I always thought I was a walking kind of person, the kind that reached destinations (no matter how far) with my own two feet. Well that was before I went to Teotihuacán and hiked it’s two pyramids, mother and father of all stairs. We came back to base eternally thankful for mankind’s ease of the height climbing task with the invention of electric stairs. Hallelujah!
If you are ever on a journey to discover and explore your native land, visiting old towns that half preserve their antiquity while welcoming technology is a given, but visiting the leftovers of civilisations from way way back is a must. Mexico has plenty!
We previously visited Templo Mayor in the center of Mexico City, so now we went to it’s outskirts to visit Teotihuacán, and let me tell you, it’s huge and awe-inspiring.
At 75 mts tall, this place is has the third largest pyramid in the world (we still have doubts, our resources are sketchy): Pyramid of the Sun. It’s sister being the Pyramid of the Moon at only 43 mts tall. Between the two you can count a total of 300+ steps, split into levels of different sizes. Then, between and after the two pyramids you have a 2 & 1/2 km walk for Calzada de los Muertos (Avenue of the Dead) including 20+ steps every half km or so. That is a lot of walking, walking that takes endurance which we wonder whether or not might have been the eventual downfall of the Teotihuacán civilisation.
Beyond my complaints, though, this place is amazing. There is so much detail, dedication, and engineering (they had plumbing, for godsakes!) that went into building these temples and pyramids, that it’s impossible not to feel that even though they are from the past, they were quite advanced and practiced in their technology and architecture. I only wish their culture was not such a mystery, because there is still so much we don’t know about them.
I have this horrible habit, when visiting temples and old buildings, of asking my companion questions as if she were an expert. I normally get an “”I dunno, Lady, we can only guess””. This is the way things go for anyone wanting to know more about this particular culture, it’s all about guesswork. And even though archeologists have theories, I feel that there might be a couple of things that the Teotihuacans would probably deny if they had the chance. Like when literature professors try to guess the meaning behind a great novel.
So I invite you to go out there yourself, endure the climb to the top, enjoy the view once you get there, and make your own guesswork of how they lived, built, worked and disappeared. Heck, you might have a better guess than the Aztecs did when they arrived to Teotihuacán (they thought the city was so amazing it must’ve been built by gods). Be your own archeologist.
P.S. Make sure to take lots of sunblock and refresh every hour. And take an umbrella. And lots of water.