Welcome to Cuzco
|An homage to the Inca past|
|The Spanish used Incan blocks as foundations for their buildings|
|The Stone of Twelve Angles: The most famous and photographed Inca rock in Cuzco|
Click here for my post about and photos of handicrafts in Peru
|Alpaca wool sweaters: an all too common sight in modern day Cuzco|
|The Cathedral at night|
|A photo of someone taking a photo of women in traditional clothes|
-- for a fee of course
Taking a Pass on the Boleto Turistico
Well what can I say, there is a lot to see in around Cuzco and we see mostly none of it. I know this sounds pretty lame, but there are two good reasons for this:
The first is that soon nearing my one whole year of traveling anniversary I have hit a slight sightseeing wall. In Cuzco, and especially after visiting awesome Machu Picchu, I lose interest in chasing after every last (and first) guidebook recommended place of interest. Call it a mild case of traveler's fatigue. The second reason is that in Cuzco you cannot just visit your preferred places of interest. You have to buy a Boleto Turistico (Tourist Ticket) which costs about US $45 and offers entrance to sixteen different museums and ruins. There are a few places not included in the ticket that have individual entrance fees.
|A free peek into part of the cathedral during a wedding|
|Enjoying the beauty of Cuzco from the outside|
The Real World Cuzco
Now I would guess that the majority of visitors do not leave the center of Cuzco. They arrive to their hotel, tour the sites, go to Machu Picchu, come back to Cuzco and soon leave. This plan is not so bad for people on short holidays because the center of Cuzco is beautiful and fun. The plaza and old churches are there, most hotels and tourist restaurants are there, and plenty of handicrafts shopping is in the center too.
|The main plaza|
|Quinua or quinoa (the little white squiggles in the photo)|
is protein-rich, native to the Andes mountains and also known as Inca Rice
|My favorite lunch spot in Cuzco|
After this terrific lunch we cross Avenida El Sol heading towards the main plaza when we see spots and spots of bright colors. Upon closer inspection we see streets filled with people in a rainbow of clothing. It happens that today is a festival where market workers put on traditional costumes and masks to march and dance around the main plaza. Every group is accompanied by live musicians. It is a very happy event and all performers are very obliging to our photography requests. The cobblestone streets and antique churches of the main plaza make a spectacular backdrop for this colorful dancing parade . It is also creates a very memorable last impression for our stay in Cuzco.