On Sunday I went out to visit a friend of mines. I took first the Transmilenio and then I walked to the place where we wanted to meet up. And you should know that in Bogotá all the streets have a special number depending on their location. This order is kind of a raster, so it isn’t that difficult to find places, at least you always know, if you are on the right track or not.
Anyhow, I was walking from the bus station to this place and found myself in a quarter which was closed this day for cars. So many people cycled or walked in the middle of the street. In Bogotá every Sunday a different quarter is closed for activities like this. So yes, I enjoyed walking this street. In the end I was half an hour before the actual meeting time. So I sat and watched the people. Then suddenly it began to rain out of nowhere. Luckly my friend came and we sat down in a café and had both café late with milk which did not have lactose in it. Yes this as well exists in Bogotá – milk without milk sugar.
During this time inside, the sun came out again and it seemed to be a nice day. But short time before we actually left to buy some stuff in the supermarket. It started to hail. Only a bit, but when we arrived in the supermarket the hail was really heavy. The cars which parked in front, started to make annoying noise. Of course their alarm went on, because they were hit really hard by that hail. As well the roof in the supermarket couldn’t stand the hail. So water came in but nothing more happened.
Well it looked like it snowed on the street and felt like the world is going down. But these kinds of climate changes are normal for Bogotá. As I said, Colombia doesn’t have seasons like summer or winter but many seasons during one day…sun, hail, rain, wind…almost everything.
Cusco as I already mentioned is situated in 3.330m above sea level. For 300 years it was the center of the Incas. Today it is one of the important places of Latin America’s catholic churches.
This day we first visited the “Convento de Santo Domingo”.
Every year they celebrate the god of the sun “Inti” there. The persons have their traditional clothes one and dancing around this building. The Sun in Cusco is really important. There is one fountain, were the sun hit in the morning exactely the golden medallion above this fountain.
The building “Convento de Santo Domingo” was really interesting, the architecture, the traditional clothes, the pictures and decoration and as well there was an art exhibition inside, which was astonishing. In former times the building inhabited many gold frames and other decorations out of gold. But the Spanish people robbed almost everything out of this building as well.
After this we went to Sacsayhuamán, which is an old fortress. Moreover it is told that the fortress had religious significations. As well we had a look at Qenco, Puca Pucará and Tambo Machay.
After this little trip outside of Cusco, we went to the “Plaza de Armas” and there we went inside the church of Cusco, which is really impressive.
In the evening time we went out for dinner. It was a nice location where you could try guinea pig.
A View on Cusco.
…the trip through the history of the Inkas didn’t stop at all. The contrary, we are going to visit Machu Picchu, which was told to be a place of refuge for the Inkas. But this is not a proved fact. But anyway Machu Picchu, which was built in the 15th century, is really awesome. I mean, how is it possible to build a city at this altitude in the mountains far from anything. Well it was a good place to build a city because in the end the Spanish people didn’t find this place during the conquest of Peru.
We started our trip at the train station in Yucay. There we went with the train through the valley of Urubamba to Aguas-Calientes.
From there we went in buses up to the entrance of Machu Picchu. The time in the train was relaxing, we got some food and of course we enjoyed the landscape of the valley. It was awesome. What a pity that the pictures from the moving train weren’t that great. But some are showable.
The Bus from Aguas-Calientes went through the mountains on a small road way. But I really enjoyed my view.
But when we arrived at the entrance we were all excited to see Machu Picchu.
After all the sight-seeing tour we were really tired. As well all the up and down gave us the rest. So we had short lunch break outside. Every visitor was allowed to sign their passport with a Machu Picchu stamp. Fair enough now my passport is becoming my travel memory.
Back down in the village Augas-Calientes we did some shopping. There was an art market, too, so we bought more presents for our friends. In the night time we eventually got to Cusco. First we went with the train to Yucay and then with the Bus the rest of the distance. It was an impressive day and we learnt a lot about the Inka culture.
On this photo above a guy is trying to conserve the cultural heritage “Machu Picchu”. In all the gaps there are loads of braids and grass, which could destroy the stone walls. For that reason this hard and neverending work of this man. As well they are searching volunteers to help to conserve Machu Picchu.
After an early morning flight from Lima to Cusco with an awesome view of the Andes we finally got the chance to see more from Peru. In Cusco we only had a quick stop to drink some Coca tea. This was necessary because we were afraid of the illness of altitude (here it is called: “Soroche”). Cusco is situated in 3.330 m of altitude.
On our way to the Inca ruins in Ollantaytambo we stopped a lot of times for taking picture, visiting a museum, which is called “Awanakancha” and a traditional art market. On the typical tourist stops you find a lot of people in traditional clothes. They want of course some money if you take a picture of them. But still it is nice.
The museum “Awanankancha”:
The traditional market:
The Inca ruins were really great. It is said that the God of the Incas leaded his people to build these city Ollantaytambo. This is one of the ruins which remained to demonstrate the construction of an Inca city. The technique to form and cut stones is very impressive, as well the construction of the walls. The Incas mainly used the trapeze form for windows or the stones it selves. The walls were built really well, the Incas gave every stone another form and built to every form a complement. This works like a big puzzle. So everything fits to another and is stable.
It was a very interesting visit. More of this technique we were going to see at Machu Picchu.
The next day we needed to get up early too because we had to take the train to the Machu Picchu.
Beginning of the round trip “Lima – Cusco – Puno”
First trip out of the country Colombia – and still, Colombia offers more…But now a short break in Peru. Of course we took the easy option: we went by plane to Lima, the capital city of Peru.
The flight from Bogotá to Peru was awesome because every seat had its own TV, so I was watching movie during the flight time. As well we got a whole meal and drinks, so luxury we had yes. But of course every time you like to enter another country, well at least in South America; you have to fill out a form paper saying what you doing there, what you want to bring in and so on. Well this kind of form paper is really annoying but well we filled it out during the flight. What a mistake! The flight only was around 3 hours or less and so I missed the end of my movie. Only 5 minutes were left, but I just spend too much time with eating and writing. But well at least the flight felt really short and when we entered the terminal in Lima we were all surprised how clean and neat everything was. So I’m hoping that Bogotá will improve its airport soon.
From the airport we went straight to our hotel. We were taking the coast road, a road besides the coast obviously. Surprisingly at the coastline there were a lot of “beach”-work going on. The beach there was being rebuilt and supported in many section. The sea is eating everything.
The first day wasn’t specular. We only had a short walk in the quarter “Miraflores”. There you can find a lot of Casinos. Well we preferred not to play with our luck, so we only went for some food. I had the bad idea to order Ceviche, what is typical in Peru. I tried Ceviche one time before in Colombia and I liked it. So when the waiter asked me “Are you sure what you doing?” I said “Sure I’m. I ate this once before.” Well I got my dinner, it was good, butter after 3 spoons of it, and I had to stop. It was just too acid and hot. Next time I will order a moderate tourist Ceviche…
The next morning we got up really early to start our round trip to Cusco, the Inca ruins in Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu and the lake of Titica.
San Andrés is an Island of Colombia, although its geographical position doesn’t give a hint of this belonging. San Andres is situated 770km from the coastline of Colombia but only 190km from the coastline of Nicaragua. As well the Island is very small, but as usually little things have a great value. This happened to me with the Island San Andres. I could never imagine living in such a small place surrounded by only water…but this Island and its people have their charm. I fall in love.
The climate during my stay in San Andrés was really great. It felt like 30 degrees in the shadow, so that I really was happy about the wind. Not only to keep me a bit cool, as well I started to do windsurf and so it was my friend and enemy at the same time. The wind gave me the possibilities to navigate and to obtain velocity, but at the same time the wind changed its direction and its forces. So I landed a lot of times in the water.
Santa Marta and Cartagena were my first places at the Caribbean. I had a great time but there is no possibility to compare these places. San Andrés is so different to Colombia. I wasn’t really feeling that I’m still in this country. As well many people on the Island speak a mix of Spanish and English which is called creole. This has an historical background. The people on the Island are a mix of African, English and Spanish people. I heard that the people from San Andrés don’t like to speak Spanish because they want to distinguish themselves to the Colombians. Well I realized that the people from the Island talk to each other in their language, but with me they talked Spanish. And all of them were really nice to us Tourists. It is really great to live nearby to the people of San Andrés and not to be separate like in other places of the Caribbean. But well as I said San Andrés is very special to me.
During the night time you can go to the city center, walking there or dancing in one of its discotheques. Or you can chill out in one of the reggae bars which are situated around the Island. During day and night time there are mostly motorbikes on the road. Motorbikes with up to 5 persons! It looks dangerous but for them it is normal. They grew up with this kind of transportation. One child is sitting in front of his father and behind him there are his three girls, but all are looking really happy and not anxious with their situation. As well these people have an inborn talent. They can dance, sing and make music. It is just amazing. Their instruments are simple but they can play it so impressively good. One member of a band used an animal skull to play music; the other one had a self-made trammel. You just have to see it with your own eyes.
Although during my stay not everything went right and leaded to some moments of stress, all in all I enjoyed my time there to the upmost and my mind is still there on the Island.
Aswell I really want to thank my mum&dad for the great trip and the nice fotos we took together.
And last but no least: