Monday, April 25, 2016

Cuzco, Peru

Cuzco exceeded every expectation we had!  A large city with 1 million people in the area, is the main point of entry for Machu Picchu.  It has the airport from Lima and other points (a couple we met from Brazil flew directly from their city), it is the capital and administrative center for the state, and is a World Heritage site!  Almost everyone stays in the historic core in the area of the main plaza- for good reason- it is awesome!!!!  The people love color!  You see color everywhere!  You are also hit by lots of people selling tours, massages (these are honest massages- many people said they helped after a day of climbing), and shops selling crafts.  But the beauty is what we loved!  As I said in the introduction, spend some time here, you won't regret it.  The main square (Plaza de Armas) is beautiful, with the Cathedral (no photos allowed- incredibly beautiful inside), gardens, shops and restaurants.  We would perch ourselves on an outside patio over-looking the square as the sun set drinking pisco sours (the national drink of Peru, and as delicious as can be!!).

Cuzco is a working city- along with the well-developed tourist industry, people actually work here for a living- and that makes it even more interesting.  Seeing areas that are not prettied-up for tourists is an eye-opener for people who work hard for a living.  While everyone had a cell phone, automation of many tasks is still done by hand and wheel-barrow.

The clouds were incredible!  They danced across the hills and buildings, enhancing everything!

The market (mercado) by our hotel in Plaza San Pedro

Our first view of the main square- Plaza de Armas

For a few coins, women dressed in traditinal clothing will take photos with you.  We did so at every opportunity!!!

Murals everywhere

Non-Tourist area

the cathedral and main square from the hills

Jesus statue up in the hills.  At night, it is well lit, looking like Jesus is floating!

The bull is the symbol of good luck and warding off evil- they are everywhere.  This was on top of a roof

Historical site demonstrating the Aztec terracing and movement and building of large rocks- like a puzzle

street in the historic area

Plaza de Armas

Cathedral- sadly, no photos inside, but so worth seeing

Statue of Pachacuteq, an Inca king-he is everywhere

I snuck this photo of priests garb- just beautiful!  They sew with silver thread!

One of the national dishes is Cuy- guinea pig.  I so wanted to try it!  Then I saw it served.  Will never happen:-)

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