I went to Monte Alban yesterday
The night before I discovered some of the local mezcal with two Italian guys, a French street preforming clown, French Canadian (who acted like a linguistic double adaptor since she could speak Feanch and English), a German couple and some Mexicans, who we seem to have meet in the street and started to have a fiestas with with their car door open, until the cops showed up and moved us on. I woke in the morning and was unsure as to how I got into bed. None the less I was at the ruins by noon and completely taken aback by it.
Imagine a great isolated hill at the junction of three broad valleys; an island rising nearly a thousand feet from the green sea of fertility beneath it. An astonishing situation. But the Zapotecs were not embarrassed by the artistic responsibilities it imposed on them. They levelled the hill-top; laid out two huge rectangular courts;raised pyramidal alters or shrines at the centre, with other, much larger pyramids at ether end; built great flights of steps alternating with smooth slopes of masonry to wall in the courts; ran monumental staircases up the sides of the pyramids and friezes of sculpture round their base. Even today, when the courts are mere fields of rough grass, and the pyramids are buried under an obscuring layer of turf, even today this high place of the Zapotecs remains extraordinarily impressive . . . Monte Alban is the work of men who knew their architectural business consummately well. – Aldous Huxley, ‘Beyond the Mexique Bay’
It was as though I was in the hand of some immense giant that has been mysteriously slain; and I felt luck to somehow have the privilege to view such an intimate site.