Cuzco: The Capital of the World (circa 1750)

Cusco Travel Blog

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A view of Plaza de Armas from our hostel roof

We stayed a night at Copacabana relaxing, and the next day jumped on a 10 hour bus ride to Cuzco, Peru to meet up with Madolyn and Matthew. To say that we miss the trains of Europe would be a gross understatement, although the mistique of overlsold buses is adorable nonetheless. In this case however, the overselling turned out to be a good thing, as they felt bad about the woman with an infant and the 6 Israelis that didn´t have a seat, and put everyone that was going directly to Cuzco in a speeding minibus, making the journey only 8 hours (which truly makes a difference).

We arrived to Cuzco at night and we were dazzled by its grandiose tastefullly lit center square, surrounded by Barroque churches, made of beautifully carved Inca stones, as well as countless colonial houses with red tiled roofs.

Chilling eating breakfast
We celebrated with a beer (finally!) and enjoyed the evening. The next day Danilo signed and faxed his acceptance to Ohio University (back to the States to bitch about mindless foreign policy) while Emily awaited for Matt and Madolyn on the roof of our hostel. We all met up, walked the city, and found a festival of people dressed with wonderul, colorful costumes dancing through the streets. For the next couples of days we just enjoyed ourselves until the start of our Machu Pichu trail...

In the meantime however, we visited our first Inca ruins: an old temple turned into a large church by the Spanish. The Spaniards pretty much systematically took apart Inca buildings and made their own on top. In addition, they stole the gold and silver whenever possible, and in this case the temple used to be plated with gold, and its certainly not there any more.

Plaza de Armas
Anyway, the walls of the temple were very unique as the Incas were trully amazing masons, so their walls have lasted 500 years of wear, tear, and ridiculous earthquakes. The temple was surrounded by a garden, and our spiritual moment where two cultures clashed in one placed, was interrupted and pushed aside (literally) by a herd of well aged tourists. Modernity has finished Darwin in one clean swoop.

A few hours later we went to the cathedral of Cuzco which was disgusting and dazzling at the same time. Why? There was far more gold and silver that we have seen in our lifetimes. All the altars (of which there must have been at least 15 if not 20) were made out of gold and silver. The altars had large figures of Jesus and Mary, ornamented, and always made out of gold.

Colonial church
Sometimes it was so shiny, that you knew it was as pure as possible. At the middle of it all was an immense wood carving of leyens, apostles, and more religious stuff. The cathedral was really two medium and one large church, interconnected. And it was also disgusting that all this was meant to inspire awe at religion when its grandiose qualities inspired a disgust at greed and lack of touch with reality. After an hour we left, dizzy, ready to rest.

The rest of our time in Cuzco was occupied with eating and resting. We left the next morning very early to start our journey to Machu Pichu.

 

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A view of Plaza de Armas from our …
A view of Plaza de Armas from our…
Chilling eating breakfast
Chilling eating breakfast
Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas
Colonial church
Colonial church
Another colonial church with a rid…
Another colonial church with a ri…
Cusco
photo by: Vlindeke