by Mary Jo
When I blogged about our cruise on the upper Amazon, , I threatened another blog about Lima, the capital city of Peru. I don't make idle threats. <G> But never fear, mostly I'm going to show pictures.
I spent very little time there, just two overnights in a hotel, and a coach tour of city highlights the morning before we flew into Amazonia to catch our cruise boat, but Lima made a strong impression on me.
Peru itself is a fascinating country, sharply divided into three distinct climate zones. The coastal area where Lima is located is harsh, narrow desert, and the city's microclimate produces months of fog but almost no rain despite its closeness to the Pacific Ocean. Most of the city's water comes from rivers that flow down from the Andes, the dramatic mountain backbone of the country. (Luckily, our touring day was lovely and sunny.)
This sierra region is the Peru of popular imagination, of llamas and blanket swathed Indians and stunning ancient ruins like Macchu Pichu. Confirmation that this is the best known aspect of the country is in the airport gift shops, which abound in llama stuffed toys and refrigerator magnets of Macchu Pichu, and of course, more llamas. <G>
Scarcely mentioned is the vast eastern jungle, which covers three fifths of the country, but is thinly populated and difficult of access. Peru is the only country in South America to have these three distinct geographic zones.
Founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535, Lima became the largest and most important city in Spanish South America. It's still the largest city in Peru by far, and the largest in the Andean region.
Lima sprawls over a vast area, and our whirlwind couch tour was limited to some of the historic and governmental areas, followed by a visit to the Larco Herrara Museum, which has a magnificent collection of per-Columbian art.
The governmental area is represented by this soldier standing guard. Our guide hastily said to ASK before taking his picture. Given how this fellow was armed, this made perfect sense, but he was very nice about allowing us to photograph him.
Wonderful detailing below.
Peruvians are clearly romantic--just look at the Valentine bear display below!
The Larco Herrara Museum is amazing, and I recommend clicking through on the link to see some of its wonders
The ceramic collection is HUGE. I will not show you all my pictures. <G>
They have naughty erotica art and stunning jewelry, but in the interests of discretion, I'll just show some jewelry:
I took the picture below in the jungle, not Lima, but I couldn't resist posting it because they are really the most elegant fungi, aren't they?
I don't want to overload this blog with even more pictures since they may slow the page down too much, but it did want to show you a sample a really interesting city that I'd love to visit at greater length. The picture below is the courtyard entrance of the oldest continually occupied mansion in Lima.
Mary Jo, born tourist