From Machu Picchu we headed back to Cuzco, with a stop in the Sacred Valley village of Ollantaytambo. Here we stayed in the most adorable little inn, and I really wish we could have had more time! The owner was so sweet and the town was nice and quiet.
So many stairs.
We hiked some ruins here, of course!, and then took a little minivan taxi thing back to Cuzco.
Overall I really liked Cuzco quite a bit. The little windy streets reminded lots of Toledo in Spain, and although it was quite touristy, it was definitely charming as well. We ended up eating almost every night at this adorable little Italian place called Vittorio, if you're ever there, you MUST go! Oddly, we ate more Italian food in Peru then we ever eat in New York. Very strange.
Plaza de Armas in Cuzco
Anyway, Cuzco was lots of wandering around, up hills of course. We saw the main ruins on top of the city and also took a bus to the little city of Pisaq. Pisaq was really cute and we had fun perusing the market there, eating delicious empanadas, and hiking up more mountains. (I have made Alex promise that I get to pick the next trip. Which involve approximately ZERO mountains and ZERO ruins. :-) )
Little Cuzco streets.
I also had lots of fun taking pictures in Cuzco, and became really intrigued with the doorways, they were all the brightest shade of blue! A little series for your enjoyment.
Finally, this is one of my favorite things we found in Peru. This was painted on a random wall on a back street in Cuzco. The exploitation of indigenous people wearing traditional dress by tourists is absolutely appalling, especially in a place like Cuzco. For this to depict things the other way around I think is absolutely perfect. I wish more people could see and understand what's going on here, and maybe, just maybe have a modicum of respect and think about why they're taking that snapshot in the square of the woman with her llama.
On a more positive note, though I complain about all the hills Alex made me climb up, the trip as a whole was a wonderful experience. The views from the top were also worth the climb, something I have found to be true on every trip I've taken. I feel like we just got to experience a small glimpse of an incredible country in our short 2 weeks. We've both said Peru is a country we would love to return to. It has so much more to offer then just the small tourist trail we hit. Most of all, the Peruvian people made the trip. They were so warm and gracious and went out of their way to help us whenever we asked. Someday soon, we'll be back!