El Tajin

A friend of a friend, Larry, who lives here on the coast and runs a pizza restaurant drove us to the Mayan ruins of El Tajin today.  El Tajin covers an area of more than 350 acres and has 180 structures.  This city state was at its height about 950 A.D.  On the main square stands the pyramid that symbolizes El Tajiin.  Its seven tiers include 365 niches, one for each day of the solar year.  Originally, each niche was painted in cinnabar and outlined in blue.  I couldn’t decide which pictures to display so I’m trying something new, a You Tube video

After we finished walking around El Tajiin, we watched the Paplanta Flyers outside the entrance.  The dancers are attached by their feet to long ropes wound around the top of a 50 foot pole. As the pole turns, the ropes unwind and the dancers are spun lower and lower, while the circles they spin get larger.  A musician plays the flute and drum on top of the pole.

The countryside has miles of citrus fruit trees belonging to small farmers.  We stopped at a roadside stand and bought a string of tangerines and another of oranges.  The oranges are so sweet and juicy, I don’t understand why these aren’t imported to the U.S.   A bunch of 12 oranges and 18 tangerines cost a total of $1.60.

We also had a meal at a restaurant at the entrance to El Tajiin.  The food is very different from the normal Mexican fare.  Not spicy at all.  The enchiladas were more like crepes.  We had a large fish fillet with the enchiladas, plus rice and salad.  Since this was a nice tourist place, the price was higher than the every day local restaurants.  We paid about $4.50 each.