"Being together is like catching a sunbeam; each new memory we make reflects light hinting there is more to see and know."

November 22, 2015

Week 39 ~ Beautiful Weekend in Cusco

We had a very fast and unexpected trip to Cusco to help complete the outstanding audits. Although we were not there as typical tourists, we enjoyed the sights, sounds, smells, food, shops and cultural experience of this lovely city. Cusco is so clean with a mixture of the old . . . very old, and new. Everywhere in the old city is found the Inca walls of 1500 years ago, mixed with the Spanish colonial built around the original city, cobblestone streets and traditional Quechua Peruvians in their native costumes mingling with the modern generation and tourists. We had a little trouble adjusting to the altitude of about 10,000 feet, mostly light-headed and mild headache.

Some time was spent in the main Plaza de Armas and it was fun to just watch the people and the children. Since it was Saturday, the children and families were enjoying the beautiful weather and blue skies. The older Peruvian (Quechua) women don't like to have their pictures taken but the children love to pose.

The one thing we did was take a tour of Qurikancha. It was a little disappointing as most of it was Spanish colonial but some significant parts of the old Inca Sun temple have been uncovered after major earthquakes. The major earthquakes severely damaged the church, but the Inca stone walls, built out of huge, tightly-interlocking blocks of stone, still stand due to their sophisticated stone masonry. After the last major earthquake, I think it was 1995, the original Inca temple was again visible and is now a major attraction for tourists in Cusco.
 The Inca Sun Temple
(now the Church of Santo Domingo)

Saturday was spent with these two great men, Victor Condori who lives in Cusco and Hamilton Yupanqui who lives in Puno and took a bus 8 hours to arrive in time for our meeting Saturday.  We accomplished a lot and felt good about the training that took place.  It was a very important meeting to have and now we feel that things are back on track in the Cusco Coordinating Council.  Afterwards we ate lunch at a delightful Peruvian restaurant, Camino Real. We found the Peruvian food excellent.  The weekend was both busy and culturally fascinating.  Diane and I want to come back and spend more time here.  

We stayed at this hotel, Casa Andina. It was filled with antique furniture from the colonial period and some ceramics and stone pieces from the Inca. I asked about the beautiful antique tables shown here. There were about 7 of them along the corridor with chairs where people would sit and put their drinks on the table. Oh my gosh! These are at least 500-1000 years old and didn't even have glass on top. I asked if they were available to buy and the lady said, "Oh no, these are antiques and special to our heritage. We cannot sell them." You would think they would take better care since the inlaid wood was coming lose and there were some water marks from glasses set on the tables. Weird but these tables were beautiful in their antique state with the inlaid pictures depicting Peruvian colonial life.

1 comment:

  1. Fun read - thanks for catching us up! Glad you got to do a little site seeing in spite of it being a work trip :) Looks beautiful