Valentine´s Day in Cusco

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February 14th 2009
Published: February 14th 2009
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Waiting for traffic to stop, I took this photo. One woman wears clothes from the past, the other wears what most people here wear.
Happy Valentine´s Day! The pubs here are decorated with red balloons and roses. I have a date with a guy from London tonight and we are going to visit the Irish and British pubs. I know, I know, I´m suppose to immerse myself in the local culture. I did a bit of that this morning when getting lost on the way to the train station. Cusco is a tourist mecca and I will put energy into seeing local culture when I am in the rural regions.
Backing day began with the challenge of figuring out the shower faucet. Strangely, the shampoo and conditioner bottles exploded outward when I opened the lids. It must be the change in air pressure. I had difficulties sleeping last night, probably still adjusting to thin air.
My goals for the day were to find Scotia bank, get to government tourist bureau to inquire about tourist ticket and find train station to pay for the train to MachuPicchu. The sun was blasting down and I had to go in circles when the first Scotia bank did not have cash machines that worked, and I got a bit lost finding PeruRail.
The best thing about being lost
Av de SolAv de SolAv de Sol

This park and art/statue are at the bottom of Avenue de Sol. Water shoots out from each side pillar.
is finding places were the locals shop. I found a market and took photos of the food and bought boiled corn for brunch. There were cheap socks that I needed.
At PeruRail there was long ques, and when my number came up I asked the clerk to cancel the expensive train on return trip and exchange it for the cheaper Backpackers train. I have window seats for both trains and I´m hoping to take photos of the terrain.
I saved about $30 u.s. and immediately went to craft market to buy a hat to rescue me from sun stroke and buy a few trinkets. The area at the bottom of Avenue de Sol, near the train station, is so much calmer than the main Plaza. The crafts are cheaper, too. People are doing regular things, and not asking tourists to buy their goods.
In the afternoon I went to a pub with a balcony overlooking the Plaza. I watched Wales beat England in a rugby match and ate a cheese and avacado sandwich. The pace of life is nice and slow.

Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 23



I bought bracelets from these girls in quiet market near train station
Do not HonkDo not Honk
Do not Honk

This is near the hostel. Note the sign to taxi cabs to not honk horns. They all do, on every street.

On my way to town centre, the sun shines early morning and then sprinkles rain in the afternoons.

There are dozens and dozens of police on the city streets. It does make tourists feel more relaxed.
Scotia BankScotia Bank
Scotia Bank

Inner courtyard of Scotia Bank. By the look of banks and rail offices, a lot of money is being made by some people or organizations.
Main StreetMain Street
Main Street

Avenue de Sol is the main street of the city
Side streetSide street
Side street

It was much cooler and quieter walking through the side streets. Early morning and a mother is dressing her children in costumes for tourist photos
Regular areaRegular area
Regular area

This was near a community market. In this area I felt tall and out of place, yet the people were quietly friendly
Mountain designMountain design
Mountain design

See the slogan carved in vegetation on hilltop?
Community marketCommunity market
Community market

This market was exactly like the ones in England. Food, clothing and every thing imaginable is for sale here

She put on the hat for the photo opt

There were some grains/vegetables that I did not recognize

It seems the yellow squash grows very large here

Check out the size of the corn! I bought one of the boiled cobs and could only eat two thirds of it. It tasted similiar to our corn, but with more starch

Eating my snack outside the busy ticket office
Chapel of CommerceChapel of Commerce
Chapel of Commerce

There are many, many, many shops here. This was once a chapel connected to the cathedral. It has expensive art and crafts for sale.

This was a quieter market. I bought a necklace here
Crushed by churchCrushed by church
Crushed by church

The bottom of the structure is Inca

On this street there is a monastery
Nuns or MonksNuns or Monks
Nuns or Monks

I wonder if they mean ´convent´ Inside the chapel was spectacular but photos were not allowed

Too much sun here, I need water and a cold beer. There are many pubs with balconies looking over the main Plaza

Nortons pub has the longest balcony
Balcony viewBalcony view
Balcony view

What a great place to sip cold beer and people-watch

When the afternoon rain began, we went inside. Wales was beating England. Note the flowers and balloons for Valentines Day

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