Saturday, 26 December 2009
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
And, it also turns out that Tane has larger feet that John Wayne. According to a guide Wayne's feet look smaller than they actually were because of his boots, but as I am too dense to follow that logic myself have decided to let this photo do the talking!
Friday, 18 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Uxmal was next, which had an unusual pyramid with circular corners, lots of beautiful carvings, a more laid-back atmosphere than Chichen and - bonus - iguanas.
Kabah is a relatively small but interesting site, with an amazing facade with more than 200 faces of the all-important rain god, Chaak, while Palenque is famous for its beautiful setting in jungle-covered hills, and was Lauren's favourite.
Bonampak's chief claim to fame is its amazing murals, probably the best in the Mayan world. Like the stonework the murals can be pretty grizzly though, as the Mayan kings loved to show themselves torturing, sacrificing and generally being mean to captives.
Yaxchilan´s main plaza.
Sadly we did not have time to fit in what is said to be the most amazing city of all, Tikal, or Copan in Honduras, famous for its stonework. But at least that gives us another excuse to come back to Central America!
Friday, 11 December 2009
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
The reputation of Italy is that the further south of Rome you get, the poorer, more corrupt and crime-ridden it is. There´s certainly a lot of scuminess around, but also plenty of gems. Take Naples. There are some of the ugliest decaying apartment blocks you´ll see outside of Cambodia. There´s an air of dodginess around the train station. There´s the murder rate, easily the highest in the country. But there are also plenty of elegant apartment blocks, spectacular state and religious buildings, a superb ancient history museum and real buzz in the air at night.
Then there was the day we spent trying to get to the famous Greek ruins of Paestum. We started off in lovely Sorrento, which is perched on the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, then took a graffiti-covered Circumvesuviana train to our accommodation near Pompeii. Unfortunately, turns out near is a relative term. We were actually in Scafarti, a non-too-nice town next to Pompeii. To get to our b&b we had to trek from the train station, with its distinctive spraypaint, rubbish and concrete decor, in our backpacks down a busy road with no footpaths.
And, maybe best of all, the pizza place down the road from the b&b was sensationally cheap and sensationally good. So at the end of the day, like Southern Italy as a whole, the highs definitely outnumbered the lows.
All for just two Euros and fifty cents