Cusco: First Impressions

IMG_5447
The rainy season’s clouds settle over Cusco

Country number six: Peru. After a few flights and a terrible layover, we landed in Cusco around 10 am. We were exhausted, but managed to find the correct bus to our hostel, accidentally got off a stop too early, and then trudged uphill to our hostel. Maybe it was the week of pampering on the Galapagos, or maybe it was the thin air, but these first stairs in Cusco were some of the hardest I’ve climbed.¬†One hostel bed and a blessed nap later, we left to explore the city.

Sitting at nearly 3,400 meters above sea level (more than 11,000 feet), Cusco is a high-altitude city normally populated by posh tourists, adventurous thrill-seekers, and local Peruvians trying to make a living. But because we arrived in the low (rainy) season, the narrow cobblestone streets of the city were decidedly quiet, while the sky alternated between bright blue and threats of rain. Here’s our first impression in photos:

IMG_5450
An empty street in Cusco’s hills
IMG_5661
Women selling tours gather to chat in Plaza de Armas
IMG_5444
A thrill-seeker rides his bicycle down the steep steps in a hillside neighborhood
IMG_5459
A signpost explains the layout of Prehispanic Cusco; the original city was laid in the shape of a jaguar along cardinal directions of Mayan myth
IMG_5456
A family relaxes at a park overlooking Cusco
IMG_5460
A mural on the wall in a restaurant and bar
IMG_5465
Vendor shops in an alcove near Plaza de Armas
IMG_5665
Construction workers demonstrate in the street at dusk

IMG_5454
An alternate view of Cusco, not unlike the one you might experience while fainting¬†from the thin air here (just kidding — playing with new photo angles)
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s