Cusco and surroundings, Peru
Nov 30, 2011Public
Photo: Cusco is with its population of 400,000 at 3400m (11000ft) elevation. You are grasping for the missing 35% air and oxygen in comparison to sea level when climbing the stairs to the 2nd floor with your bags.
Photo: The foundations of most buildings in the historic downtown area are from Inca time or even before. This is the Inka Temple Coricancha, surrounded today by the Cathedral of Santo Domingo.
Photo: Cathedral courtyard with Inca "bathtub" hidden behind purple flowers.
Photo: Monolithic Inca "bathtub".
Photo: The original Coricancha masonry, with incredible precision made from very hard volcanic stone.
Photo: Coricancha. Strange protusions or embossings at some stones. Looks like grates created by modern plastic or concrete injection moulding.
Photo: Coricancha. Fitting holes maybe for gold plating.
Photo: Coricancha.
Photo: Coricancha on the right. Different type of megalithic masonry on the left.

Famous "rogue archeologist" and ancient mysteries publisher David Hatcher Childress talks to our travel group. In German language his title would be "Urgestein David" with the idiom Urgestein meaning "famous representative" and literally "prehistoric rock" :-)

The tour was organized and lead by Brien Foerster and Hugh Newman: ,
Photo: Coricancha. Those small upward pointing nodges just below the vertical joint give a hint for a plasticine like shapable soft stone during construction of the wall. There are stories heard by explorers like Hiram Bingham and Percy Fawcett around 1900 from the Peruvian locals about acids having been used for dissolving stones:
Photo: Coricancha.
Photo: Different type of megalithic wall built like all of those type without any mortar. The stones are more irregular, but you cannot fit a razor blade in the joints. The hidden contact surfaces between the stones within the wall are mostly perfect fits without any filling or space in between. You find the exact same construction technology in the oldest Egyptian temples like in Giza and Abydos. That's different to Greek or Roman mortarless walls where the hidden stones surfaces are of concave shape with only the edges touching (anathyrosis).
Photo: Again different megalithic style. The part on the right looks like a "modern" dry brick wall, but if take a closer look, the stones mostly fit perfectly without space in the joints.
Photo: This entrance of a monastery was added later. If the snake and other animal reliefs are of Inca time or before is unknown, but not very likely.
Photo: Snakes and other animals on the monastery wall.
Photo: A donkey or a puma?
Photo: Our hotel: Awki's Dreamhotel. On the left the German built brewery from 1925: Cusqueña, still obeying the German Reinheitsgebot from the year 1516.
Photo: Breakfast. Coffee, Tea, Coca leaves. Note for tourists: Only the Coca Cola company is allowed to import Coca leaves into the United States!
Photo: The natural ecological niche of the Pervian Guinea Pig, called Cuy and its final fate.
Photo: I had the Peruvian trout from the lake Titicaca which tastes like seawater salmon. According to the brave neighbour at table who tried the Cuy, it's similar to pork.
Photo: One of the many musicians in Cusco's restaurants with the original Peruvian quena pipe and the siku, the double row pan flute.
Photo: Classic fast food: pollo con papas.
Photo: Traditional cotton weaving. Note the detailed pattern on the lower right.
Photo: Not Cusco, but Chinchero. Those high quality textiles with natural dyes are rare and one of the large cloths is about $100. The very bright colors are always synthetic dyes.