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Published: July 19th 2013
The black stone is Incan
Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America and was the capital of the Incan Empire. It was a wonderful surprise. We didn´t know what to expect but it was a beautiful city full of wonderful architecture, churches, museums, plazas, fountains, narrow cobbled streets, inca ruins, and fabulous restaurants.
We spent a bit of time here after Machu Pichu (about 10 days) just deciding where to go next (hard life I know!) and making the most of the fabulous restaurants and bakeries. We ate cake every day!
Modern day Cusco is built on, and surrounded by many Inca ruins. One of the sites that we visited was the monestery of Santo Domingo which was built ontop of the old incan sun and moon temples. Some of the original Incan stone walls remain and have been incorporated into the building. The monestery is now part religious part Incan museum and also part religious part contemporary art gallery. It also has beautiful gardens where we spent some time relaxing in the sun watching humming birds fight.
Another interesting place we visited is the chocolate museum. They had a very good display teaching all about the plant, harvest, processing
Fullers 1845, 6%ABV only twice the UK price an a little too cold!
the beans, the industry and farmers all the way to making chocolate, cosmetics, medicine and tea! They also had a historical section featuring the first use of chocolate by the Mayans all the way to its first introduction to Europe and eventual spread around the world. It was also free, although we did spend money at their cafe having a chocolate based lunch!
We took a walk up to visit Saqsayhuman (which is pronounced "sexy women", causing a lot of confusion when we first arrived in Cusco and serveral people asked us if we had been up to see the "sexy women" yet!). This is a site of Incan ruins just a 30 minute walk away from the main plaza in Cusco. It was quite expensive to go in though as you have to buy a ticket that covers all the ruins in the sacred valley (apart from Machu Pichu), so if you arent going to see them all it is too much, so we just looked at what we could see from the road.
We loved Cusco and would highly recomend it to anyone planning on visiting Peru.
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A favour to ask...
On your return, persuade Don we Have to go there!