Tag Archives: vacation

Fun Photo Friday — Chichen Itza Favorites Part 1


Beware the Guard Iguana!
Temple
Graffiti the Hard Way — One chisel at a time
Impressive Masonry Work
Entrance to the Great Ballcourt

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Filed under Fun Photo Friday, Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel

Same Ship; Different Destination — Reaching Chichen Itza


Quite the change from the Azores, eh? Brilliance of the Seas left São Miguel Island on 9 September 2018. You’ll recall that we started this trip well before that, with a flight to Dublin in 27 August, where we stayed for several days. We then departed Amsterdam, boarded Brilliance of the Seas, and set sail for a circumnavigation of Ireland, including a return to Dublin. We left behind Ireland, and landed on São Miguel Island. From there Brilliance completed a transatlantic crossing winding up in Tampa, Florida. But we weren’t yet finished with Brilliance. We stayed aboard for a second cruise that would first take us to Key West for some spectacular sunset shots:

Key West was reached on 18 September, and two days after that Brilliance landed at the port of Cozumel, Mexico, a large island off the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. You may recall that I’ve written on Cozumel before, after an incredibly disappointing first, and most likely last, cruise aboard a Carnival Cruise Line ship (see: Carnival Victory — More Key West and Cozumel). And in 2013 I took you on a three-part Cozumel Bar Hop:

Cozumel Bar Hop — Parte Uno

Cozumel Bar Hop — Parte Duo

Cozumel Bar Hop — Parte Tres

But this trip to Cozumel would be different than the preceding ones. Today we were on another excursion, one that would take us across the island, have us boating onto the Yucatan and Playa del Carmen, and then taking a bus tour that would take us 2½ hours into the jungle while transporting us 1,200 years back into time. Behold the Mayan city of Chichén Itzá and the Temple of Kukulcán:

Temple of Kukulcán, Chichen Itza, Yucatan

The Temple of Kukulcán is a pyramid that rises 98 feet/30 meters, if you include in that measurement the temple at the apex. Otherwise, the pyramid structure itself is 79 feet/24 meters. And, yes, it looks to be quite the trek to the top:

Temple of Kukulcán, Chichen Itza, Yucatan

That’s 91 steps, in case you’re wondering. And, no, Ursula and I did not climb them. It’s not allowed. I’ll explain more about this impressive Mayan city beginning next Monday, and this week’s Fun Photo Friday will feature the first of three picks of favorite photos. So, until then, I’ll leave you with this photo gallery and slide show:

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São Miguel Island, Azores — Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado


Still in Sete Cidades for the beginning of today’s article, but not for long. And today we say goodbye to São Miguel Island and the Azores. For after the Azores, Brilliance of the Seas headed across the pond to Tampa, Florida, whereupon we would stay aboard for another adventure further south and 1,200 years into the past. But for now, let us continue to explore Sete Cidades, particularly the wonderful Church of St. Nicholas (Igreja de São Nicolau):

Church of St. Nicholas, Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island, Azores

While the exterior of St. Nicholas is charming, and well framed by the surrounding trees, the interior is much more subdued. Nevertheless, it retains a certain picturesque quality because of the rich wood beams and similarly stained wood pews beneath:

Church of St. Nicholas, Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island, Azores

We now have one more destination of this tour before returning to Brilliance of the Seas and a fond farewell to São Miguel Island and the Azores. This is Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado, a great photo stop on the west coast of São Miguel Island:

Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado

This viewpoint sits atop pyroclastic cliffs, and the views of the deep blue ocean is stunning. That’s especially so because of the rocks protruding offshore above the surface of the water:

Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado

On Wednesday I will present to you a very different experience. Until then, I’ll leave you with this photo gallery and slide show of Miradouro da Ponta do Escalvado:

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Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel, vacation