Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lima, Peru

After saying good-bye to Alex and Caitlin, we headed north to Peru. We had two days in Lima before Dad arrived, so we went into the city to explore.

We hopped on a tiny bus and headed into the main plaza. We got there just in time to see the changing of the guard in front of the Presidential Palace. There was a lot of pomp and circumstance, so we didn't stick around for the whole thing, but it was neat. The band was playing an interesting mix of songs, one of which Jesse recognized as the Gladiator theme song.
The main plaza was pretty cool, in that there were tons of locals around and there was one big church and some quaint shops.
One thing that we did that was pretty cool was take a tour of the Franciscan Monastery. The monastery has been open and running since the Spanish took over in the 1500's. The coolest part about the monastery was that they had catacombs underneath that were part of the tour. We weren't able to take pictures, but about 25,000 people had been buried underneath the church, with the skulls and femurs still there. We saw them. It was pretty cool. The other church we visited (above) has a large collection of artwork from the Spanish colonial times. It was interesting because Jesse could see similarities between the artwork here and the artwork he saw in Spain.
The next plaza we went to had an awesome restuarant that had been recommended to us by our hotel owner. The cool part about this particular restaurant is the soccer paraphernalia that covered the walls. Even the chairs were labeled a particular player. Also, they had wax statues of some of the best soccer players in South American history. Jesse sat down with Pele (a great Brazilian player) to shake his hand and chit chat.
A final, interesting note on Lima. The picture below is of a statue that was built in Spain to come to Lima. If you look carefully at the woman in the front of the statue, (you might have to zoom in) you'll notice something interesting on her head. Its a llama. Lama means flames in Spanish, and when this statue was commissioned, the creator got a bit confused and instead of putting flames or a torch on her head, there's a llama.

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