As I mentioned in the last post, we got to Cuzco late evening. As I had a bit of altitude sickness, we stayed in for the evening. Cuzco sounds were a mix of bird chirps, barking dogs and honking car horns. The next morning, Wednesday, April 21st, all was fine.
We started our day with Coca Tea and a nice breakfast at our hotel‘s rooftop restaurant. We had a loft bed and the ceiling was actually tree branches that had been lashed together. The grounds were beautiful and the staff very friendly and helpful.
We had the morning free to explore the lovely plazas of old Cuzco. The main city is in the valley but the city continues to rapidly grow up the mountainsides. It also has beautiful markets, ruins and many restaurants to explore. Our hotel was up one up the beautiful narrow stone roads. At a small square near our hotel, local farmers had walked from the mountains to town for pictures. This has become a major source of income for them. Most leave their homes around dawn and walk to old town, then walk back late afternoon.
I loved these streets with the large staircases as sidewalks and the narrow road in the center. One of our tour drivers expertly navigated these type of roads throughout Cuzco with barely an inch to spare!
We visited the Plaza de Armas or Huacaypata which is the main square.
We visited the Chocolate Museum which is in a lovely two story building with a central courtyard, shops and beautiful arches. It was a nice break from all the history and they had wonderful samples of chocolate, chocolate liquors and a small cafe to purchase a nice iced chocolate drink and dessert.
After this we walked a few more of the local squares.
We walked walked up to the Museo Arzobispal. This was built on an Inca Palace, then converted to a Moorish style palace. Inside are some of the best examples of Cuzco style paintings from 1700’s. Amazing work, many unsigned. Quite a unique way of adding gold and silver threads into the oil canvas. Unable to take photos, will have to look up . It’s wonderful the close up access to these paintings. I can imagine how may more restrictions will come as tourism grows here.
This was just the morning. For the afternoon we had a guided tour of the major sites in and around Cuzco. So much more to come to cover this day!
Next: Major sites around Cuzco