Lord of Earthquakes

Cuzco

We’ve now spent a week in Cuzco, once the capital of the Incan empire, now tourism capital of Peru. There’s a lot to see and do but we’ve been taking things at a chilled pace after all the rushing around at the start of the trip…

First up, there are an awful lot of Incan ruins to visit in the area around Cuzco, known as the Sacred Valley – it was one of the reasons that we decided on Peru over other South American countries. However, unfortunately these ruins have been for the most part a big disappointment. Compared to ruins in Europe, Incan ruins are frankly just a bit pathetic. I mean, the Incan heyday was in the 1400s and 1500s but their cities and palaces look like something from Archaic Greece (c1000 BC) – they resemble places like Mycenae and Tiryns. Sure, they built big stone walls – but little in comparison to the sort of palaces around in 15th century Britain. They hadn’t even invented iron smelting – let alone literature or drama! The one thing that the Incas do have on the Europeans is landscape – the mountains are higher, the valleys are greener, and in general the views are more spectacular… (more…)