Ollantaytambo and a great train journey


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South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo
August 25th 2019
Published: August 25th 2019
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Every Inca City had a Temple of the Sun, just as every Spanish City has its cathedral. Korikancha, the Cusco Temple of the Sun, was St Peters of Rome, the capital's Sun Temple where the king 'farmed' literally golden corn. We visited it a couple of days ago but,while it was good to see the remnants, the Spanish did a very thorough job destroying it.
Ollantaytambo which we visited today, is a much better preserved Sun Temple, with magnificent steep terraces leading up to the Temple remains, includimg part of a wall with decorative stone inlays and a huge stone with a key shape carved into it so the next stone could be shaved down to provide a convex equivalent and the two fit together like Lego blocks. They did this with only stone and bronze tools! The view from the top was magnificent with snow topped peaks and sheer cliffs. Ollantaytambo was particularly important for the Inca astronomy calculations. There is a sharp inverted triangle between two peaks that can be seen from the Temple and was used to calculate the sun's path for agricultural and religious purposes. The train ride from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu is regarded as one of the world's greatest train journeys and for good reason. We saw fabulous views of the Andes, with snowy peaks , serrated edges and sheer cliffs. Machu Picchu is about 1000m below Cusco and as we got to lower elevations, the greening was a great contrast with the dryness around Cusco. At Machu Picchu it is almost humid and much warmer that I expected. In fact generally the days have been a very pleasant temperature, certainly much warmer than Melbourne in winter, though the nights are cold. We are spending tonight in Aguas Calientes, a tourist town at the foot of Machu Picchu, in preparation for an early start to see one of the great wonders of the world.tomorrow.

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