The Center of the Inca World

It’s been a while, and I’ve been getting harrassed a lot lately, so here’s a new blog for all of our avid readers. I left off our travel tales just before Mike’s parents joined us in Cusco, so that’s where I will resume the story.

After Mike and I got back from our epic trek to Machu Picchu we rested up in Cusco, knowing that we would be go-go-going once Sharon and Bernie arrived. Mike made them a sign (like those you often see at airport terminals), which read “19 Bars of Soap Budget Travel — Mr. & Mrs. Zysman.” We went to meet them at the Cusco airport, sign in hand, and were happy to see that they made it to Peru with a reasonable amount of luggage. Sharon mentioned that they had seen the Salkantay mountain (which we passed on our trek) from the plane window. Since they had had a long day of traveling already we headed back to our hotel (which did not feauture crusty old soaps in the bathrooms).

Although they were tired from traveling and starting to feel the altitude, Sharon and Bernie accompanied us out to the main plaza for a short bit. We left with the intention of getting breakfast. However, we were side-tracked when we learned that the local schools were holding a huge rally with all of the students in full uniform at the center of Cuzco. After watching the proceedings for a while we did manage to grab a bite to eat before heading back.

After breakfast we went back to the hotel so that Sharon and Bernie could rest up. The altitude turned out to be a bit hard to get used to, but the combination of it and the crazy, steep Cusco stairs would get to just about anyone. We let them sleep it off and encouraged them to drink lots of water and eat these strange green coca cookies. I don’t know if the cookies helped much, but we were able to take in the sights of Cusco despite a little altitude adjustment over the next few days.

Having visited India not long ago, Sharon and Bernie were a bit surprised by the clean, crisp atmosphere of Cusco. Admittedly, so were we. It’s not exactly representative of the rest of the country — after all, one has to put on a good face for the tourists, right? Even the beggars in Cusco look pretty well off, comparatively. Although it seemed a bit Disney-Peru to us, we enjoyed seeing some of the old buildings and ancient Incan architecture on display in the city.

This bird looked and acted like a giant hummingbird, but I have no idea what it was.

Many of the streets are very narrow, and a lot of the buildings incorporate the old Incan foundations since the stone work was so intricate and flawless.

This cathedral was built right on top of what used to be an Incan palace, and much of the stonework is original. The fusion of Incan and colonial architecture is interesting and very apparent in Cusco.

The grounds of the church were very interesting as well, though I never really got the full story on them.

The inside of the church featured several bizarre paintings of children with wings. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a plaque explaining them anywhere. Had the children died? Were they the kids of wealthy patrons? Was this girl the inspiration for Punky Brewster?

Mike actually prepared more pictures than this for me, but the next set features our visit to the Pisac market, and I thought I’d hold out on those so as to be sure that I’d have more material to play with in a few days.

Just because we’ve adjusted to life in the States once more doesn’t mean we’re not still constantly on the move. I’ve been busy working at my new Applebee’s job (and I already got promoted from a server to a bar server — woo-hoo!), and Mike’s been doing everything from gardening to selling photos to inventory-ing his jewelry. Speaking of selling photos, he recently found one that he sold on a French tourism web site of sorts — check it out! That bad-ass rock-climbing chica is me. Now I’m featured on French and Norwegian web sites, that I’m aware of. Ha!

Anyway…that’s it for now, but be sure to take a stab at the new trivia question I’ve posted for you.

2 Responses to “The Center of the Inca World”
  1. Dr_Omega says:

    Happy memories! Thanks for not calling us wimps about the altitude sickness. Have a great 4th of July & we will be looking for more pics soon.Mom Z

  2. Anonymous says:

    Always enjoy your updates (writing & pics). Happy 4th! antkathy

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