Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru

At first view, Cusco is a stunning little city with heavyweight influenced Spanish architecture. The churches in Plaza de arms will remind you of the architecture in Europe, well done beautiful structures that are candy to the eyes. 
Once you have been inside you will realize how forced these places truly are.

 Templo de la Compañía de Jesús, Cusco, Peru

Templo de la Compañía de Jesús, Cusco, Peru

 Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru

 Statue of Pachacuti, Cusco, Peru

Statue of Pachacuti, Cusco, Peru

  Templo de la Compañía de Jesús, Cusco, Peru

Templo de la Compañía de Jesús, Cusco, Peru

Cusco Catherdral

 Cusco Cathedral, Cusco, Peru

Cusco Cathedral, Cusco, Peru

 

The best way to describe the inside of these churches to a Catholic would be blasphemy.

 Cusco Catherdral, Peru

Cusco Catherdral, Peru

 

In Bible, it is written that Jesus once drove all merchants and peddlers out of these sacred places:

Then Jesus went into the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those selling doves. And He declared to them, “It is written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it ‘a den of robbers.'"

 What you will find is many different sections of the church with gates in front of them. In each section, you will find a Jesus, or Mary, statue that has been “sponsored”  by someone or some organization. They donate the clothes and surroundings of each section. 

What I find ridiculous is that some of the sponsors put their names on the clothes that Jesus is wearing. An example is a soccer team putting their logo on the robe that Jesus is wearing. You do not need to be religious to figure that would not be a good idea. 

 Jesus Wearing a Soccer Jersey,  Cusco Catherdral , Peru

Jesus Wearing a Soccer Jersey, Cusco Catherdral, Peru

 

The other unique piece in these churches is the fusion of Inka and Catholic ideologies. Mirrors for one are never in churches in Europe but in Cusco, they are everywhere. The Virgin Mary is the centerpiece of the church because she represents the Mother Earth, which is considered the top deity in Inka religion. They also have a painting of the last supper but in the middle of the table that Jesus and his disciples are performing the ceremony, they have a guinea pig. 

 Guinea Pig Last Supper, Cusco Catherdral, Peru

Guinea Pig Last Supper, Cusco Catherdral, Peru

 

The piece that tears at my soul a bit is the fact that you are not allowed to take photos inside any of the churches. This isn't for any religious reasons; it is because they sell photos in the gift shop that is also located within the church. (Yes, I know I am showing you photos of inside the church. They just appeared on my camera when I got home, stuff of miracles I'd say!)

Honestly, I would have been much happier if they stripped away all of the crap that is in there and shown us the architecture because when there is open space, the roof, for example, there are stunning lines that I can only imagine is the real, simple, beauty of the Church. 

There are a couple of pieces inside the church that are worth checking out:

 Cusco Catherdral, Peru

Cusco Catherdral, Peru

 Cusco Catherdral, Peru

Cusco Catherdral, Peru

 

When you realize that this is just a tourist trap, where the Peruvians are trying to take as much money from you as possible, you no longer have the same respect for the city. If you are looking for souvenirs or real baby alpaca wool, then this is the place for you.

 

One thing you should do while you are in Cusco is try the Peruvian delicacy, guinea pig. If you can get past the idea that you are eating someone's pet back home, it tastes pretty good. It tastes as lean as duck with a more beef taste. 

 Guinea Pig, Cusco, Peru

Guinea Pig, Cusco, Peru

 


Travel Tips:

  • Don't stay in Cusco for an extended period.
  • If you are flying straight to Cusco, take one or two days to acclimate. There were a lot of people on oxygen with nasty altitude sickness in my hotel.
  • Limo, Cocina Peruana a Pisco Bar should be on your list for food stops. It is in the Plaza de Arms to the left of the main church.
  • Advice for Altitude sickness: There are a couple of easy steps you can take to help your body acclimate to the new elevation. Most locals drink coca tea to help with the altitude. This might be a useful natural medicine for you. Avoiding alcohol and smoking for at least one week after arrival at high altitudes, and limiting physical activity for the first 36 to 48 hours after arrival at high altitudes will help ease the acclimatization process. Some people consult with their doctor’s to receive a prescription to acetazolamide to aid with acclimatization or symptoms of AMS. Keep in mind that Acetazolamide (Diamox) is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, so it will make certain foods, such as carbonated beverages, taste bad
  • Limo, Cocina Peruana a Pisco Bar should be on your list for food stops. It is in the Plaza de Arms to the left of the main church.
  • Coca tea is a great boost for energy
  • Try guinea pig


Photography Tips:

  • If you're going to attempt to take photos in the catherdral be careful. They have guards everywhere that will kick out instantly. If my personal little mircale didnt happen the way it did, I would have photographed the inside using a wide angle lens which minimal shutter speed and automatic ISO!
  • The Plaza de Armas is a great place for night photography.

Gear

  • Canon EF 24-70mm ƒ2.8 L II USM Lens
  • Canon EF 70-200mm ƒ2.8L IS II USM Lens
  • Canon EOS 6D DSLR Camera
  • Canon EF 11-24mm ƒ4L USM Lens
  • Canon EOS 5DS R DSLR Camera
  • Canon Extender EF 2x III
  • Canon EF 24mm ƒ1.4L II USM Lens
  • Mefoto Tripod

Non-Profit Highlight

 

Yangshuo

Yangshuo

Photography workflow of slot canyons

Photography workflow of slot canyons

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