September 18th, 2008 – by: gnatalia
THe Metropolitan City of Lima
Upon arrival in Lima, capital of Peru, we are met by our guide and driver for the transport to the hotel. For the next half hour ride from the airport, I have to keep calm as the driver navigates through heavy traffic and the crazy style of driving. Push, push, push---that's the way for the peruvians, whoever is the pushiest gets the right of way in this fast-moving metropolis. There are no traffic lanes or lights in the majority of the city. We almost get hit by a bus going in the opposite lane, so I hang on to the seat hoping the hotel is close by. The Emperador Plaza hotel has nice accomodations and guess what? it's facing a Papa John's Pizza!!! Who would have thought that one would find this type of service in a 3rd world country.
But come to discover, Lima may seem like your typical latin american city but it does have it's share of modernized restaurants and super malls. The people of Lima are nice and very hospitable, they are also very fit and tend to walk alot, maybe due to the fact that traffic is so congested in the city. Tonight we take a tour of the city by night, visiting Plaza the Armas, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The buildings in the city are very nicely illuminated at night. For dinner we are treated to a very interesting show of peruvian music and folklore and cultural dancers, while we sample delicious peruvian food.
The next day, after starting out with a delicious light breakfast of breads and cheeses, fruits and juices, and typical peruvian cereal, we head for a tour of the city.
Plaza de Armas, Lima, Peru
Plaza de Armas by day is bustling with activity as peruvian families, as well as tourists come here to explore, chat, relax and indulge in the spanish architecture. Along two sides of the Plaza are rows of arcades and shops, Portal de Escribanos and Portal de Botoneros. In the center is a fountain dating back to 1560. Here there is also the Cathedral, with it's mosaic covered walls. We also visit, the XVII century Monastery of San Francisco, however, the catacombs under the church are quite disturbind I would say. The Peruvian Gold Museum has an excellent collection of pre-columbian gold, silver and bronze, as well as, ceramics, weavings, mummies, and firearms. There are many interesting stores outside that sell souvenirs and handicrafts. At night we fall asleep to the sounds of cars beeping on the streets and people out and about until the wee hours of the morning.