Downtown Cuzco

Trip Start May 08, 2011
Trip End May 16, 2011

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Flag of Peru  , Cusco,
Sunday, May 15, 2011


We arrived back in Cuzco, the Capitol of the Inca Empire, on Saturday night.  I took it easy Sunday morning and strolled around the small square next to the hotel, then over to the main Plaza de Armas to see the Cathedral and watch the people.  I had a wonderful bowl of quinoa soup at a restaurant on the Plaza.  Quinoa is something you buy at the health food store in the US, but in Peru it is a highly nutritious grain that is a staple of their diet.  They cook it in a chicken broth with veggies.  After lunch, I met up with the rest of my group, and we walked over to the Temple of the Sun.

Cuzco's Qoricancha or Temple of the Sun doesn't look like an Inca ruin at first glance. That's because the Spanish built a huge church on top of it in the sixteenth century.   Earthquakes, including the major one in 1950, damaged many of the colonial churches, but when the colonial structures fell down, the Inca walls were revealed.  The whole complex is being restored so you can see the original Inca stonework as well as the Moorish-style church buildings and the extensive gardens.

Impressive artworks at Qoricancha include the elaborate Inca Calendar--both ritual and agricultural calendars show the activities people engaged in during different months of the year.  The large mural shows an Inca interpretation of the Milky Way, where the dark pattern among the stars represents a snake.

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