Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Surprising Cusco

Cusco should not be a surprise, except I had very low expectations. I imagined the city brimming with tourists with every local plying the tourist trade. Here we are in Cusco during Semena Santa (Holy Week), an obvious busy time, and I am liking it every much. Granted, there are many roaming souvenir/services peddlers, but by no means aggressive. I find the city very atmospheric. The many churches, orange tiled roofs, colonial buildings, and surrounding hills are reminiscent of Florence, Italy, except Florence had a lot more tourists and paintings, but none of the Incan walls.

The Incan walls are some engineering feat. Stones big and small were cut to fit tightly without mortar. The interlocking mechanism allowed the walls to withstand earthquakes over the centuries. The Incas did not have wheels and the largest domestic animal was the llama! Today all over the city the walls are seen supporting colonial buildings. We have toured through all over the empire, and finally arrived at the capital. All the best stuff is here!!

The old, smooth stone walls of the Inca's Temple of the Sun, support the Spaniard's Templo Santo Domingo in these two photos.
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More Inca walls.
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