From Machu Picchu we drove to Cuzco, it is a beautiful drive. We stopped at a look at point to stretch our legs and soak in the beautiful countryside. There were the most adorable little kids there that I just had to take pictures with. The older boy loved pulling faces, what a silly!
When we reached the city we drove to the historic district, that is the most beautiful part of the city and is where our hotel, the Hotel Monasterio, was located. Originally built in 1595, Hotel Monasterio sits on the site of Inca Amaru Qhala’s palace. Three year’s later, the Spanish took it over and founded the Seminary of San Antonio Abad. An earthquake seriously damaged the building in 1650, and upon restoration the beautiful Chapel was added. In 1965, the building was remodelled as a hotel. Hotel Monasterio is now a national historic landmark, protected by Peru’s National Institute of Culture. At the heart of the hotel is the beautiful cloistered courtyard, featuring a tranquil fountain and 300-year-old cedar tree.
This was my room, it was absolutely lovely, it was so gorgeous and comfortable. I didn't really feel like I was staying in a hotel. All the rooms had original 16th century paintings in them. ORIGINALS. That was mind blowing, they were outstanding!
Our next stop was at a local market to see a small snippet of what life is like in Cuzco. This was actually one of my favorite things we did on the trip. I loved all the colors, the sounds, the people, the unique foods, everything. I found it all to be so fascinating!
The market was huge and was divided into different sections. There was a meat section. It was creepy and gross. but I couldn't resist taking at least one picture, it was such an interesting place!
Our next and last stop of the day was at Saksaywaman, another amazing ruin from Incan times. Saksaywaman (say it out loud, sounds a little like sexy woman eh?) is a walled complex on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, Peru, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Like many Inca constructions, the complex is made of large polished dry stone walls, with boulders carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar.
The query these stones came from was about two miles away, how on earth did they get stones this big a.) from two miles away b.) to fit so perfectly together?! GENIUSES those Incas.
This trip had been so unbelievably perfect in every way, it honestly was like living in a dream! However, I got a tiny bit of reality check that night, I got altitude sickness. It's real folks. It hits everyone differently and in different degrees. For me I got really sick to my stomach at night and would wake up with pounding headaches in the morning and would feel a little achy all over. Luckily, during the day I didn't have any extreme symptoms I just kind of felt a little Bla all over, so I never had to miss out on anything and could still enjoy all the wonderful sights. I did order some oxygen tanks from the front desk since I had heard that would help. I went through two tanks. It helped a teeny tiny bit. but did give me a cough since I think it dried out my throat. If you ever do travel to Peru and experience altitude sickness, I HIGHLY recommend drinking tons and tons of coca tea and powerade, they did WONDERS for me when nothing else seemed to help. But don't get me wrong the trip continued to be wonderful in every single aspect, I just wanted to document this little bit of it because it's all part of the experience and is just a normal part of that wonderful thing I love called traveling.