Copan the city of bats

Copan_Honduras_renate

Everyone has been telling me that they were about just alright to visit, that it was nothing special, nothing impressive, so I went to the place early this morning with absolutely zero expectations. However, I was impressed, deeply impressed. Those Copan ruins have really amazed me. With the great information of a local guide and a photo camera I had a fantastic visit.

 

Copan_Honduras

There are 18 giant statues surrounding the Copan ruins which are known as the rabbit’s king statues according to our guide Juan Carlos. J.C. showed us all these statues and explained about them. They all have the same hieroglyph of the king’s numbers (or initials), meaning that this person loved himself quite a bit and simply made 18 statues of what apparently seems to be himself.

Copan_Honduras

Copan_Honduras

Copan_Honduras

J.C. also explained us about all the ancient Maya ruins in Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. Tikal is the biggest Maya ruins he said, which can be found in Guatemala. My next stop, yay!

Pok-A-Tok

Playing pokatok supposedly was THE game the Mayans played. “Just pronounce the word” J.C. tells us. Pok-a-tok. Yes, it sounds like ping pong or something similar, but it was actually the sacred ball game of the Mayans for well over a thousand years. Sometimes the loosing team got sacrificed and other times the wining team had to offer their lives to the gods. To sacrifice someone the Mayans would give the person magic mushrooms, so that they wouldn’t feel the pain.

Where the Mayans sacrificed...

The stone where the Mayans sacrificed…

The big book of stone

The highest steps in hieroglyphics can be found right here!

J.C. explains with a smile and a whole lot of pride. It actually does look like a Mayan library or the alphabet written down on stones in hieroglyphics.
Unfortunately, they took one nice part of it to Boston, because someone paid for the discovery many years before. Personally I think that’s a real big shame, but yes, these things do happen to ruins and other discovered places and its items.

There are 4 temples inside the building with the Mayan library, which are currently still being explored and analyzed. However, they might be open for a visit in a while.

Copan_Honduras

The Mayan book of stone

Copan_Honduras

Archeologists think there are graves underneath the skull stones, but there is no money right now for more research

Holy trees?

The giant trees that can be found near the Copan ruins are known as holy trees. The roots represent the contact with earth and the underworld, though the branches of the same tree are meant to reach heaven.

I’ll show you the rest of my visit to the Copan ruins in photos.

Ready?

Here we go.

Copan_Honduras_Renate Copan_Honduras

Copan_Honduras

Can you see that it’s a crocodile?

Copan_Honduras

The monkey king

Copan_Honduras

The one and only smiling statue of another monkey!

Copan_Honduras

The snake stairways

Copan_Honduras

The animals on the bottom right is a bat, can you recognize that? The reason for calling it the city of bats

Copan_Honduras

Wild Macaws. The national bird of Honduras!

Copan_Honduras Copan_Honduras Copan_Honduras Copan_Honduras Copan_Honduras_renate Copan_Honduras Copan_Honduras

Tip.

If you want to visit the Copan Mayan ruins and wish to go with a guide please do know that they have fixed prices. However, you can still bargain them down to 500 Honduras Lempiras per guide. There are guides that speak very well English and I found it truly worth it to hear our guide’s stories. Our guide’s name was Juan Carlos and he was a great and funny fella who did his homework.

The journey continues

After the visit to Copan, at noon, a driver from a company called Trans-Land picked me up for a transfer to Guatemala. At my hostel I had to say the sad goodbyes to Kali and Mickayla who I had been traveling with for the last 1,5 week. Oh guys, I will truly miss all those hilarious moments! The ride to Guatemala did not take so long, since after only one hour we already reached the border and it was passport and pay-up time with the customs for the exit of Honduras (HL $75) and entrance to Guatemala (GQ $10). At the border I exchanged my last Lempiras for Quetzales (I already love the sound of it… Quetzales) and then I realized two new persons sat in our van. I did not agree with them joining the shuttle service using it as a taxi service and complained about them waiting there – with my luggage and me not being there to have an eye on my personal belongings. The driver did not expect my discussion, but decided to leave the two locals in the front seats, away from my things. They were supposed to join the ride for 45 minutes and I was okay with that as long as they were not in the van alone with my things. After we sorted that out the journey continued to Antigua.

Here I am right now. Antigua. Let’s see how this currently rainy city will surprise me tomorrow morning.

The following two tabs change content below.
Ever since I left my home country I felt at home at any other place I went to. I enjoy getting to know more cultures by talking to strangers and hearing their philosophy about life. Speaking with gestures when you can not find a shared language, finding places only the locals go to and learn about their customs and values. Hanging out with local people makes me happy. The experience of every new place is a step out of your comfort zone where I like to wander around until it feels like a second home.
One Comment on “Copan the city of bats
  1. Pingback: Lost and Found: a Mayan site - ThatWanderlust

Don't be shy, leave a Reply