Writing a travel blog from Peru is much more difficult than writing from Spain. Since I barely understand the magic of the interweb, figuring out wifi connections from remote locations is almost more than I can manage anyway, and now that I've reached an altitude of eleven thousand feet, my poor brain is oxygen starved and finding words is... well, it's... wait, what was I saying? Just standing up to plug in my laptop caused my heart to start pounding! I'm in Cusco now, where there is less than half the oxygen than I was getting in Lima, so please forgive my fuzzy thoughts. The photo above is from the historic center plaza of Lima, which we visited yesterday. It reminds me of Spain.
On our last full day in Lima, we left the comfort of the Miraflores district, and traveled into the heart of Lima. Our first stop was the National Museum. The imposing archetechture of the building seemed scary, and not very welcoming.
Once inside, we were told that only a single floor of the giant building was open due to construction, so we navigaged the poured concrete structure to the sixth floor to realize that the exhibition was photography to document the violence and loss of life from the Shining Path that started in the 1980's. Since all the text was in Spanish, all we could do was see rooms of giant graphic photos of death and despair. We didn't stay very long.
Fortunatly, our next stop was more uplifting. We really enjoyed the Museo Larco, which is a collection of pre-columbian pottery that represents the cultural history of Peru.
It was beautiful! The walls and gardens we covered in blooming vines, and giant cacti.
Not only was this museum filled with flowers and friendly people, there was a couryard with benches, free computers with the internet in a cozy library, and refreshing drinks.
The museum has very well organized display rooms, with interesting knowledge bombs in several languages, but we were also allowed to walk through the entire collection, which is more than fourty thousand peices!
Most of the pieces depicted animals, and ranged over thousands of years of ceramic art.
Some were humans...
and an entire display room dedicated to erotic art!
There were also elaborate metal works of gold and silver.
After enjoying lunch at the museum restaurant, a short walk to visit another closed museum, and a visit to a local bar for coffee and more pisco sours, we were ready to head to the old part of town and enjoy the festivities in honour of the solstis.
There were troups of high school aged people dancing in elaborate costumes all over the square and hundreds of people there to see the show.
We took another exhilerating cab ride back to our neighborhood, and said good bye to our favorite streets by feasting on french fries and hot dogs smoothered in ketchup, mustard, and mayonaise, and drank fresh squeezed pineapple juice from a street vendor. We didn't get a belly ache, either!
We took one last leisurly strool through the Kennedy Park, to see the cats which mix freely with the park goers. There were cats in the trees, cats on the sidewalk, cats sitting with teenagers kissing on park benches - cat's everywhere!
Lima was a wonderful city to visit!