Well, that’s a wrap of week one in Cusco. What a week it was! From traveling and tasting new food to engaging in authentic Spanish conversation and adventuring around the city, I have already learned so much.
The travel experience I had on my way to Cusco was great! I had three flights from Chicago to Panama, Panama to Lima, and Lima to Cusco. The flight from Chicago to Panama was like most other flights I have taken in the past, except for the delicious in-flight meal. (Pictured Below) I had a beef, veggie, mashed potato dish with a dinner roll, salad, and shortbread cookies. I am always surprised by how hungry traveling makes me, and this meal hit the spot just right!
My Spanish-speaking skills proved to be quite helpful during the second and third flights. In-flight instructions were now listed in Spanish before English and all the flight attendants spoke Spanish as well. When making any announcements over the speaker system, they were reported in Spanish before English, and the on-screen commercials were in Spanish, with English subtitles, not the reverse. Though these seem like minute details, they were small preparation for the world I would soon encounter here in Cusco.
After my arrival, everything else blurs together. My first week was all about adjusting. It has been an incredible whirlwind of meeting people, seeing sights, and tasting amazing food. I can finally say that after a week, I have my bearings set, and can navigate the city well. I have a daily routine, and quite enjoy my classes! Here are some pictures from my week (along with a little more explanation): This was taken in the middle of San Fransisco Plaza.The fountain changes colors and I just couldn’t resist the photo opportunity! Right across the street is a little restaurant called La Quadra where my friends and I love to enjoy the view and unwind from a long day.
The city is at no loss for these curious animals. Tourists can snap a photo with baby llamas or alpacas on nearly any street corner. Shops everywhere sell sweaters, socks, hats, and mittens all made of warm alpaca fur. Given that it is winter here, these certainly come in handy!
The entire month of June is the month of Cusco. There are festivals and celebrations every single day! Some are religiously affiliated while others are simply to celebrate the city itself. Regardless of the occasion, both music and dancing are guaranteed. All shapes, sizes, and ages of people can be seen celebrating in bright costumes of all different colors. This reflects the cultural priority of dance and celebration. My Spanish teacher here informed me that in Cusco, there is always something to celebrate and EVERYONE dances, men included!
This crepery was the food highlight of my week. Steep inclines and many stairs await anyone in search of the restaurant, but it is well worth the struggle! In addition to having any sort of crepe imaginable, the atmosphere is so warm and welcoming. I think that all the bright colors, variety of plant life, and creative pottery made the food taste even better.
The city of Cusco has some amazing sights! I decided to experiment around with different angles, lightings, and colors to see what perspectives I could capture. Each one is a small reminder of the many ways to approach a new lifestyle here in Cusco. I am so excited and looking forward to new experiences in the weeks to come!