Day 1 & 2 - Cusco
Cusco Travel Blog› entry 6 of 34 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Next was Pukapukara. It means the Red Fort. It was probably built to prtect the Inca Baths of Tambomachay.
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!