Pyramids: Who knew? Seriously, who knew there were pyramids in Mexico City? I know I didn’t. I’m not going to lie, I know Asia well but the more I travel Mexico, Central America, and South America the more I realize how ignorant I am and the more I want to know. These pyramids are incredible! Teotihuacan, or “birthplace of the gods,” is located 30 miles northeast of Mexico City and is definitely worth the trip. During my last visit to Mexico City I was lucky enough to make it here. The trip out wasn’t what I’d call scenic, but the tequila we brought made for a good ride, as did the company of our driver who was a great guy and relatively inexpensive. Upon arrival we were promptly greeted by the souvenir vendors, we didn’t buy anything, but we did take them up on free samples of tequila prior to heading out to the pyramids.
The pyramids were amazing. No one truly knows who built them; original speculation was that they were built by the Toltec people because of references to them in colonial texts. However, it was later discovered that the word Toltec can also mean “craftsman of the highest level.” Obviously you can understand the confusion. In order to build a pyramid, you have to be a toltec, that doesn’t mean however that you are part of the Toltec people…confusing. With BRIC Language Systems training this would obviously never happen. Today most scholars believe that they were actually built by the Totonac people, as the Toltec civilization came into the region several centuries after Teotihuacan was built. Even this is slightly controversial since there were other civilizations in the area at the same time. Fortunately for us, not being very smart, we didn’t even know we were at Teotihuacan so we stayed out of the controversy. We thought we were at Chichen Itza, and I bought a bottle of Tequila from the souvenir guys that prove it.
Anyway, the pyramid of the Moon is pictured above and is unbelievably steep. I climbed it with my associate. Yep, two extremely pale descendants of Irish immigrants, with no sunscreen, and stomachs full of tequila climbed this massive pyramid in the searing heat of the Mexican winter…yes winter, as I said, 2 descendants of the Irish…we were lobsters. The top platform is where an ancient priest would perform ceremonies of human sacrifice. The avenue pictured to the left is called the “Avenue of The Dead”. The sacrifice would take place on the altar shown in the foreground after the person had walked the entire avenue. I can’t imagine walking that entire distance knowing I was going to be sacrificed! The people being sacrificed were most likely captured enemies being offered for sacrifice so that the city could prosper. The details of the sacrifices are pretty horrific with beheadings, heart removals, and live burials among the methods used.
From here we walked the Avenue of the Dead back towards the Pyramid of the Sun, which we had also planned to climb. But under the oppressive rays of the sun, from which the pyramid draws its name, we decided to call it a day. Burnt, thirsty, but satisfied with our tour we headed back to the souvenir shop to buy overpriced bottles of tequila from pyramids in an entirely different part of Mexico. It was a great day and an adventure that I would recommend to anyone visiting Mexico City. I am already looking forward to getting back down to learn more about Mexico from my associates down there!