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Cruising Down to Mexico

(2009-08-17 11:54:26)




分类: 我的日记

Cruising Down to Mexico
The trip of a lifetime, both on and under the water!
August 12, 2009

Every day, cruise ships depart from different places for exotic ports of call. Earlier this year, my husband, Mike, and I were fortunate enough to be on one.


Our ship, the Norwegian Spirit, measures 268 m in length and can accommodate 1,996 guests and over 900 crewmembers. This floating city offers everything a passenger could want, including a golf course, a library, an Internet café, an art gallery, Broadway-type productions and much more!


Economy vs. luxury travel
In the past, luxury cruises were mainly for the wealthy, but today there’s something for almost everyone’s budget. Staterooms range from small, inside rooms to suites equipped with a living room; dining room; large, ocean-view balcony; and butler services.


Food, glorious food!
Cruise ships pride themselves on their abundance of good food, and the Spirit lived up to that claim. With 11 restaurants to choose from, food was everywhere. The culinary event of the week arrived with the “Chocoholic Buffet”—tables loaded with chocolate masterpieces, all ready to be sampled by happy passengers.


Those who choose to go cruising on their next vacation can expect to be entertained and pampered and probably to gain a few pounds too!


“The place of the red corn”
Our first port of call, Costa Maya sits on the southern end of Mexico’s Caribbean coast. After disembarking, we traveled inland to Chacchoben, one of the many Mayan ruins that have made the region famous. A 1.5-hour ride through towns, countryside and jungle brought us to a once-thriving city that now lies quietly in ruins.

我们的首站停靠在墨西哥南部的加勒比海湾尽头的科斯达 玛雅。离船上岸后,我们在岛上茶科滨(地名音译)旅游,这是很多玛雅历史遗迹之一,它已成为旅游大热门的景点。1.5小时的旅程,所经过的圩镇,乡村和热带丛林,把我们带到一度曾经繁荣昌盛的旧城市,而目今只剩下沉寂的旧毁墟。

Indigenous to Mexico and Central America, the Maya became known for their advances in mathematics and architecture, and for their highly developed calendar. Long considered one of the great civilizations of the Americas, the Maya built magnificent stone cities while Europe was still in the Dark Ages. Chacchoben, which means “place of the red corn.” is one of those ancient cities.


Even after the Maya abandoned the city causing it to fall into ruins, local tribes continued to frequent the area, especially for hunting and faming. Despite these activities, the city basically remained unknown to the outside world until 1972 when American archaeologist Dr. Peter Harrison spotted the ruins from his helicopter.

即使玛雅人把这座城市遗弃之后而成为毁墟,当地的部落人继续频繁地到该地区,特别是他们在哪里狩猎和耕种。尽管是这样,这座城市对外界基本上仍处于不被人所知。直到1971年,美国考古学家彼特 哈里孙博士在他的直升飞机上才发现这座历史遗迹。

Today visitors can see six excavated buildings and can walk up the steps of the pyramids, which for the Maya, represented stairways to heaven.


A diver’s paradise
We arrived next at Mexico’s largest island, Cozumel. Historically, the area was an important center of worship for the Maya. The region later fell into decline and remained that way until underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau discovered it in the early 1960s visited what Cousteau called, “one of the greatest diving destinations in the world!”

我们下一站到达墨西哥最大的海岛,科苏梅尔。在历史上,此地对玛雅人曾是一个非常重要的朝拜中心。随后,该地区逐渐衰落和残留下来,直到上世纪60年代的早期,水下探险家雅克 库斯蒂亚才发现她。该岛作为旅游参观点才再次兴旺起来。她被库斯蒂亚称之为:“世上最好的潜水地之一!”

An undersea garden
To view the underwater wonders, we boarded a much smaller boat and motored an hour out to sea to reach the world-famous Palancar Reef. With snorkels on, we jumped into the warm water and began drifting above the world’s second largest barrier reef system. Sea turtles and brightly colored reef fish immediately became visible. Even more impressive than the sea creatures, though, was the reef itself! The giant coral mountain looked like an undersea garden, boasting sea fans and sponges in brilliant shades of purples, oranges and other amazing colors. As tempting as it was to bring back a piece of coral as a souvenir, the reef is protected. Instead, I took lots of underwater pictures to go along with my memories of Cousteau’s beloved Palancar Reef.



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