19+20 February: Monte Alban

We visited Monte Alban. An ancient city, from which the Zapotecs once ruled Oaxaca’s valleys. Build on a hilltop it towers 400 meters above the valley floor. An archaeological site with the remains of temples, palaces, tall stepped platforms, an observatory and a ball court.

For an archaeological site near one of the major touristic centers it was quiet, no touristic tour bus circus.
Monte Alban goes back to 500 BC.

On its peak the population reached about 25.000 people. It is fascinating when you consider that more than 2.500 years ago the Zapotecs were able to manage a city of 25.000 in the sense of fresh, waste water, food and garbage. That all without machines, not even horses or donkeys.
Under the buildings and the plaza is a labyrinth of tombs, chambers and tunnels, but unfortunately this is not open to the general public.

The views from Monte Alban over the surrounding valleys and the current city Oaxaca are marvelous. Probably already the reason 3.000 years ago to start building a city here.
Just sitting under a tree and let the surroundings work on you or on top of one of the tall buildings at the far end of the plaza. This after you managed to climb the uncomfortably tall stepped stairs to the top.
Most of us have seen pictures or film images of these sites, but to see them live is a total different experience. impressive!

During our visit Genevieve fell sick, she had belly pain and had to throw up in the middle of the plaza. We had to cut our visit short and went home.
In the night Sibilla was the “victim” and next morning Natacha.
Our planned trip for the next day was canceled. Instead we did laundry. What means: we dropped it of at a laundry and picked it up at the end of the day washed and folded.