Mexico: flying men and ruins El Tajin
The flying men
For the Danza del Volador in El Tajin, five men in traditional clothing climb twice a day onto a 28-metre-high metal pole. A rotating platform is attached to the top of the pole, on four sides of which the men are distributed; these symbolize the winds. The fifth climbs the pole last. He represents the sun, sits down to the east and begins to play his instruments, hand drum and a hand flute. Without fear of heights he dances and plays on the top and turns to the four cardinal points one after the other.
Upside down, the four Voladores, secured by a rope, lower themselves to the ground in over 15 turns. After they have reached them, the musician climbs down. The show is over.
The most beautiful, most important and most famous building of El Tajin is the 18m high Pyrámide de los Nichos. The seven-level pyramid once served as a calendar and had a niche for every day of the year. One must try to imagine that the whole building was once plastered and painted, in different shades of red, blue, yellow and green, all against the backdrop of the lush rainforest. Probably the niches were consecrated to some gods, and were decorated on each anniversary.
In total, no less than 14 ball playgrounds were excavated. The ball game must have played an enormously important role with the Totonaken, because the curbs are decorated with elaborate and highly interesting reliefs. They represent ball game scenes, rituals and above all clear sacrificial scenes. It is quite certain that winners or losers were sacrificed here, at least in particularly important games, by cutting out their hearts with an Obsidian knife.
A Tree of Life
"Arbol de la Vida", the tree of life is deeply rooted in Mexico's culture. Already with the Incas this tree had a large meaning. Since the arrival of the Europeans, many pictures of the tree of life have been supplemented with Adam and Eve and the snake. These trees are very popular and are often given away as gifts, because they also symbolize hope and prosperity.
In one of the coffee zones of Veracruz lies the quirky, little picturesque town of Xico; famous for its cuisine and festivities. Burreros selling milk, elderly people praying in church, women hand in hand...
The typical dish of Xico is the “Mole”, prepared with chili, apple, chocolate, panela (overcooked sugar cane juice) and banana.
www.waypoints.ch amongst the Top 20 Offroad-Blogs 2018-2019
The offroad-magazine Matsch & Piste nominates the best 20 offroad travel blogs each year. We are thrilled that we managed to be amongst those, middle ranking listed, for the second time with our homepage. We are proud of that. If you compare the award-winning blogs, the three jury members had to create a huge criteria-rating balancing act.
Blogs from short or long-term travelers, with videos or photos or text, with a lot of tips such as campgrounds, social media activities - all this must be brought under one hat. A great challenge and no easy task for the jury members.
Over years we have been refraining from writing about tips, which in today's fast-paced time have been outdated as soon as they are written. Since we do not participate on Facebook or WatsApp or Instagram, we are all the more pleased to have been ranked.
Mexico: March 2019