It was a light day today. I went to the supermarket closest to the hotel to get some provisions and ordered my first meal in Spanish. My experiences here so far have convinced me to work on speaking the language because not very many Peruanos speak English. The main event today was the shared city tour of Lima. Being driven around the city was a nice way to see the different districts, each with its own distinct personalities. One thing that struck me was the architecture around Lima. Not just in Old Town where colonial period dominates but everywhere. Houses and regular buildings around Miraflores have a mixture of classic and modern styles, not to mention bright colors.
The city tour took us around the downtown district, the coastal area of Miraflores, and the colonial district. In Plaza de Armas, a religion procession took place that provided me with a glimpse of the city’s pomp and circumstance. It was also a stark reminder of how much religion plays a part in the lives of the Peruenos. The coolest portion of the trip was the visit to the catacombs under the church of San Francisco. It showcased a huge collection of bones arranged symmetrically in circular wells that go as far as 36 feet deep. The church itself is a lovely piece of art. Unfortunately, photography inside wasn’t allowed, but upon entry, it reminded me of Renaissance Italy. There were plenty of painted tiles and wall frescoes similar to those I’ve seen in Florence. There was also the church’s library. You wouldn’t have thought it carried as many as it claims (supposedly the largest collection in South America). Books date back as far as the 12th century. Think Olivander’s Wand Shop but with books.
Not surprisingly, we got stuck in traffic during rush hour. There are approximately 10 million people residing in Lima and it seemed like I saw every one of them last night. Everywhere was gridlocked. When I finally got back, I decided to eat dinner at Costa Azul, a family-owned cebicheria near my hotel. I’ve read about it prior to my arrival here and was determined to try it at least once. It did not disappoint. Everything I ate was fresh or in my waiter’s words “made at the moment”.
Ciao for now!