November 5, 2018   Mexico, Uxmal

Today we visited Uxmal, an ancient Mayan city about an hour out of Merida. We hired a driver, Alex, to take us. He and his wife Joanna own Destino Merida tours.

Alex picked us up early in the morning so we could see the ruins while temperatures are at their coolest (least warm might be more descriptive) and when there would be few visitors. As promised, when we arrived we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Once at Uxmal he handed us off to a local fellow who guided us through the town. Afterwards Alex drove us to the charming Hacienda Ochil for a Yucatan lunch. Ochil was once a working plantation and it is well preserved; it's complete with extensive beautiful grounds, artwork, railroad, and even a cenote. As we talked with Alex we learned more about Mexico and the Yucatan and, this being US-election eve, we even talked a little politics. Alex is very informative and we had a nice tour. I'd highly recommend him.

For dinner tonight we walked all the way to the end of our block --- in other words, we barely moved --- where we ate at the Italian restaurant Oliva Enoteca. It's the fourth restaurant we've visited on the block. Each has been stellar.

The Pyramid of the Soothsayer      
This three-level pyramid greets you as you enter Uxmal. It has unexpectedly rounded corners. A steep staircase climbs the eastern side. If you clap in front of the pyramid it is said to emit a bird-like echo.
The Pyramid of the Soothsayer      
A very steep staircase embellished with carved masks climbs the west side.
The top of the pyramid      
At the top of the west side the stairs reaches a doorway carved to represent the mouth of a serpent.
Steep stairs      
The grounds of Uxmal feature a lot of Iguanas. This one's maybe a couple of feet long.
Stone detail      
The stone facades are covered with snakes and turtles, people, and representations of the water god, water being of special importance to the Mayans.
Stone detail      
Stone arch      
Pyramid of the soothsayer      
Our guide, Gam