Izamal is Ciudad Amarillo – a yellow town. Very very yellow. But pleasantly enough: We entered it and noticed a lot of white and light blue balloons in front of some houses and pedestals decorated with flowers in the front rooms, with some people gathering. Once we checked in to our hotel -we found out what it is about. The very center of town was blocked for transportation because there was a huge fair even with merry-go-rounds. It was December the 8th – the day of Mama Linda – the beloved St. Mary of Yucataneans. So they were carrying Mama Linda in all glory through town and stopping in those decorated houses, placing her on a pedestal and maybe praying or just taking pictures with her. I guess it is a great honor for the house to have Mama Linda visiting it: Mama Linda is beautiful, and the ladies looking at her passing by were beautiful and I also had a dress of similar style, but mine was from Peru, not Maya :-): Our hotel was in the very very center of town – with the view to the Cathedral, it is called San Miguel Arcangel. We though – wow, how good, we will stay in the main square, can wander around till late and observe the celebration. Boy. how wrong we were…But from the beginning. They built this hotel by the side of an ancient pyramid. The whole town is built on an ancient city. So the owners of the hotel did quite a good job, if I can consider myself knowledgeable enough to say that. In the back yard one can see the ancient stones and at least it is neatly preserved, if not recovered from ruins. So here this palm tree grows already on the pyramid facing our rooms: So we didn’t waste our time and went to see the Cathedral just a couple of steps form the hotel. It is also built on a Maya pyramid, like many churches in Yucatan. The cloisters seem very medieval, there is a museum and then the main church and a super big courtyard – as if it is the biggest in Latin world. Therefore it is convenient for big celebrations: Here is one of the corners outside the church where people were worshiping a very old and distressed icon of Virgin Mary – so I assume it makes miracles, I hope it does, for there were so many candles emanating peoples wishes and pains:Here is Mama Linda’s ‘bedroom – it is the altar where they keep her in a very separate room high up the stairs: A little lower there is a museum which houses mama Linda’s different outfits and also pictures how Pope Paul II visited Izamal and put a crown on Mama Linda! Then we walked in town looking for some more leftovers form the Maya culture. And here it was – you enter a gate in a regular street not anticipating such a view: Once you climb the first set of steps – a field opens and a tall pyramid at the edge of it. Not so easy to climb for the steps are not restored still, and even if they are restored- the steps are very narrow and very high- and Mayas were very tiny :-): Right down in the street by the pyramid is a rather nice restaurant, with those strangely cut bushes in front: What was inside those big fried “things” -I will never remember their name – as if they had onions and cheese inside. Maybe even some mushrooms. We walked a little more in town, saw some groups of “Gvadelupa bikers”:AS I found out later -young guys, some girls, too, make a promise to virgin Mary of Gvadelupa to drive form point A to point B, or to run. And so they were driving on all the roads ant highways. That would be not so bad, but once they get into a city – they start their sirens, exactly the ones that police cars have…Imagine the noise and the scare… So now is the fun part – when the darkness fell onto town – some tiny guys started building a stage right smack by our hotel doors…The main part of that stage were super loud loudspeakers, a lot of them. As if their nation is deaf…And so we had a free music to the extent that the floors and walls were shaking till 4 a.m. Viva Mexico!
The next day we were not very happy people, but still visited the museum of folk art: It was hard to take a picture of the buildings around the 2 main squares, because of abundance of fair tents, but still: Buy buy Izamal!..