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Irene's Adventures

Peru - Lima

PERU | Wednesday, 15 May 2013 | Views [416]

Machu Picchu

 

LIMA

I landed in Lima and was picked up by an Intrepid Tour person and taken to the Inka Path Hotel. The next morning, I asked the front desk what I could see quickly, as the tour meeting was that afternoon at 2:00 pm.  She gave me a map and sent me on my way.  By the way, I am SO glad I kept up with my Spanish lessons, because they sure came in handy!!

The hotel was merely a 10 minute walk from the Plaza Mayor and the Government Palace, where I was fortunate enough to see the changing of the guard with their high step marching. 

From there I went to the Cathedral of San Francisco.  I got a tour of the cathedral and its catacombs.  The library dates to pre-conquest and houses over 25,000 antique texts.  It is a beautiful room that looks very similar to the library in the Harry Potter movies. The large choir books are for all choir members to see, even from the back of the room.

 

Library in San Fransico Cathedral

 

The catacombs are beneath the sanctuary with an estimated 70,000 people buried therein. Bones line up along narrow hallways underneath the church, and one area contains several large and deep holes.  As the bodies decomposed the bones were thrown into these massive wells, approximately 8 - 10 meters deep.  This was not disrespectful, it was merely a matter of making the most of the space provided.  Today, these wells filled with bones and skulls are arranged above each other in neatly organized geometric patterns.

 

catacombs

 

There are beautiful works of art and wood workings throughout the cathedral.  Most of the wood is cedar wood from Nicaragua.  One domed ceiling has pieces carved in such a way that it is held in place with friction!

 

    

 

After the tour meeting, we went as a group to some plazas and churches near the hotel. Although the buildings are are grand and beautiful, most are vacant above the first floor.  The government wants the buildings to maintain their historical integrity thereby making it too expensive for individuals or corporations to restore. It is such a shame to see pigeons flying in and out of broken windows, knowing full well that being abandoned is causing even greater damage to these beautiful buildings.

 

top stories are abandoned

 

Our tour leader, Michael, pointed out a pub that, in his opinion, served the best Pisco Sour - a typical alcoholic drink of Peru.  We then all went out for dinner, with each of us trying a different local cuisine.  I had the ceviche and it was delicious.

 

ceviche

 

we are off to the Amazon in the morning...

 

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