We loved Cusco so much. It has a colonial heart, a Inca souls and a modern body, where to find everything you are looking for and a lot of multiculturalism.
We were so lucky to find a European standard hostel, owned by a Italian guy, Filippo, who lived here for years. You can’t say we didn’t exploit it, mainly the rooftop and the kitchen!
The location is perfect, just outside the touristic delirium of downtown and close to the vibrant San Blas.
The super downtown is Plaza de Armas, already the city center during the Inca empire, it was the navel of their empire. The square is divided into two parts, the Huacaypata (place of tears) and Cusipata (place of joy), maybe because of its religious, meditative or party uses in Inca ages.
Well tears also remind of another event. The death of the last Inca. Túpac Amaru I, last Inca and chief of the indigenous resistance was killed here as an example, by the spanyards, in 1500. Later, in 1781 here was also killed Tupac Amaru II, descendants of the noble Incas and for some theme leader of an indigenous rebellion against the Sapanish. He remains an hero in the history, a symbol of freedom from oppression, and his name was later used by the famous rapper 2Pac.
Cusco is full of beautiful squares. We liked San Francis square, hosting the ominous church famous for its catacombs, the national tree of Perù where chinino is extracted, used by the Incas to heal malaria, and Ciencias. This last is a school founded by Simon Bolivar as an act of revolution. Under the Spanish empire indigenous were not allowed to study science because the only knowledge should come from the Bible.
Here the young Peruvians started to be educated. The school has a nice symbol; a donkey putting his leg on a football ball. The donkey is not the symbol of stupidity but of the fact that the majority of the students came by donkey from the countryside and football is simply the most loved sport in the country. When the kids finish school the streets get filled with red and white uniforms and joyful noises! So nice! We even found them in Machu Picchu. Let’s just say that discipline is not one of the most loved subjects.
Close to here the Santa Catalina arch, a symbol of freedom of all the populations of South America. There’s a statute with the famous hat wore by the freed slaves during the Roman Empire. It was impressing to see the monastery, where still today many young girls live as segregated nouns.
It’s mainly girls from the poor villages of the countryside so that we strongly doubt of the truth of their vocations.
All historic building hide a Inca skeleton. Luckily! During the last huge earthquake of 1959 many buildings fell down. Those which didn’t were all built on Inca previous buildings, strong and antisismic. Of course, the technique they used was the same of Lego!
Every time we go back home from the center we pass before the market of San Pedro and the Station. To the first it’s difficult to resist and often get in to spend our soles. The second always makes us angry. From here trains to Machu Picchu leave. In the past the same exact trail was covered by a state owned train, and the price was, for everybody, of 10 soles (little bit more than 3 Euro). Then a corrupt government sell the license to a Uk-Chilean private company and the ticket costs now at least 50 Euros.
Cusco has also been a place where we could satisfy or need to meet beautiful people. We saw Nico, on holiday from his hostel in Puerto Natales, Eleonora. Alice, Eva and Licia who we met in Uyuni and showed us the smartest face of Cusco, Gaia, so nice to hear Sardo! And Valentina who we hope we will soon visit in Costa Rica.
We leave Cusco sad, instead of the couple of days we had to spend here we stayed a week, but we enjoyed it a lot, alpaca hamburgers, Pisco with a view and market ceviche included.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *