Tag Archives: Mexico

Popocatépetl Volcano

My Mexico Trip, Part 4: Popocatépetl, Puebla Cathedral and China Poblana.

Continued from My Mexico Trip, Part 3, The Archeology Museum.

After a busy day in Mexico City visiting Teotihuacán, Zócalo and the Archeological Museum, we headed east towards Puebla and Veracruz. En route, at a rest stop we saw a unique sight—a rock formation in the form of a sleeping woman and Popocatépetl, an active volcano.

Popocatépetl Volcano
Popocatépetl Volcano and The Sleeping Woman, Mexico.

Look at the picture. On the right is a rock formation known as The Sleeping Woman. From right to left you can see her head, her breasts and her feet. It was winter. She was covered with a light dusting of snow. To her left is Popocatépetl, an active volcano, with a plume of smoke from the crater rising into the still air, clearly visible from afar against the light blue sky. The name means “Smoking Mountain” in Aztec. It’s sometimes referred to or abbreviated as “El Popo” in Spanish. I thought I detected a faint, sulfurous redolence in the air. An inevitable comparison to Pompeii came to mind, but I pushed that thought aside. No point in thinking about that eventuality on such a pleasant, beautiful day.

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At the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacán, Mexico.

My Mexico Trip, Part 1: Teotihuacán and the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon.

Bright warm sun in January, rare Mezcal and a chance to explore ancient ruins—does that make you want “to rise and go”? It certainly did to me.

Jeet and I, Temple of the Moon, Teotihuacán.
My son and I, Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacán, Mexico.

It was December 2022. My son Jeet was visiting just before Christmas. One day as I picked up the mail, I saw a bright, colorful brochure from Caravan Tours advertising their very affordable tours to Mexico and other Central American countries. It had a large picture of a toucan on the cover. That brought back fond memories when, years ago, we had taken a Caravan led trip to Costa Rica and liked it. Wouldn’t it be nice to go to some place sunny and warm, a nice change of scenery and climate from the cold, grey winter of northeastern USA? And so, the plan gradually took shape.

I asked Jeet if any of the trips in the brochure interested him. He chose ‘The Ancient Civilizations of Mexico’. I am interested in history, especially the rise and fall of civilizations. In particular, what causes ancient, well established, powerful empires to suddenly and unexpectedly crumble at the onslaught of a few upstart adventurers and conquistadors. So, I jumped at the opportunity to visit the land of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans.

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