So, it had been awhile since we had an adventure in Mexico, but we didn't want to commit to a long road trip. We both dove into our tourist books, and discovered a small archaeological site on the map in Tlalpan, in the southern part of the DF. So we went! We hopped into the Saturn, and headed south, Google Mexico Map in hand. We followed those directions to the letter, and wound up at the end of a dead end, surrounded by hovels about 30 minutes from the safety of Polanco. Not exactly the type of ruins we were looking for. Undeterred, we found our way back to a major street, and wondered for awhile. We found a mall, and bought some insane chocolate, but still no ruins. We were in the process of giving up, on our way back to the Periferico when we spotted it! There was an unmarked dirt strip with 6 parking spots, just before the on ramp that was the entrance. Finally! Cuicuilco, here we come!
Did you know that the Valley of Mexico is the longest inhabited place on the North American continent? This ruin site is the earliest known site in the valley, dating back to 450 BC. This old-looking spooky lava sign is not that old though, do not be fooled.
Here I am with an array of cactus and their brethren.
I feel very privileged to have been in the presence of this cactus flower.
As you can see, we were right in the thick of modern Mexico City while taking this trip back in time. Also notice the scary dungeon in the center of this picture. I would not want to go in there.
It's rainy season here in the DF, so things are lush, green and blooming.
It's kind of fun to imagine what life would have been like for the inhabitants of the site I'm visiting. I imagine this might be a lot like what the unadulterated valley may have been like.
Here are some primordial stairs leading to unseen secrets! I say that because there was nothing at the top, so I imagine there's a secret there.
Queso! Here we are with the pyramid!
And here it is! It's a round pyramid, the only round one we've heard of in Mexico.
The site at Cuicuilco was abandoned when the nearby volcano Xitle erupted, and the site was covered in liquid hot magma. After this event the Cuicuilcan culture dispersed throughout the Valley, and the rest is history. This painting is a dramatization of what the lava flow looked like as it approached the pyramid. I'll thank you not to touch it!
One last look at the pyramid before we head out. It is small, but very pretty and fairly important to the Valley's history.
This is the chocolate we found on our adventure. It was so good, it did not last long.
On a completely unrelated note, did you know that Rick Steves Europe is available on Hulu? I think I am addicted...The guy is wacky, but he does know his stuff.