Right, quick general knowledge quiz here: who can name the Seven Wonders of the World? Apparently (and I didn’t know this because I have the general knowledge of a small onion) the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World are all nearly gone. Only the pyramid at Giza remains. The rest, like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Colossus of Rhodes are long gone, so in 2001 it was decided by a swiss-based foundation (you can read all about it here) to choose seven new wonders. Votes were cast and in 2006, the 7 new wonders were chosen:
The Great Wall of China, India’s Taj Mahal, Petra in Jordan, the amazing statue of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, Macchu Picchu in Peru, The Colosseum in Italy, and…
A hot, sweaty, bumpy, three-hour drive into the very centre of the Yucatan peninsula takes you to one of the most amazing places on earth. It takes your breath away. And that’s not because it’s so hot it’s like falling into a vat of soup. The place is awesome. And for all the hassle and annoyance it took us to get there, we wouldn’t have changed our trip for the world:
Over 1000 years ago, the Mayan civilisation at Chichen Itza (or ‘Itchy Pizza’, as it swiftly became known), was bustling and ground-breaking. Their calendar was created decades before anyone else worked out how the sun could tell us what time of year it was, and the great structures were built there before machinery and, amazingly, even before the wheel.
On the downside, human sacrifice was commonplace (even to the extent that during games in the massive arena, the captain of the losing side would also lose his head – shouldn’t imagine many people put their hand up for that particular role). Oh and by the way, the reason there aren’t many people in these pictures is because it was so hot, they were all vying for places under the surrounding trees. Hot. So hot you feel like you can’t move.
Our day there was amazing. And neatly rounded off a trip that was, quite simply, the best I’ve ever experienced.
For us, the highlight of this holiday (if we had to pick just one) was the people. From the taxi driver who told us that he knew a bit of Mayan as his parents had used it to talk so that the kids wouldn’t know what they were saying, to the amazingly friendly and attentive service in the hotel, through to the wonderful welcome we received in Chumpon at the jam co-operative. What a fabulous bunch the Mexicans are.
And that hotel: a white-suited butler who magically appeared to help you find the perfect sunbed spot (and vanished just as quickly), amazing restaurants, wonderful room service waiters who pandered to the Death Wish Child’s cheeseburger addiction with such enthusiasm (I once picked up the phone to order and was asked ‘ah, yes. No onions for the DWC?’)… the hotel is a modern miracle. Their devotion to sustainability, from equipping the maids with trolleys fitted with recycling boxes, to heating the pools with solar panels and even growing their own fruit, vegetables and salad in a massive hothouse is just incredible.
The perfect holiday recipe? A big slice of luxury with a generous splash of enthusiasm… a drizzle of creativity and a final sprinkle of excitement. All placed on a backdrop of the bluest azure and sparkling white. I’ll have what she’s having.
A massive thank you to the entire team at Thomson, from the lovely chaps in the press office, to the fabulous cabin crew and the wonderful on-site guest relations team. We’ll be back! xxxxx
Thomson offers seven night holidays in Mexico at the 5T Sensatori Resort Mexico in Riviera Maya, on an all-inclusive basis, from £1415 per adult, £718 for the first child, and £1058 for the second child, based on two adults and two children sharing. Departing on 28th July 2011 from London Gatwick airport, the price includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and all taxes and charges. To book visit www.thomson.co.uk/sensatori or call 0871 231 5595.
*I think the Pyramid of Giza is still in there as an honorary candidate
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