Peru - Machu Picchu Journal ( 1 )

by Merzan Abigail
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Machu Picchu is only 130 km from Cuzco, in Peru, the ancient capital of the Incas, whose architecture was comparable to that of the Romans, Machu Picchu is one of the wonders of the new world , if we were to take as reference the controversial list compiled in 2007. Discovered in 1911 by the archaeologist Hiram Bingham, Machu Picchu ruins are among the places that any tourist enthusiast wants to see them once in your life. City origins are lost in the mists of time, construction was probably dating from the late fifteenth century, and its usefulness so is stills an enigma for the researchers. Some argue that Machu Picchu was originally a fortress or a prison others say it was a strategic city economically while others make reference to the fact that it was considered a religious city …but one thing is certain - the myths show that Machu Picchu ("Old Peak ") was considered a sacred place , the Inca turned him into a true marvel of five miles square, surrounded by agricultural lands , many springs and bordered naturally rest of the landscape.

After this short presentation my trip diary begins in Peru --- Destination: Machu Picchu.

To get to Machu Picchu in Cuzco we arrived initially, in Peru, at Cuzco International Airport, obviously after exhausting stopovers. We started our trip from Amsterdam – Lima – Cuzco. To visit the archaeological site, first you have to get to Cusco, the Peruvian city located at an altitude of 3200 meters, near the Urubamba Valley in the Andes.

We took a train from Cuzco to Machu Picchu. The idea is that reservations for this train have to be booked months in advance, 2, 3 months before you will take your trip in Machu Picchu. The trains are specially built for tourists: the ceiling is glazed to admire in all its splendor edges of the Amazon jungle, majestic mountains, gorges, valleys, everything is thought up to the smallest detail, for tourists to enjoy the wonder of the landscapes. In the train you have breakfast and a kind of fashion parade with their specifically clothes, which by the way, are very expensive, but the show is ok.

After a journey of about 3 hours we arrived in Aguas Caliente. From Aguas Caliente take a bus to the entrance of the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. Distance between Aguas Caliente and Machu Picchu is about 8 km. Transportation cost is $ 12 and the entrance to the area "lost city of the Incas" was $ 40. The ideal time to visit the lost city of the Incas is between June and August, when the road from Cuzco to Agua Calientes is a true delight for tourists passionate about inspiring natural landscapes…

You can opt for an Inca Trail, it's a package with accommodation, guided tours organized for five days, so you will see everything in the area and surroundings. The cost is around 500/600 dollars for 1 person, depending on what type of package you choose. Personally, I believe that these packages are dedicated to mountain lovers who have endurance, the route being difficulty for a person who has no exercise to climb.

We made a reservation at station Wanchaq of Cuzco, located in the Plaza de Armas, for a journey of three days and two nights, Cuzco - Machu Picchu, we pay about $ 400  with transport, transfer and accommodation included. Attention to your shoes, they must be flexible, durable and extremely comfortable, also the clothes to be adapted at cold, considering that weather above may be changing, and due altitudes is clearly not the same as it is at the foot of the site. Necessarily take water and food, a lemon or something for nauseas, because of the altitude and change of air, mainly because extremely steep slopes, it is possible to have nauseas, so take preventive everything you need or you can bought from the shop which is at the entering of the site, however I recommend you to take food and water with you.

The city itself is like a fortress which is guarded by walls and by nature itself… we are at 2500 m altitude and around the city you will see a big whole of 700 m and a top part is protected by Wayne Picchu, the young mountain in Quechua language M.P. the old mountain). Your walks are accompanied by hundreds of butterflies ... but take care not to be captivated by their gentleness and fragrance of orchids, because the road is very narrow and can be extremely dangerous. There is much to see….the Solar Clock, the Temple with Three Windows, Condor cave but from my point all the view on the whole is breathtaking, so it’s kind of Babylon considering the diversity of visitors: Americans, Japanese, Dutch, Spaniards, Germans, Chinese…all of them in a same place. You should know that according to their rules there not allowed more than 400 visitors / day to visit Machu Picchu.

The town itself is a true architectural monument, it has about 200 buildings of various shapes, tourists being attracted particular attention of the astronomical observatory, or Intihuatana stone or the sundial. Overall unique architecture that continues to amaze those

interested in mythology, shows striking similarities with European labyrinth myth of Dedal. Moreover, Machu Picchu is a huge maze, whose presence hides many mysteries. Existing paved roads (over 16 000 km) is another striking element for peoples who did not know or had the wheel and therefore any vehicle.

In the sacred temple can be seen The Temple Of Colors, Intihuatana and the Room with three windows, all dedicated to Inti, the sun god and also the supreme Inca deity. In the houses of the nobility are the state nobles (real palaces with trapezoidal rooms) and in the popular servants lived.
Also here there are mausoleum monument, a statue carved in stone, empty on the inside and used for rituals and sacrifices. Inca architectural style is present everywhere…

Other Machu Picchu diary files coming soon…





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