First Lima, with a population of 8 million. Like all large cities, it has many faces, each possessing its own particular flavour. Our tour as described in the 'Official Detailed Itinerary' was as follows:
"Begin with a drive to the Park of love in Miraflores, the modern downtown with a view of the pacific Ocean. The tour then continues to the modern residential suburb of San Isidro, followed by a drive to the Colonial area and to the Main Square where you will see the Government Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the City Hall. The tour ends with a visit to the XVII Century Church and cloister of San Francisco, a world cultural heritage."
This is the entrance to the Park of Love overlooking the ocean. It was only a few blocks from our Hotel, the Sol de Oro Suites Apartment hotel.
Directly below the park, down a staircase was a mammoth shopping center!
This is but one segment as the shopping center consisted of several floors. As can be seen, it has a very interesting layout and was fun to tour.
At left is a restaurant which we could see from the shopping center. It looked intriguing, BUT, we just didn't get the time to visit it.
Nevertheless, we did get to eat at many restaurants, including Alfresco's, a very popular restaurant just a few minutes walk from the hotel. As can be seen, the meal not only looked good, but was very tasty and surprisingly reasonable!
Here are just a few of the various culinary delights we consumed during our trip.
At far left is a prawn cocktail; at bottom, a bowl of very healthful chicken soup; and finally, the piece de resistance, alpaca carpaccio!
One of the suggested Peruvian national dishes is Guinea Pig served ... straight-up (4 legs that is). We didn't opt for this presentation, but did try the 'chicken wings' version.
We started off our 'official' visit at a museum, then Inca ruins in Lima itself and finally a tour of the city and environs to view the various important and historical buildings. At right is Garry with our talented tour guide.
The following are some photos from our tour.
At left is an excavation of an Inca edifice.
At right, City Hall ... I think ... maybe ... but its very pretty!
At left, the Catholic cathedral and the vibrant, central square - a truly exciting place to investigate. We took many pictures of the exteriors and interiors of the various historical buildings, but will only show a few here due to space/time restrictions (yours!!!).
As can be seen by this interior photo of only one, small area of the cathedral, the opulence is almost overwhelming bearing in mind the relative poverty prevalent in the country. Regardless, it has to be viewed from an historical aspect to appreciate the dedication that went into its construction, and its art work and beauty.
We had the opportunity to visit the crypt and catacombs under the cathedral. Evidently wealthy Catholics on their death were able (for a price) to be interred under the church in the catacombs with the result that over 30,000 did so! However, the area became so congested that it was decided to artistically arrange the bits and pieces as at left looking down a well-like feature under the church.
This photo is, to me, almost unbelievable! On entering the cathedral, immediately to our right was a chapel dedicated to Don Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror of the Inca Empire and containing his bones!!! I asked many mixed-blood Peruvians why someone who pillaged and raped the country would be honoured in this manner by the church? Most indicated their distaste and disagreement with this religious celebration of someone who truly should be vilified instead!
On a less contentious subject, we observed that there were still scads of the ubiquitous, original VW beetle roaming the Peruvian countryside. We took a picture of one we saw near our hotel in Lima - slightly modified!
At the end of our Peruvian tour, we returned to Lima for a couple of days (compliments of Air Canada and yet another delayed flight!). Here are a few pictures of our final Lima explorations.
This picture shows Judy filling out the "comments" sheet in our room at the Sol de Oro Suites Apartment hotel. As can be seen, the suite certainly contains all the amenities, though as for all our time in Peru, bottled water was a necessity.
The service at this hotel and, in fact, all the locations we stayed at was superb! The Sol de Oro had an excellent and reasonable dining room and a tasty and varied breakfast buffet. The location couldn't have been better!
And then there was last minute shopping! A short walk from our hotel was an area with many touristy shopping centres which, of course, we just had to visit ... At right is one such store just loaded with 'stuff' for visitors to bargain for.
Here is Judy with her new hat! We also have table cloths, paintings, ceramics, and to satisfy our cat, feline-pattern covers for her favourite chairs which we purchased at various locals all over Peru. Lets face it, half the fun was in the bargaining! I'm positive that if we had just offered to pay the list price, the vendors probably wouldn't have sold us the item.
In addition, we have a Peruvian Pan flute bought from a street vendor which I can play ... well, maybe produce sounds somewhat reminiscent of a goose caught in a blender according to my 'devoted' audience ( a cat and a wife).
That covers our time in Lima. To return to the first page and our Peruvian location index to see more of our travels, just click on the young girl on the right.