So I recently returned from a trip to Peru — including a hike along the Inca Trail, a good chunk of time spent in Machu Picchu, even more time spent in Cusco, all sorts of good things. I plan on writing up a number of blog posts on things I saw and experienced — but first thought this might be helpful to future Machu Picchu visitors (it’s a sign at the entrance, laying out 25 things you may not bring to / do in the site):
Bottom line — there’s lots of inaccurate information online w.r.t what is and isn’t allowed into / at the site of Machu Picchu. So, since the above text is a bit small, here’s the posted list of restrictions (as of May, 2018), along with my comments on them: Continue reading
The most-famous (if not quite the tallest) structure at the ancient Maya ruins of Palenque, it’s the Temple of the Inscriptions:
The House of Doves (A.K.A. Casa de las Palomas) in the Maya ruins of Uxmal has one face that tends to be shown in tourist brochures and online photos. This is the other (north) face:
When I last visited, the structure was getting a bit of touch-up work done (thus, the scaffolding you can faintly see in the left of this photo). I think it’s a very photogenic structure regardless — even on the less-pretty side and with scaffolding in full view.
A carving, seen near the top of the Great Pyramid in the ancient Maya ruins of Uxmal:
Overlooking downtown Nassau in The Bahamas, Fort Fincastle was built of limestone in 1793 as part of the islands’ defenses against the threat of pirates. An oddly shaped little thing, it’s one of three surviving forts in Nassau.
Roughly teardrop-shaped, Fort Fincastle has the advantage of sitting atop the highest point on the island, and has a great view of Nassau and its harbor. It once hosted 6 cannon and a howitzer, but none was ever fired in anger.
This little figure is part of the decoration on the Temple of the Warriors in the Maya ruins of Chichén Itzá, Mexico:
I’m not sure how tall he is, since he’s mounted at a significant height off the ground, and can’t be seen from up close — you need a reasonably long lens and some perspective correction software to get a shot like this. Still, if you look closely, you can see that the figure is emerging from the jaws of a feathered serpent, with most of the serpent’s details carved in bas-relief into the building’s stones.
Another view of the always-impressive Temple V in the ancient Maya ruins of Tikal, Guatemala:
This shot is from the northwest of the structure (unusual for a number of reasons, including its north-facing orientation). Temple V also has rounded corners, a feature unique to major structures in Tikal and its surroundings.
These petroglyphs were carved and painted into a sandstone wall (in what is now Dinosaur National Monument, Utah) about a thousand years ago by members of a semi-nomadic culture known as the Fremont:
This site, called the “Swelter Shelter,” was a seasonal dwelling for the Fremont, only used for part of the year as they followed available food and water. But apparently conditions here were sufficiently hospitable that the Fremont had a little spare time for art.
Should you ever make it to Dinosaur National Monument, this is just one of a number of fairly easily visited sites along the Tour of the Tilted Rocks Scenic Drive, not far from the Visitor’s Center.
Ages ago, I published a photo looking up at Structure II in Calakmul from ground level — if you were curious, here’s the view from the top looking down:
Getting up and down again is definitely a good workout, if your knees will take it!
A segment of a panorama from the ancient Maya ruins of Uxmal — covering the Governor’s Palace (left) and the House of the Turtles (right), along with a few scattered tourists:
I initially didn’t expect this image to be of much account. It’s part of a panorama I made for later reference, one of many I made at a number of sites on my last trip to the Yucatán, primarily so I can double-check the quality of the maps I draw for my eBooks.
But in the process, I discovered that a modern iPhone (!) can make surprisingly good panoramas.