Mexico - Monday 22 November 1999
I had the morning to myself. I slept in until 9:00 am, relaxed a bit, and went into Merida on my own.
Looking for a bank was a bit challenging. We had to pay in advance for the afternoon trip to Uxmal. When I was searching for the bank, I passed the travel agency three times, but when I looked for the travel agency, I couldn't find it.
I had breakfast at the main square, which is being refurbished; they were working on it. It was lovely to do nothing for a while and watch regular life on the street.
Our minibus to Uxmal departed at 1:00 pm, an important Mayan ruin about an hour's drive from Merida.
A Frenchman was also on board, traveling alone. He was supposed to go to La Paz (Bolivia), but his travel agency booked a ticket to La Paz, Texas. So, he ended up in Mexico. Interestingly, the Frenchman speaks fluent English and Spanish. He also speaks German because he works for the Deutsche Bank.
Uxmal is less beautiful than Chichen Itza, but because it's much less crowded, it stands out better. There's been a lot of reconstruction; when they found the remains, there was very little left.
Sitting atop the highest temple, I explained to my travel companions what Sinterklaas is. I treated them to marzipan. They understood how challenging it was for me: being away from home on both my birthday and Sinterklaas.
We also watched the sunset, very beautiful.
We dined at a restaurant on Uxmal's grounds - we were the only guests. The food wasn't very Mexican, and there wasn't much, but it was good. We had delicious banana sorbet for dessert, made from real bananas without flavorings.
In the evening, we watched a light and sound show at Uxmal. It was a bit of a disappointment: it wasn't an explanation of what it all was, but more of an audio drama about life back then. The worst part was that the English translation on our headphones wasn't synchronous with the light effects. Still, it was beautiful to see; the lighting revealed many details that weren't visible during the day.
In Merida, the festival was still ongoing in the evening. When we arrived, a large group of dancers in traditional clothing was performing.
Afterward, a small group of two violinists, two guitarists, and a keyboardist played well, but their repertoire was a bit dull. After half an hour, we returned to the hotel.