We arrived at the Lima airport late at night and were picked up by taxi. On the 45 minute drive to our Hostal we got a first impression of the special Peruvian traffic rules. In several situations we were close to yelling “Careful!” or “Watch Out!”. But after several nerve wrecking situations of cars passing by with only centimeters of space between us, either with or without their headlights on but constantly using their horns as a form of communication, we asked the driver to turn on some music in order to distract us. With some tootling Peruvian music in the background we eventually made it safely to Miraflores, one of the nicest parts of Lima 🙂
The next day we enjoyed a typical breakfast with our first coca-tea and started to explore the city, the Peruvians and the unknown language…
Lima is Peru’s capital and largest city, located at the the Pacific Ocean. It was founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535 and became the capital and most important city of Peru. Still today the influence of the Spanish is ever-present in the language and many of the buildings and churches.
Our visit in Lima’s spring and its proximity to the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean led to cool temperatures and mostly cloudy skies. We only once had half of a sunny day…
We visited different archeological sights, churches and places. For example Huaca Pucllana, an adobe pyramid of the Lima culture from AD 400:
Look over Lima from the top of the pyramid site:
During a city tour we passed by some of the nice and famous places:
And we enjoyed watching all the different people:
Maybe he is waiting for her?
We were surprised what one can buy on the street while waiting in the crowdy traffic. There was nearly everything, from miniature motorbikes and sewing machines…
… to scary looking red-eyed bunnies…
…or many different snacks for the small hunger!
We also visited the Monasterio de San Francisco, which is famous for its catacombs and remarkable library. In the underground are the site of an estimated 70’000 burials with a huge amount of skeletons, skulls and bones…
There are no pictures of the bones, because as in most of the churches it is not allowed to take any pictures.
On the way back we got some more impressions of Lima. Have a close look at the cars dashboard and see how the co-driver supports the blinking with his arm:
Amazing that the wash only dries and does not get dirty again…
Have a look at those polished shoes of the traffic policeman!
Of course we tried many of the traditional dishes in Lima. For example the roasted and salted corn called “Canchita” which is served to all customers as a starter or together with drinks:
One of the most famous dishes in the coastal regions of Peru is Ceviche, typically consisting of raw seafood marinated in lime juice, onions and spiced with ají or chili peppers.
Another typical dish is Aji de Gallina which is according to the menu: “Hen with green pepper, a delicious combination with fantastic sauce.” While it looks more like a stew it was really tasty 🙂
Of course we also tried the famous Peruvian national drink “Pisco Sour”, which is a cocktail made from pisco (a white grape brandy), egg white, lemon juice, syrup, crushed ice and bitters. Veeery tasty!
So far we also like the Peruvian beer:
And as a postres (Spanish for dessert :-)) we had a Pastelillo de Yuca:
After several months it was high time for Andy to get his hair cut. The salon was quickly chosen (right next to our Hostal) and after learning some of the most important phrases (not too short, a bit shorter, STOP!, …) Andy finally worked up enough courage to enter the shop. The price was quickly bargained (15 Soles = 5 USD) and the Peruvian stylist seemed to know what to do. No further instructions necessary! For some reason the same procedure always seems far more complicated in Germany/Switzerland…
Later on we tried more local food from the booths in a park. We had an Asado (chicken sandwich), some Picarones (pastry rings with sweet syrup) and some sticky honey pastry. We shared all of it half and half but already that night Andy suffered some terrible stomach cramps and diarrhea :-(. All of next day he stayed in bed and on the toilet and with some medication Andy became more mobile the day after. Since Tini was fine, we think it might have been related to Andy handling the dirty money before eating.
Once more or less fine again we visited La Catedral de Lima at the Plaza de Armas:
Inside the cathedral the coffin of Francisco Pizarro, the founder of Lima is exhibited:
On our way to the Museo de la Nacion we had the weirdest taxi driver so far. He had the unstoppable urge to tell us all about his Japanese origin, in Spanish, and do some extra touring through the city to show us some very interesting sites like the Sheraton Hotel. Eventually we found out he was on his way to the gas station…
In the end we payed only the agreed price and did finally arrive at the museum:
Unfortunately it seemed to us that the exhibitions were under construction and we were quite a bit disappointed after what we had red in the guide book about the museum.
Finally we also visited the Pacific coast of Lima which was even in walking distance of our Hostal. Due to the cloudy sky and the moderate temperature the beach did not look very inviting to us. However we saw some Limanians surfing in the ocean…
On our way back Andy found out the real meaning of PhD 🙂
With Cusco being our next destination we compared our travel options. These were either a 20+ hour bus ride or a 1.5 hour flight. Keeping in mind that we will probably still spend enough time in buses in South America the decision to fly was quickly made.This entry was posted in South-America, WorldMap and tagged Beer, Food, Museum