mexican landmark, the main pyramid at Chichen Itza. Chichen Itza isn’t my favourite ancient site. It barely scrapes the top ten, although it is from an historical point of view a very important site. I don’t think they let you climb up the pyramid any more. Well, I got there in time, before any rule changes and got to the top!

I’ve also crawled over Stonehenge, which has long since been banned. The motto of this story is, if you can climb, crawl, step on or otherwise physically tample something old and precious, do it quickly while you still can, before they realise you’re destroying it! But be careful – fatalities do occur every year when some poor tourist takes a wrong step…



8 thoughts on “All Fall Down

  1. Funny. It looks far less impressive draped with people. But, without them, it jusy looks dead. As for Stonehenge and the Acropolis, I am glad I was able to walk where the ancients strolled.


    • I would prefer they kept it open for climbers. As Kwallek points out, the pyramid is largely rebuilt, like many ruins in Mexico. You can tell what’s been repaired at many sites by looking for little pebbles in the cement….markers to show restoration work. Alternatively, if it looks all square edges and in good condition, then it’s been restored!

      One of the problems with Stonehenge was people scratching their names into the stones.


  2. kwallek says:

    If you look at the old paintings and photos from the,” before it was rebuilt time” it was pretty beat up just from the effects of trees and gravity, what you see and walk on today is what I would call a rehab. To ban people from climbing the thing, is more of a cost saver than anything and of course, fools falling down the steps, it is steep.


  3. José says:

    When did they prohibit people from climbing up? I hope they don’t do the same at Teotihuacán, as the Sun Pyramid climb is a big part of the experience.


  4. Kim G says:

    Question: Why are Mexican Pyramids so steep?

    Answer: So the bodies of the sacrificial victims can roll down the sides without stopping, where, at the bottom, the madding crowd will rip them to pieces and make pozole of the remains.

    This apparently happened to some of Cortez’s men, and I’m not making it up.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we don’t intend to become anyone’s lunch.


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