Cusco, or as the Incas called it, "the navel of the world" is located at about 3.400m (11.200) above sea level.
It was once the capital of the almighty Inca Empire, whose territories included not only Peru but large parts of Bolivia,Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Argentina. In the 1400s it w as one of the largest states in the world.
Quechua, the old Inca language is still widely spoken.
The charm of the city lies not only in its beautiful architecture but as well in the mix of cultures between Inca and colonial traditions brought by the Spanish who conquered the Empire under the command of Francisco Pizarro in the middle of the 16th century.
Most historic buildings are build on Inca temple and palace foundations on which the Spanish constructed their churches and mansions. From there Christianity was spread through the Andean territories.
Most temples housed incredible gold treasures which were taken away by the conquerors.
The Incas revered gold as tears of the sun and all gold belonged to the Inca, the son of the sun god.
Lamas were the most important domestic animals, carrying heavy burdens and providing food and wool for clothing.
Join me at this fascinating journey discovering Cusco and its surroundings.
The old Santo Domingo church build on the foundations of the temple of the virgins of the sun.
If you look at the foundation you can easily spot the huge, perfectly built in stones made by the Inca architects.
Details of the fine masonry with precisely cut and shaped stones closely fitted without mortar.
The famous twelve angle stone that fits in precisely
A bowl of Coca leaves on display in a luxury hotel. Coca leave tea is offered to all visitors upon arriving against the altitude sickness which makes breathing difficult.
The reception of a luxury hotel
..and the daily hardship of life in the Andean. An old woman carrying her heavy burden.
Breathtaking landscapes in the Andean
Archeological remains from a pre Inca period
A pink pepper tree
Taking a close look
Sun drying pork skin at a roof top
After that the skin is deep fried until crispy and offered to travelers by a street seller
A trip full of contrasts: sophisticated dessert at a restaurant in Cusco made of elderberries
After a "sweet" and happy end of part one this adventurous trip , we will continue our journey soon.
See you next week.
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