This is Day 3 in Cusco, Peru and, like so many trips I take, I am here thanks to an invitation by a friend. In this case, Maren Elwood from Carmel, CA, invited me to blog about her project, On-Site Expeditions. She is a Visual Anthropologist studying the descendants of Saqsaywaman and ancient stone architecture.
We have rented a two bedroom apartment in San Cristobal community overlooking the historic Plaza de Armas. The view is stupendous. At night the street and residential lights on the surrounding mountains appear like magical twinkling stars.
The Altitude & Shopping
Maximo Nivel - The Language School
Tomorrow I begin learning Spanish two hours a day at Maximo Nivel, a language school. They also offer cooking and salsa classes. I’m in. If I had my druthers I’d have visited the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu prior to Cusco so I am passing that valuable information on to you. They are at lower altitudes. I will visit both these prior to leaving this fascinating city.
Jewelry & Textiles
One must beware of alpaca vs synthetic. Hold the garment up to the light. If the color is uniform, it’s likely alpaca. If you see red, blue or green sparkles, this indicates synthetic material. Wool feels soft and cool.
I visited the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco on Avenue El Sol #603. It’s a non-profit organization promoting the empowerment of weavers in ten villages through the sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral weaving in the Cusco region. Through workshops, educational opportunities and the promotion of their textile art, weavers are enabled to maintain their identities and textile traditions while improving their families’ quality of life. www.andeantextilearts.org. Donations are appreciated.
Locals & The Epicurean Life
The Belmond Hotel - Formerly the Hotel Ministerio Built On
Miriam Seiden is a cultural explorer who loves to write about her living bridges around the world.