Happy (tourist) in Cuzco

Day two in Cuzco, armed with “the” camera, a map and a vague idea of what to do, we headed out into the streets of Cuzco.
First stop: San Blas. We walked through the tiny streets, up stairs and reached Templo San Blas mi fortunately, yet understandably, you’re not allowed to take pictures. We toured the church via audio tour, and loved learning about the history of the church, the paintings, the altars, etc. We definitely learned and noticed details,meds wouldn’t have otherwise.

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We continued our walk through Cuzco’s Old City and visited the Inka Museum. We decided not to get a guide, but listened to other groups and wandered the exhibition halls. The museum provides a great insight into the history of Peru as well as Machu Picchu, its ruins/history and discovery in 1911.
http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photographers/machu-picchu-first.html

We decided to visit the cathedral before lunch and opted again for the audio tour. The variety of chapels, altars and art is fascinating and again, we would have missed many details, including the guinea pig featured in a piece of art of the “last supper” to ensure the people of Cuzco would be able to recognize the importance of the painting (genius!!!) and identify with it.
http://www.cusco-peru.org/cultural-cusco-churches-cusco-cathedral-church.shtml

Off to lunch we went: Jardin Secreto, a small restaurant we had seen the previous day.

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We decided on the menu of the day for $3.50 per person. I can’t truly explain what we ate, take a wild guess, but it was worth every penny.

We ended the day at the Museum for religious art. We opted for a guide versus audio tour, which was a bit of a mistake…but since we had bought the “religious circuit” ticket (entrance to several churches, museums), it wasn’t a totally lost cause…I just wish the guide had been more interested in explanations versus looking at his cell phone to ensure we got through in under 20min.
http://www.portalmachupicchu.com/en/things-to-do/museums/art-museum-archbishop/49/

A definite highlight was our dinner experience at Incanto.
Amazing food, great service and 5′ from our hotel!!

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Rear view mirror

More detailed posts on the Super Workshop and the vacation to Cuzco and Machu Picchu to follow…

October 4th
*pre-GRIT
*post-GRIT
*pre Super Workshop
*BodyAttack86
*BodyPump91
*with international presenter Jeremiah Evans

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October 7th to October 10th
*on the train to Machu Picchu
*audio tour at the Cathedral in Cuzco
*flight from CTG to Bogotá
*flight from Bogotá to Lima
*at the JW Marriott in Cuzco
*at the Sumaq in Machu Picchu
*in the Machu Picchu Pueblo

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Cuzco, here we are

Day one of our vacation: wow!!!

But first things first…our travel day started with a flight cancellation. Quickly, we got rebooked…just to then find the airport in Cartagena closed due to thunderstorms. Slight panic when the flight we were on was scheduled to depart too late for our connection in Bogotá, but thanks to the lovely Avianca ladies, we got onto the first flight departing for Bogotá. After dinner in BOG, we boarded our 10pm flight to Lima, comfortably upgraded thanks to Anthony’s status with Avianca, I slept the entire flight.
Immigration in Lima proofed to be simple, not too many incoming flights at 1230am, however, the airport was packed! Lima is a hub for many other South American destinations, and lots of travelers spend the night there — as did we. If you know us, you know we didn’t camp out or sleep…we wandered the airport and boarded, roughly 4 hours later, our last flight to Cuzco.
Landing in Cuzco is spectacular, the plane flies in an turns into the airport flanked by mountains, breathtaking views!
I’m still trying to figure out how the transportation and luggage situation works at the airport…somehow a porter knew our names, I’m not going to worry if the manifest is being released or if the hotels share this information…regardless, we arrived safely at our hotel: JW Marriott. What a gem, what a gorgeous hotel, amazing staff and history.
After a quick breakfast, we slept the morning away to catch up on a few hours of sleep.
We spent the afternoon exploring, mainly aimlessly walking thru the centro historico. First stop: El Meson for lunch. Great little place, overlooking Plaza de Armas. We continued our walking tour to the Choco Museo, what a cute little museum with tasting opportunities!! After a few samples, we made our way back to the hotel, since we wanted to join the tour of the hotel.
This blogpost gives a little information about the history of the hotel and the amazing renovation/restoration Marriott did over the course of six years.
http://www.blogs.marriott.com/marriott-on-the-move/2012/10/unearthing-incan-relics-in-cosco-peru.html

My favorite: Swarovski crystals representing the sun, which had been so important and instrumental to the Inca culture.

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We ventured out to dinner and enjoyed a lovely, low-key dinner at El Méson de Don Tomás trying some local dishes, including Alpaca and Papa Rellena.

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