I'm currently in Mexico for a few days. I'll be spending most of my time exploring the Yucatán peninsula, which is rich in Mayan heritage. The only other time I was in Mexico was several years ago and that was Mexico city only. This time I'll be travelling around a little.
Originally I was meant to be coming here for a work related event which was kicking off at the weekend, but as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 the event, along with quite a few others, was cancelled. However I'd booked and paid for a holiday so I decided I'd just take the holiday anyway.
Yesterday I flew from Dublin to Paris and then from Paris to Cancún. That''s basically 16 hours or so of travel if you include the layovers. While I enjoy travelling being squeezed into a metal tube for long periods of time can be a little tedious.
So by the time I got to the hotel in Cancún yesterday evening I was pretty tired. The hotel had a couple of restaurants including one which is right on the beach. Dining right beside the sea is a huge difference from the miserable weather in Ireland I'd left only a few hours earlier! And the first cocktail was well and truly enjoyed
After taking it easy last night I started my holiday proper this morning early, being picked up from the hotel at around 8am. The plan today was to get from Cancún to Mérida taking in a couple of stops along the way to see some of the sights. The drive from Cancún to Mérida is about three and half hours and once you get out onto the main road the motorway is pretty much straight. And by straight, I really do mean "straight". There don't seem to be many bends on the road at all and you basically drive for hours with very little else to see except the road in front of you.
So what about the region?
This area of Mexico is dominated by Mayan culture. Unfortunately in some parts of Mexico the archaeological remain were not protected and have been completely destroyed, as in Cancún where a large part of the current hotel area was originally covered in Mayan temples. However the Mayans did build a lot of temples and other structures and many have survived in some form until today.
The first place we stopped is an area called Ekʼ Balam. It's a Mayan city which was abandoned long before the Spanish invasion of the region. What's fascinating about the site is that it's only partially restored, with many of the structures still covered in jungle. (More photos to follow)
After wandering around Ekʼ Balam for a while we then moved on to the nearby town of Valladolid where I had a lovely lunch in a gorgeous restaurant in a colonial style building in the town centre.
From Valladolid to Mérida took another hour or so.
So over the next few days I'm staying at a boutique hotel in Mérida and will be visiting some of the areas around here, as well as getting to see and enjoy the city itself. I'll be posting photos and more over the coming days, though I might have to wait until I get back to faster wifi to upload the better quality images.
I'm really looking forward to getting to savour a little of the local culture, history and, most importantly, cuisine.