Kickin’ it in Cusco

In Cusco, our travel party grew even more as we met up with my family…Mom, Dad, David, and Danielle all came down. We even managed to meet up with Aunt Kathy who was on a textile tour of Peru! While we may have been continuing our travels down from higher altitude, they all needed to acclimate before beginning the Inca trail so we spent a few days wandering through churches, checking out ruins, and shopping in the market.
Cusco is a fun town with a ton of history. It was the Inca capital which the Spanish loved so they quickly took it over and built a ton of churches in it. This makes for an interesting mix of Inca and Spanish colonial in the buildings and ruins around the city.
There are a plethora of entrepreneur girls in traditional clothing wandering around with baby animals charging for pictures with them. They were just too cute to pass up every time so we nominated Danielle and watched as she had a lamb shoved into her arms.

The Plaza de Armas is beautiful so we made the most of it. Here we are having ice cream/juice/beer on a balcony overlooking the square.

Can you find Mom in this picture?

We enjoyed the sunshine…it was finally warm if you sat directly in the sun when it was directly overhead!
And yes, that is a breakdancer behind us. They were having an excellent time showing off for Amanda.

Peru has about a million kinds of potatoes. Jesus and Alex shared this sampler platter one lunch.

Right on the edge of Cusco are the Sacsayhuaman ruins. These were a ceremony site in Inca times. A fair amount of them remains, although there are apparently a lot of stones missing because in the past they have been removed and taken down the hill to Cusco to build things.
We had an excellent tour guide at the ruins who explained all sorts of history and got us prepped and excited for our Inca Trail/Machu Picchu trip.

The Incas managed to find some really huge stones to build these walls with!

The Puma was very important in Inca culture (along with the condor and the serpent).

A view from the ruins looking back down onto Cusco.

The trapezoidal doorways were created to withstand earthquakes.

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