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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Baby Sea Turtles Heading to Sea, Cozumel Mexico

A shot of the coastline of Cozumel from the bus.

We went on a tour of Cozumel island on our Cruise to Mexico. Along the way, our guide stopped the bus and asked if we could see the baby sea turtles head out to sea. The experience was breathtaking and grand. I hope you enjoy these slideshows. I made them in the new Picasa 3.

A view of the beach where the turtles were hatching.

Till next time,

Mike Z

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Jan and I want to wish you and your family
the Merriest of Christmases
and the
Happiest of New Years!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We Toured the Mayan Ruins on our Mexico Cruise

Our cruise to Mexico included a tour of the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, near the city of Progresso on the Yucatan penninsula. This was the most exciting part of the trip for me, and was a photographer's paradise. Everywhere we looked, there were more and more beautiful sights to see.

The photo above is the centerpiece of the exhibit. It is called El Castillo, and was the center of Mayan culture in it's day. At one time visitors were allowed to climb the very steep steps (all 91 of them) to the top of El Castillo, but we were not able to, due to some serious injuries in recent years.

The entrance to the exhibit. We took a pretty long bus ride from the coast, but our tour guide made it very interesting and fun. He told us a lot about the Mayan culture and the history of Chichen Itza, and gave us some idea of what to look for.

There were several tables with Mayan masks and symbols for sale as we walked onto the grounds. This table was the prettiest (and the busiest) of them all. We didn't pick up a souvenir, but I kind of wish we had now...

The entrance to the second-best known of the ruins of Chichen Itza. The fabled Ball Court, where men played ball in the presence of the royals for very high stakes.

The object of the game was to throw a ball through a hole carved in a round stone like the one above. There is a "goal" on both walls of the court.

A view of the Ball Court looking towards the King's temple.

This was a most interesting sculpture of what I believe is a half-man half-jaguar that looks down on the Ball Court from the observation tower at the opposite end from the King's temple.

Another view of the Ball Court. At the end of the game, the loser would present the winner to the King and behead him. Unbelievable as it sounds today, it was a very high honor to be beheaded, as the winner was assured a fast-track to Heaven, bypassing the steps that ordinary men had to go through to get there.

Well, I am very glad to be "back in the saddle again" with this weblog. I have been too too long in putting up these pictures. There is much more to post about our Mexico trip, as well as other things that have happened. I promise I won't be this long in posting more photos.

There are many more photos of Chichen Itza on my Flickr page, just click and view the slideshow. Or copy and paste this URL into your browser and enjoy!

Very soon I will be posting the photos of the baby turtles we witnessed heading out to sea in Cozumel. What a sight! I never thought I would be able to see that up close and personal.

Till then, Thanks for stopping by.

Mike Z