Part 3 - Cuzco

As already stated, Cuzco was the capital of the ancient Peru - the centre of the Inca empire and today not only has numberless ruins and other astounishing remainders to offer but also a brilliant night-life and other more 21st century-like stuff going on. As our best friend, the Lonely Planet, puts it: “Cuzco is the aercheological capital of the Americas and the continent´s oldest continuously inhabited city.”

Today, Cuzco has about 300,000 inhabitants and to me it seemed like 299,990 of them are constantly trying to sell you something. The remaining ten are made up of those you already bougth something from. However, once you learned how to cope with all the beggars, merchants and tourist-nappers (and to pronounce the words “No, thanx.” in a way that eliminates at once all doubts about your unwillingness to buy any crap of whatever kind) you´ll find Cuzco a really charming and beautiful place to be. The mix of ancient Inca-times flare and colonial-style houses is really interesting and there is an end-less list of things to see - in the city as well as in its surroundings.

Besides all the museums, there are heaps of ruines and other ancient places that want to be visited and it really is more than you can do in three days or so. Some of the place that we have been to include e.g. Sacsayhuamán (it actually is pronounced quite similar to “sexy woman” what makes it quite a good running-gag to use in the most different situations...) - some old Inca ruins. In Inca-times (about 600 years ago) Cuzco was constructed in the shape of a Puma and Sacsayhuamán formed the head of it. It´s quite huge and some of the stones used for building it weigh up to 300 tons!

- A Cuzco church on the Plaza de Armas at night -

- Maybe they do not look like it on the picture but these blocks are huge! -

- Note that the blocks are built to fit together - there not rectangular! -

Another impressive sight was Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. It as well is a major Inca site and used to be a huge fortress where the Spanish lost a great battle during their conquest. The place is realy massive and here as well you´ll find stone blocks of 40 tons and more that have been used to construct it. The whole importance of this site becomes obvious when one knows that these blocks have been quarried from a mountainside 6km away and the Inca diverted an entire river to get them to the construction site!

- This is only a small bit of the whole site -

- ... -

- Had a bit of a bad wheather that day... -

- Ruins in the Sacred Valley -

- Ollantaytambo - we had to climb up all of this! -

- Ollantaytambo -

- ... -

- ... -

- A lot of stones, isn´t it? -

As always the souvenir shop at the end of the trip was the best fun. And as always we did not buy a thing... I really liked those fancy hats though...

- If only we had bought ‘em! -

- No comment on this one... -

- Die fette Sau! -



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