Mexico Day 7

Saturday morning went just like Friday morning, except our guide was different. His name was Ignacio, but he prefers Nacho, which of course amused the kids. He was really great too, very friendly and loved to tell stories. I was less confident in his facts, but we were all more entertained by his charisma. We spent the day at Teotihuacan, a place I’m struggling to summarize. We started out at a small museum where we learned from the museum guide about the many uses of the various parts of the Mexican agave plant.

We were the first to arrive at the small museum close to the Teotihuacan site. In fact, while we were having our tour I watched a man come out and paint white lines in this dirt parking lot. It was so quiet and pleasant, and still nice and cool outside.
The amazing plant.

We also learned about making silver and weaving, but the kids really became obsessed with the obsidian, which you can look through to see the sun directly, like the special glasses used during an eclipse.

We did a little shopping in the museum shop where Eli bought an obsidian disc and Simon got an obsidian keychain. (Which he lost a couple days later and has been grieving ever since.) I bought a pair of silver earings and a couple really cute dresses for Miriam and Amirah.

I let Amirah be unbuckled as we made the short drive from the museum to the Teotihuacan parking lot, and she was thrilled to look out the window.
The murals in Teotihuacan are thousands of years old, from around 100BC – 500AD.

I won’t write much about Teotihuacan as a civilization. For me the ruins were the kind of place where imagination wins the day, there’s just so much we don’t know. It was really impressive though, and places like this and Machu Picchu and Mesa Verde cliff dwellings all really captivate me. I love to speculate and romanticize, but I also love to hear what archaeologists have learned and what hey speculate.

I’m probably not unusual in this way, but I’m always curious which parts of the ruins have been restored and what stands just as it did 2000 years ago. The archaeologists at Teotihuacan have a trick for this- you can see small black stones in the “mortar” of all the areas that have been restored, where there are no small stones, you can tell it’s original structure.
It was a hot day and there isn’t much reprieve from the sun. The kids did a great job of listening to Nacho at the beginning, but as the day wore on, and we hiked some pyramid steps, they’re enthusiasm and interest waned.
The Pyramid of the Moon. The steps were steep and the sun was hot but we convinced all the kids to climb this one, at least part of the way. (Amirah stayed behind with Baca.)
The view of the Avenue of the Dead from the top of the Pyramid of the Moon. The Pyramid of the Sun is in the distance.
Taking a break between hiking pyramids to listen to Nacho.
The Pyramid of the Sun, much bigger than the Pyramid of the Moon. Cameron and Eli bravely hiked most of the way, but only Richard, my dad and I made it all the way to the top.
The view of the Pyramid of the Moon from the top of the Pyramid of the Sun.
Pretty awesome.
Eli carefully working his way down the steep steps.

By the time we finished hiking the Pyramid of the Sun the kids were hot and hungry and tired so we took a lunch break. Nacho picked another buffet for us, which the kids loved, and this one had a seperate taco bar. It was so yummy. There was also a lot of Mexican singing and dancing in costumes and we ate outside under the shade of big trees.

Tacos tacos tacos!

After lunch, with renewed energy we went back to Teotihuacan to explore the rest of the site.

It was an exhausting day, probably the toughest of our excursions for the kids. But it is a pretty fascinating place and I was really glad to experience it. We had a nice quiet and relaxing drive back to Mexico City and the CCM.

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