My passport is getting a workout this week. Just three days after returning from Montréal, I took to the skies once again – this time on a trip to Mexico. My destination was the beautiful beaches of the Yucatán Peninsula for a girls’ weekend getaway.
Even as I enjoyed the sun, sand and spirits, my thoughts turned toward welcome signs. Unfortunately, I was not able to capture a photo on this trip. (There was a sign at the Cancún airport, but I tend to avoid these generic airport welcome signs unless I am visiting an island with limited or no road access.) Luckily my archive of welcome signs includes one from the same region I was visiting.
These photos were taken three years ago. At the time, not only was I photographing welcome signs, but I was on a mission to visit the “New” Seven Wonders of the World. One of these wonders is Chichen Itza, the remains of a Mayan civilization that prospered over 1,000 years ago.
I captured this sign as part of a group tour that coincidentally stopped for a very brief bathroom break at the border to the State of Yucatán. (The United Mexican States includes 31 states, and the State of Yucatán is one of three that makes up the Yucatán Peninsula.) I like this sign. It’s simple yet noticeable, and it includes a pyramid symbol, one of the most recognized features of Chichen Itza.
Since it is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, I am including a few photos of Chichen Itza. First featured is El Castillo (The Castle), the central structure of the settlement that is a temple to the Mayan god Kukulcan.
The Tzompantli was the site of human sacrifices. The Mayans proudly displayed the heads of their dead enemies as a deterrent to future invaders.
Finally, the Group of a Thousand Columns once supported an extensive roof system. On the day of my visit, a local girl sat pensively among the pillars, perhaps reflecting on the great accomplishments of her ancestors.
My welcome sign project continues… and so does my goal of visiting the New Seven Wonders of the World. With a bit of luck, I’ll have the final two wrapped up by the end of the year.