Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the last latin american ruins for a while...

a tower in the palace at Palenque, my favorite ruins so far (well, in this part of latin america)

a view from one of the temples

a view inside the palace

more tropical flowers - this one is at my hostel on isla mujeres

one of my favorite flowers throughout central america; i never saw it when i was able to take a photo (always on the side of the road when i was on a bus) and now the one i have is blurry. oh well, i'll take what i can get!


me at a waterfall called agua azul (blue water)

a view from above

this doesn't do the blue justice...

another waterfall, not sure what it's called

the view from behind the waterfall

mexican churches, etc.

This was Trotsky's bed. He was attacked twice in his home in Mexico City, not surviving the second. You can see bullet holes behind the bed from the first attack.

a church in San Cristobal, Mexico -

the entire thing is carved!

another church in san cristobal

a church in a small town in southern mexico,

decorated for some festivals

a market outside the church in the small town

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


If you remember from your history classes from middle school, Teotihuacan was a city outside the current Mexico City and was the most important city before the Spaniards arrived. Although it's interesting they always mention this because they don't really know much about the site or the people.

an image of a jaguar in one of the pyramids

a view of the sun pyramid (65 meters)
and the moon plaza from the moon pyramid

a view of the moon pyramid (45 meters) from the sun pyramid

damn! I came so ill-prepared!

basilica de guadelupe

According to my tour guide, this is the second most visited religious site in the world, after the Vatican. Tomorrow (Dec 12) 2.5 million people will decend on this particular site, offering thanks to the Virgin of Guadelupe (Mary). It's more important than Christmas and Easter in Mexico. It was amazing to see the faith these people had. Some people approached the basilica on their knees for 2 kilometers before reaching the alter. Talk about devotion!
The old basilica (on the right) is sinking, like the rest of Mexico City, so they built a new one (on the left), which resembles a stadium or arena more than a conventional church, but whatever works, right?!

inside the new basilica (it's a little fuzzy because
I couldn't use flash and it was fairly dark)

the roofs of both the old and new basilicas

enjoying a very large fruit salad

mexico city

I met someone during my journey from Guatemala to Mexico City who wished that I would get stuck in Mexico City. I didn't really wish this upon myself, but her wish for me came true. I've been here about a week and have been occupied most of the time. The city is massive, and polluted, but has so much culture and so many amazing neighborhoods that it has been a great place to get "stuck."

Christmas in Mexico City

the cathedral in the center of downtown
a mural depicting the Spainards in Mexico; it made my heart very heavy

buildings and the angel in the middle of town

a colonial building that i thought was interesting

(I'm not sure if the photos are bad, if the computer I loaded them on distorted them, or if the computer I'm using is bad, but the quality seems a bit off...)

Guatemala, again

Back to Guatemala! I spent a few days relaxing on Lago Atitlan, the lake surrounded by volcanoes, also shown in a previous post, before heading to Mexico City.
view of the lake shore

pretty orange flower - sarah, this one's for you!

the view looking the other way

I didn't know you could walk to Princeton, NJ in 2 hours from Guatemala!

El Salvador

El Salvador reminded me of several different countries/places. In some places it was like coastal Italy and in others, it reminded me of Big Sur (although my photos don't really reflect either of these). There were not as many travelers there, which was a welcome break from following the "gringo trail" for 2 months. Although this great reprieve from those other travelers brought quite a few more stares in this country than others.

Drying fish - it didn't smell very pleasant around the pier, needless to say.

Yet another sunset - and I'm sure it won't be the last

the coast line from my hotel

a view out of the car (I think it actually might be Guatemala, whoops)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

trying to post pictures

I haven't been able to post photos since returning to Latin America. No computer will let me open my photos, so I can't please the masses just yet. But I'm trying very hard to post, so hold your horses!

I'm currently in Mexico City waiting for my Indian visa and will be here for about a week. I am apparently an arrogant U.S. citizen and didn't even think about needing a visa (one of the perks of traveling in Latin America - no visas required). Someone mentioned it to me in a hostel the other night and sure enough, I had to get to Mexico City as quickly as possible. After taking 1 boat and 6 buses, I arrived 29 hours after I left the beautiful relaxing lake to the hussling city life. And in this huge city, I'm keeping faith that some internet cafe will let me upload some photos...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

welcome back to Honduras

My *huge* fan base asked for more updates, so I´m going to try and please my faithful followers.

So I hopped on a plane yesterday morning and headed back down to Central America; Honduras to be exact. I got on a bus to meet a friend on the coast and was plesantly reminded of the fun bus rides. This particular bus didn't have any storage space, so everyone's luggage was blocking the aisle and door, which meant that I was practically sitting on someone else's luggage, while people had to step on my seat to crawl over and get further back on the bus. It doesn't sound quite as amusing as it seemed to me at the time, but it was a nice welcome back to the region. The air smelled sweet like the tropics usually do (unless they smell like diesel) and was so warm and stickly I had trouble remembering that I was chilly that morning waiting for the train in Atlanta. Off to eat yet another dinner of rice and beans...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

updates - Panama first

I just updated my blog, so scroll down a while for lots of new pictures! Most of my pictures of the Panama Canal didn't come out, so this is what I have. The canal was fascinating; it takes 8 hours for ships to get from one ocean to the other and can cost around $300,000 for large cargo ships to go through.
a view of the Miraflores locks

ships passing through the canal

check out the cranes in Panama City - so much development

some ruins in Panama City

I didn't get a chance to properly explain bus rides in Central America. Remember the big yellow school buses some of us rode to school years ago? Well they usually make it down to Central America for many more years of use before they are finally (if ever?) put out of their misery. They paint these old buses lots of pretty colors, like the one above. The buses are called chicken buses and remarkably they don't even translate it, they just call the buses "chicken buses." And people actually bring chickens on the buses, which are never full. They can always fit additional people, which helps gringos like me keep from falling out of the seat on the curvy roads.

pretty views and rum in a can

La Merced in Granada, Nicaragua

view from La Merced of Granada, Nicaragua

sunset over the Pacific in Nicaragua

a can of rum and coke - only in Central America

Volcan Arenal from the lake - notice the smoke - woohoo!

more photos of the caribbean

glad this wasn't one of the ants that tried to eat me in Tanzania

another view of Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras

Marius and Felix trying to avoid the sun

me, Anders (my scuba instructor - cool name huh?), and Marius (my scuba buddy)