[Arizona] Montezuma Castle
On our way back from Sedona to Chandler, we stopped by Montezuma Castle, a "prehistoric high rise apartment complex" built by the natives, a tribe called the Sinagua people. The name "Montezuma Castle" is misleading, because the building had nothing to do with the Aztec emperor Montezuma, and it was just a dwelling for many families, and was not a castle for some king. It was the first people who discovered it that errorneously gave it that name.
Anyway, it was an amazing feat for the prehistoric people of those days to construct the building. The walls of the cliff were very steep, almost vertical drop to the ground, and to get up there they had to let down ladders halfway down for the people on the ground. So I can't even imagine how could the builders have the patience and energy to scale up there and carve the building out of the limestone cliff. The only reason I can think of is protection, either from wild animals or from their enemies which would find it hard to attack vertically.
Just to give you a feeling of how big and high up the Montezuma Castle is. Mom went in deep through the bushes, I was scared there were rattlesnakes nearby. I would have loved to visit, but the castle complex itself is closed since 1950.Explanation on the architecture of the castle complex.
The friendly ranger who had been to Kuala Lumpur!
I think this is one of the best pictures taken of my brother and I together. :-)