Cusco, you can’t escape loving it
After hiking in the Cordillera Blanca our first impression of Peru changed dramatically and Cuzco just strengthened the new view. With well preserved, colorful colonial architecture, surrounded by Inca ruins, the city is the living evidence of a rich and complex history.
As the biggest city and former capital of the Inca empire, where the royal palace and the most important temple, Qurikancha, were situated, it represents the center of their culture. By merely walking the streets one can see the layers of history: Spanish colonial buildings were erected directly atop Inca perfect stone walls (no mortar was used between stones, but each stone was carefully worked until it fitted the other). And it was also here, in Qorikancha temple that the invading Spaniards found the most gold in all of South America, as all of the walls used to be covered in pure gold. After the Spanish invasion the temple was demolished and the stones were used to build the church of Santo Domingo on top of the ruins.
Walking around the city we were able to discover as well its indigenous population wearing traditional costumes and carrying alpacas or baby sheep for pictures. Of course we couldn’t walk away without doing it! We even came to the conclusion that The Zeb and The Alpaca look quite alike and we have a picture to prove it… ha ha.
And as we are lucky bastards (you already know it, don’t you), were there during an important festival celebrating the life of the “La Virgen de Natividad”, the city protector. It was such a nice atmosphere with people of all ages dressed in all kind of colorful traditional clothes dancing and having fun as a community that I almost cried at a certain point while following the procession. We loved it!
And we loved the whole city! Finally an amazing place as we were expecting to find in Peru!