Friday, December 24, 2010

Likable Lima

Everyone traveling in South America goes through Lima, but most (but not all) people we talked to did not like Lima and minimized their time there. This included a couple of travelers from Lima themselves.

Lima has around 10 million people. Having lived in Shanghai, this was not a problem for us. On the other hand, Lima has many natural assets: great climate (average high 80-66, low 69-60), situated on the ocean with beaches; colonial and pre-colonial history: grand colonial buildings; recent improvements like the 100% natural gas BRT (except they could use about one hundred or two times the coverage).

The city was also much cleaner than we had been lead to believe. People were friendly and helpful; totally unexpected for such a big metropolis. In the beginning of the trip I used to glance at everyone and wonder to myself what a bad guy would look like. In Lima I realized that I had stopped doing that somewhere along the way.

Our only regret is that we had to leave Lima after only two days. The price of bus tickets is going up each day leading up to Christmas. The day (12/22) after we left was going to be 50% more. However, we had a major schedule change and will now come back to Lima to fly back home in May (more on that later).

Sunset on the beach cliffs in Miraflores, a southern district of Lima. Can you spot the paraglider?
Sunset - Larcomar - Lima, Peru

View south from Miraflores.
Larcomar - Lima, Peru

We enjoyed riding the Metropolitana, Lima's BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) from Miraflores to city center and back.
The Metropolitana - BRT - Lima, Peru

Lima has a Changing of the Guard in front of the Presidential Palace every day at noon with a brass band that plays seasonal selections like Jingle Bells and old favorites like El Condor Pasa.
Changing of the Guard - Lima, Peru

Iglesia and Monastery San Francisco with armored troop carrier. We took a tour of the Monastery and it's catacombs. Not to be missed!
Iglesia and Monastery San Francisco - Lima, Peru

Plaza de Armas with fountain and Christmas tree.
Plaza de Armas - Lima, Peru

Not to mention several very good vegetarian restaurants like Vida Sana.
Vida Sana - Vegetarian Restaurant - Lima, Peru

And the most elaborate Nativity Scene ever in Iglesia La Merced. This photo does not do it justice.
Nativity Scene - Iglesia La Merced - Lima, Peru

2 comments:

Cathy Huemer said...

Merry Christmas Eve John and Sun Ling!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas.We may have a White Chriistmas by tonight.
Mom and Dad