Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day 15: last day in Peru

Our last day in Peru! The morning was spent in Cusco visiting the City Square. Some enjoyed people watching, the beautiful view, and the perfect weather. While others took in some museums and more shopping. The afternoon we spent touring some sights around Cusco to include, Inca Fortress of Sacsahuaman, Temple of Kenko, walking city tour of Plaza de Armas & the Cathedral. We wrapped up the day with overnight flights home.  
The Inca Fortress of Sacsahuaman was a beautiful display of Inca will power and perfection! Large walls of perfectly shaped stone for what was mistakenly called a fortress is actually a temple.  Architects today continue to study the Inca's designs and ingenuity. The largest stone is a 135 ton block. In building and sculpting of this formation the chips carved off the stone were placed inside the formation as a form of solar heat. A great display of Inca history was presented at this sight.
From this sight we traveled to an underground cave and temple. The Temple of Kenko was used to bury the Inca ancestors as mummies. The Inca's believed the main source of wisdom came from communicating with their deceased ancestors. This included using some of nature's hallucinogenic herbs and plants from the area's various environments. 

A stop at a local Alpaca textile and silver shop. We were given a presentation on the natural coloring made from elements found in the various environments of Peru. We again partook in supporting the local economy.
 Moving by bus to the City to start our walking tour of the Basilica Cathedral and the Koricancha or the Sun Temple. The Cathedral was built square and with brick. Since the Spanish had natives build and design the church it is covered in numerous traditional Inca symbols. When the Spanish realized there was earth quakes they had to add 2 large chapels to each side of the church to support its magnitude during earth quakes. The Koricancha was a monastery in the middle of Cusco. It was built into the Inca ruins of the Sun Temple. Throughout the monastery there are ruins from the Inca temple and since the church was built upon it we are able to see how the Inca's built their structures. 
 Wrapping up our tour with a trip to the airport. A bittersweet ending to our amazing adventure in Peru. We arrived in Dallas and headed straight to the many amenities we as Americans take for granted: ICE water palatable from the tap, seats on toilets that flush toilet paper, knowing for sure you are going in the right restroom, easily reading a menu and communicating  freely, flights on time and schedules on the board hours in advance, and  turning on our cell phones to freely call home.
Thank you all for following our amazing travels abroad. HUGE THANK YOU to our loved ones that kept life on track while we gallivanted around the world! We look forward to our last class seminar and auction in April!

Submitted by Kristy Smith