Day 1 & 2 - Cusco

Cusco Travel Blog

 › entry 6 of 34 › view all entries
On the streets..

We arrived in Cusco via Lima. We´re staying at a hostel we found on hostelworld.com. IT´s really cute, but at least a mile from the main square. We THOUGHT that would be great.. We can get some exercise.. The first walk into the square was cute. We passed little skinny little streets with shops and houses side by side on each side. Most of the streets are one way, because you can only barely fit ONE car with a skinny little side walk on each side. We passed venders, which were mostly little old mountain ladies sitting on the cement sidewalk selling anything from fruit to pens. Well, the fun came walking back. The whole area is sort of built on the side of a hill, so the whole way down to the city center was downhill and the whole way back was UP! That got tiring after like the 9th trip in one day!

Peru uses the soles.

INCA Fun!
. which is three soles per one dollar. Most things are pretty inexpensive. A bottle of water is 1 sole. A taxi to town is 2 soles. Cusco is the main starting point for Macchu Picchu. It is clean. There are many workers tending the gardens and sweeping the street, but you can´t go ANYWHERE with out being asked to buy something. Kids are all over the streets selling either their shoe shining service, to postcards, to (Hold on, this internet shop has coffee and the guy just brought me my latte right to where I´m typing! Umm.. like this place!) anyway, to bracelets.. There is a school for the deaf here and many orphanages. The Inca´s considered this town the CENTER of the WORLD. To them, Cusco was their capitol and thought to be the center of the world. There is A LOT of Inca culture here, but you can tell the Spanish influence.
What a strange culture!
There are many BIG catholic churches and a statue of Jesus illuminated on the hill overlooking Cusco. That has a story behind it I will tell you later.

The most important thing to know about Cusco is that it is at a very high elevation. Many people, well MOST people get altitude illness after arriving. The weird thing is, I have not! Ben has had shortness of breath and muscle soreness. Everyone else we have talked to has at least had a continuous head ache.

Day 2:

We did a city tour today. It consisted of 6 sites around Cusco and cost 10.00 US. First we went to the Catholic Cathedral. It was built after the Spanish conquered the Inca´s. The Inca´s dynasty ONLY lasted 100 years.. So when you see all the pictures later. Keep that in mind!! They did all they did in only 100 years! Anyway, the church was interesting, but sad.

Little boy selling that mint plant to make money for his family.
There were all these ideas and statues that are worshiped etc. Nothing is in gold, only gold plated because any gold and ALL gold the Inca´s had was melted and sent back to Spain. There was a silver altar.

We then went to the main Inca church. Oh, the catholic church also has a lot of mirrors because the Inca´s had not seen mirrors and would therefore come to church because they were amazed by them. The Inca church, Meseo de Sitio del Qoricancha, was made from their masonary skills that involve building these rectangular bricks and building them perfectly so there is NO mortar used between them. (While cutting grooves in some to allow for an aquaduct) Their work is AMAZING! Mostly there church consisted of different areas that had altars for their golden gods.

Where can I get one of those hats?
The Inca´s had no monetary use for gold, so they just used it to build statues of their gods and use as offering to their gods.

Third, we went to Saqsaywaman. It really does sound like ¨Sexy Woman¨! These next 4 sites are all Inca ruins that show their amazing masonary. Again, they did all this in 100 years! One block in this ruin is expected to weight 200,000 TONS! I took a picture of course! The spanish did not think this place could be built by humans because the stones are SOO big so they thought ¨it was the work of demons and the art of enchantment¨.

The next ruin was Qéngo. It was again a ruin of sorts. Part of the history involved it having some caves. There are levels to these caves. For example, you walk inbetween some large walls then down by your feet is a window of rock.

Ruins
Well, the Incas used to go there to ask the priests their future. The priests were in a lower level in this rock area that had GREAT accustics. So, their voice sounded REALLY loud even though they were one more level underground. So, the Inca´s thought they were great and wonderful etc and believed them. Then farther down that lower path is more of a cave. The Inca´s thought caves let to the afterlife so they really thought the priests were gods from the afterlife coming through the caves and telling them their future.. Ok, also, the Inca´s main god is NOT the sun, like believed. That is the second highest deity. The highest is the god of agriculture. At least that is what we were told.

Next was Pukapukara. It means the Red Fort. It was probably built to prtect the Inca Baths of Tambomachay.

Girl selling mint plants.

The last ruin we saw was Tambomachay. I think that was just a ruin built for some of the Inca´s to watch the slaves as they were forced to travel to and from Cusco to the country side to do the labor the Inca´s required of them. The people they inslaved were the ones the won the war with, Andean people.

We leave for Machu Picchu tomorrow!

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
On the streets..
On the streets..
INCA Fun!
INCA Fun!
What a strange culture!
What a strange culture!
Little boy selling that mint plant…
Little boy selling that mint plan…
Where can I get one of those hats?
Where can I get one of those hats?
Ruins
Ruins
Girl selling mint plants.
Girl selling mint plants.
Ben.. wow.. it´s a long way down!
Ben.. wow.. it´s a long way down!
Kids selling mint plants.. Well, m…
Kids selling mint plants.. Well, …
Inca Masonary.. AMAZING
Inca Masonary.. AMAZING
Amazing wall... Inca ruins are ama…
Amazing wall... Inca ruins are am…
Holy doorway.. See how it has an i…
Holy doorway.. See how it has an …
Cusco
photo by: Vlindeke