Standing on Top of the Sun

So maybe I’m not standing on top of the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán but who can resist that alliteration? Lounging….standing….same difference!

Last weekend ND Puebla 2012 went with UPAEP to el Districto Federal in Mexico City. Saturday was an extremely long day — we had to be at the university at 5:45am and had several museums to tour. We went to the National History Museum which is situated in a gorgeous forest in the middle of the city. It was eerily similar to Central Park in NYC. 

The museum was beautiful and rich with post-Hispanic history. One gem of the morning was finding this wallpaper in one of the rooms. Apparently badminton was a very popular sport for the Mexican elite!

After visiting several other museums we crashed exhausted at the hotel. But wait! It was a Saturday in the fall! We, being proud and spirited Notre Dame students, had a game to watch. Through computer ingenuity we were able to stream the game. It may not have been the ideal watching scenario (sixteen people, one hotel room, 15 inch computer screen) but it did the job. Notre Dame beat Purdue! 

We went to the Museo del Mural de Diego Riviera and took a giant intercambios photo before the game! And guess who we saw while walking around downtown? Ironman!

On Sunday we had two goals: visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and visit the ruins of Teotihuacan. We saw a beautiful old painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is the oldest one that exists. There actually is not an “original” painting because many people drew the image of the Virgin after it appeared, I found out. There was a huge procession waiting to see this painting. I took this picture while standing on one of the moving belts you usually see at airports. 

I bought lots of beautiful gifts the details of which I will not disclose because some of you might be receiving them! The church next door to the Basilica was very beautiful but what drew me to it were the slanted floors. Because it was such a large and old building, the foundations had settled over time causing a steep angle inside. I took a sideways picture of the building to remind myself of the slanted floors inside.

There was a relic of St. Faustina inside who ranks among my favorite saints. We also visited the Cathedral in DF and I can proudly say that Puebla’s Cathedral is much more beautiful! I feel bad for that cathedral because I’m sure it is always being overshadowed by the Basilica. But! As a proud Poblana, I say, go Puebla! 

The highlight of the weekend was visiting Teotihuacan. I felt like a small child in a room of shiny new toys. Having worked on an archaeology site, I feel like I appreciated more than just the beauty of the buildings and pyramids and the hard work of the builders. I could also see the painstaking work of the archaeologists as they worked to preserve this beautiful city. But before we went to the ruins, we visited a large shop selling obsidian statues and a few sharp weapons. 

The surprise — he actually bought that spear. The ruins themselves were beyond incredible. I could spend days absorbing all that there was to see. The newly excavated Palace of Tlaloc and Quetzalcoatl was amazing. My Anthropology teacher, upon learning that we were going to Teotihuacan, moved the syllabus around and taught us all about it. Tlaloc was the rain god and is typically seen with two circles close together. The original style might have been an infinity sign but by the time Teotihuacan was build it had phased out. The head on the left is of Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent. You can see the tail of the serpent going behind Tlaloc. These two heads were repeated on every level of the pyramid and the detail is fantastic!

The weekend couldn’t have been better. Thank goodness we sacrificed one of the guys at the Pyramid of the Sun to ensure that it stayed that way! (Yes, that is an obsidian knife and yes, he bought it to bring home.)

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