Debconf6 day 4: The Daytrip + some hard liquor
Just before the daytrip an idea to go for a breakfast came, so at around 8:30 a small group went off to the local market in search for some food. We were seated by a counter and the food was prepared on a large coal heated metal sheet just in front of us. Learning from the last experience of such kind I ordered two tortilias, but I barely ate one of them - it just did not feel right. (Later I was kind of glad that I didn't because my stomach felt a bit funny until the next morning. I guess the body can feel what is good for it.)
After we came back to hotel, the buses arrived - large, metallic buses of the GMC (General Motors Company, I assume) that looked like they came straight from 1960s - 1970s. I expected that they will fell like frying pans in the hot midday sun, but in the end the buses turned out to be very nice and comfortable.
A half an hour before the leaving time people started to group up. Some took the time to chat, some took the time to take random group photos.
The drive to the place was two hours long. The guide told us a bit about the region where we are and its history. I do not remember much of it except that this state has always been the rich farming valley that provided food to many other regions. We also found out the name of the volcano whose picture I took earlier - it was the active Popocatepetl. I have heard that name before. That is the first name that I know here.
On arrival to the Xochicalco archaeological site we left our buses and wen into the on-site museum. The museum was built in a barren place without electricity and any water installations, so it was decided to make the museum to be very ecological - sunlight is used wherever possible, electricity is gathered by solar panels, rain water is gathered, collected and purified using natural treatment methods. ALso the building materials are very strange - the buildings look very green. The museum was of the classical site with texts and scenes and bunches of artifacts and a "no flash" requirement. That kind of impacts the pictures. Additionally the glass behind which the artifacts were was way too reflective.
After we were done with the museum we went on a 5 minute walk under the midday sun to the site itself. It was really, really hot. People got sunburns later But the view was great.
On the site there were some kind of containers that were masked as stones. They might be local trash containers or something else.
The whole excursion on the site took around two hours and was spent slowly walking from one shade to another while listening to the explanations of our guide. There were 6 groups in total, our group (the Pink 3) had around 20 people.
The ancient city was a well protected multilayer city where people of certain social status were basically locked inside on of the levels and people of the higher level governed them. At all levels there were pyramids and temples and places for parties. Our guide said that having a party almost every week is traditional for people of this region, it is a tradition derived from calendars of the ancient times.
There were several ball courts on the territory. Very fascinating game (judging from the available data). The winner was seen as becoming closer to godliness. We have no idea what happened to the loser. But there was a sauna where players went before the game.
The excavations at Acropolis section (the rich people section) is still going on.
But the main religious place - the temple of the feathered serpent was restored magnificently. It is relatively small (compared to my previously visited pyramids), but very well preserved and restored. Most of the carvings were fully visible.
In the end the site was nowhere near as impressive as Teotichuan. Not even close. The final temple was a nice piece, but the rest ...
After that we went for a lunch at an all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet. They were obviously notified of our arrival because seating and feeding 300+ people otherwise would be very hard. We sat in our seats and then went for the food at table by table basis. Th food was nice and simple. I had a lot and really considered skipping dinner when we came back.
There was also some local fauna at the place: a extremely friendly and lovely chameleon, a meat eating parrot, a hamster, a dog and a pair of pigeons. Apparently all of them were up for adoption. A lot of cuteness ensued.
After lunch we drove for an hour to the capital of the Morero state and went to the local market for souvenirs. The shopping was fast and productive even despite the soft rain.
In the evening after the daytrip and after the dinner there was a hard liquor party. Hard liquor from multiple countries was presented. I could not evaluate it properly, but I could evaluate the properly prepared Japanese green tea. It was really magnificent. This party was slower then the wine and cheese party - you can't rush with hard liquors.
In parallel a pancake party was also taking place in the hotel's kitchen. I looked very nice but I was very full by then.