Teotihuacán – a must when you’re in Mexico.Or well, let me rephrase that. Teotihuacán – a must for ME when I’M in Mexico. For me there’s hardly anything more interesting than foreign ancient cultures and the legacy they left us. Hardly anything at all.
That would be animals then… 😛
Yucatán in all its glory… but Mexico is so much more…
I had pretty much decided I wanted to see Teotihuacán before I went back home, but well, Mexico is so much bigger than I imagined. Spending a large part of my vacation on the Yucatán peninsula was not a great move from my side, and I had to remove places from my bucket list. No time…
And now I was here – Teotihuacán! Whatever that is…
We don’t really know who laid the foundations for the area, or who lived here. We don’t have a clue. There are theories of course, but no real evidence. The city itself was founded around 400 BC, so it’s almost 2,500 years old.
During its glory, Teotihuacán was the largest city in Mesoamerica with its 200,000 inhabitants, and there are archaeological findings implying the city was a multicultural society. During the 14th century, the Aztecs found the city, renaming it Teotihuacán, which in their language means: “the place where the Gods were created”.
Since 1987 Teotihuacán is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The accommodation I’d booked was close to the ruins area and they had a pool, so I had a great plan of what I wanted to do should I be bored. A lazy afternoon/evening by the pool was what I had in my mind, in case you’re wondering. I would then go to bed early in order to rise early the day after. I needed to be alert running around in ecstasy among the stones.
The sun is not always shining in Mexico…
Well, and so… yet again I had made a judgment error regarding Mexico and the country’s weather. In Teotihuacán it was cold as hell, and there was no sun to be found anywhere during the entire afternoon. Thus – no pool! Instead, I amused myself working, which was actually something I needed to do, anyway.
The day after I rose before the sun. And yes, when it comes to running around amongst ruins I can be very eager. This happened when I went to Chichen Itzá, and also even Machu Picchu so many years ago when we’d set our alarms in the middle of the night, just so we could fumble in the dark while packing our stuff to walk the last part of the Inca trail.
The reward would be to see the sunrise over my Machu Picchu.
Which, by the way, was the most boring sunrise I ever saw. In my entire life! No colours, no nothing – just all of a sudden the sun was up and it was all over. Say what now? Something of an anti-climax to be honest… But still…
Back to Mexico! I left the hotel quite early. Actually before breakfast and without any food in my stomach. Even though the area was just next door it was still a 30-minute walk to the entrance, or well, one of the entrances – the middle one. They opened their gates at 0700, and I had planned on being there before opening hours, as per usual, so it was time to start walking in the dark!
While walking along the fences I enjoyed the silence. The serenity was all over and I felt like the only human in the world. Amazing feeling! Considering the last half-year of my life, I didn’t mind at all being the only one left in the world. I almost wished it would stay this way…
But what happiness lasts? A couple came towards me on the pathway, and a jogging person came from behind them, getting closer. The jogger was accompanied by a dog, who seemed happy and playful. I assumed they were a couple – the jogger and the dog. The dog didn’t pay much attention to the couple as they passed them by but when she laid eyes on me – she was completely love-struck! Thus she left the jogger immediately and jumped at me.
It seemed a lot more fun to nibble in my clothes, maybe we could be friends and play?
The jogger disappeared and there I was, alone with the dog. I gathered she did not belong to the jogger, and I noticed she looked kind of like a puppy; the nibbling was somewhat bad manners I had to admit, but she was cute I forgave her. Even so, I told her no – in Swedish of course (=nej) – because all animals are multilingual – everyone knows that 😉 .
Surprisingly enough the dog stopped nibbling my clothes immediately at my “nej”, which made me think she already was someone’s friend. She listened well to all of my demands. Even if she had some weird black dirt on her face, she looked nice, her fur was well kept, and she didn’t look shabby like a regular street dog. She was limping though, on one of her back legs, so she was mostly running on 3 legs. I suspect she had been run over at some point.
She seemed very happy, though, so it didn’t seem as if the injury bothered her much.
At once I felt I envied her the assessment I just put on her – her pain was there but it didn’t make her depressed, or sad, it was just there. And she was just existing.
I realised I needed to be more like her… Go with the flow…
We entered the area together. She seemed to know the guards, so I didn’t have to pay for her entrance. 😛 Luckily she knew where to go, so she guided me all day. It was nice to have some company. Someone to talk to. I had been travelling alone for several months now and apart from the few days I’d spent with my niece in Guadalajara, I hadn’t spoken to many people. Social distance was the norm that fitted my mood.
Now suddenly I had someone to talk to. Someone who wanted to pose in my photos, even, and someone I wanted to have in my photos.
The first pyramid we climbed was the largest in the area: The Pyramid of the Sun (above). This is the third-largest pyramid in the world. The largest one is the Cholula pyramid, also in Mexico, but unfortunately, I had to opt-out on this one, and the second-largest: the Great Pyramid of Giza – or Pyramid of Cheops.
At once I felt worried about my newfound friend. Maybe she couldn’t run up and down the pyramids (the steps are so narrow), so I ordered her to stay down there. Still in Swedish. My ordering her around had gone so well before, so I thought she would listen this time too.
She did, but then she didn’t…
At first, she did sit when I gave her the order to sit. When I turned around to start my climb up the stairs I heard someone moving softly behind me. As a typical dog, she figured I just couldn’t see her if I didn’t look at her…
We repeated the procedure with “Sit. Stay”, and she sat and she stayed. Until I turned around again.
So after a while, I gave up. She could come, I just had to keep an eye on her, so she wouldn’t fall down…
When we got up we sat down quite a while, watching the silence. It was so serene. There were hardly any tourists at all. It was just me and a handful of other people, not even 10 in total this chilly but clear morning. The air balloons were silently hovering in the air over the Pyramid of the Moon. It was just perfect.
When we were about to descend the Pyramid of the Sun I got nervous, of course. In spite of not having any children of my own, I’m very much a mother hen… It seems as this is just something you are – genetically maybe… 😉 What if my doggie were to slip from one step to another and fall down!
It seemed it had been quite unnecessary for me to worry, of course. My doggie moved up and down, back and forth on the steps with ease, and I realised this was probably not the first nor the last time she ran up and down these pyramids.
She was born here, lived here, this was her hood and she got this!
As we strolled around, pondering life, we chose another path, not the mainstream walking streak leading straight through the area. My doggie ran ahead, sniffing and having a jolly good time. Me – I was walking there talking to her, feeling harmonious, when suddenly another bitch shows up, aggressive as can be.
My friend at first looked a little confused like she didn’t really know how to deal with this problem. She turned to me and saw my worried face. The other bitch sure looked angry and I worried about my friend’s safety. So when she turned back to the bitch she started growling.
I wanted to defend her and she wanted to defend me.
When I realised a fight could be happening at any second I called her at once, demanding we take another route. Without protesting she came running to me when I called. The other bitch looked sceptical, but let us leave.
Along the walking streak there are a lot of vendors, which probably also had been the case during the city’s active time. It had been a large city, after all. One of the vendors was fascinated by my necklace (my labradorite I had bought in New Orleans), or maybe that was just an excuse to start a conversation… who knows? 😛
I’m not particularly talkative, but sometimes I get stuck.
There was something about this man that made me listen attentively, and – wow listen to this – I actually talked back, engaged in a conversation! Sometimes I even amaze myself! He was selling stones, of course. In the end, I didn’t buy any from him, because he was, of course, insanely expensive…
I mean: Teotihuacán – a tourist place!
He was mostly selling obsidian in different shapes and forms. The one that I was interested in would be around 80 dollars and that was way too much. It would even be cheaper back home.
When he realised I wouldn’t buy anything from him he made sure to send me off with a gift from Teotihuacán. I shouldn’t walk away empty-handed, he said. He put a raw obsidian in my hand. Why he wanted to give me one I don’t know, he gave me no serious reason other than he was of the opinion that I needed to have this stone. For free, but so weird… or not?
A particularly important stone for Teotihuacán was obsidian, which actually isn’t any stone at all, but vulcanic glass. Obsidian is formed when lava hardens too fast, and it becomes glass. During the golden days of Teotihuacán, they mined a lot of obsidian, which they turned into a lot of different things, like arrowheads and knives, but also figurines and jewellry.
Lounging around – photo sessions…
We spent several hours inside the Teotihuacán area – me and my friend. I really didn’t want to leave the area, but the problem was I was hungry, since I had skipped breakfast. There was only one restaurant inside, and it wasn’t outdoors. I couldn’t bring my friend inside, and I didn’t want to abandon her. I also suspected she might be hungry as well.
We left the area, and ended up in a restaurant with outdoor seating. In spite of the cold weather, I had decided to sit where she could join me. I wasn’t really sure how restaurants in Mexico deal with animals by the table, so I didn’t place her on a chair next to me 😛 , but I did ask if I could buy my friend some food. They were happy to oblige.
I was pondering how to leave this little friend of mine. We had already become inseparable.
Without the slightest of exaggeration I can say my visit at Teotihuacán was pure magic and made truly special simply because my friend joined me. Leaving her was hard, of course, but when I asked about her at my hotel they told me she had an owner. I don’t know if this was just something they told me, to make me happier, but she looked well cared for, and she was obviously well behaved.
And she indeed seemed happy.
We are so used to having dogs in leashes in Sweden, never letting them run around completely loose. In the rest of the world there are plenty of dogs just walking around, but not all of them are homeless. In some of these countries they keep dogs like we keep cats – they have a home but are free to come and go as they please. I think that’s nice.
Many people find this irresponsible, but I don’t think I do.
The thought of bringing her back home to Sweden with me crossed my mind, of course, but how can I care for a little life? I have neither the physical nor the psychological space right now. Everyone enters your life for a reason, that’s my thought. Reincarnation for me isn’t all about the humans either, so many times I pondered during the day if she was a friend from earlier in my life…
This day when I visited Teotihuacán she made my day special, and I hope I did the same fore her…
Have you been to Teotihuacán? Did you even meet my friend? Please leave a comment!