Day 2 - Explore Lima - March 28, 2003

We got up at 8 AM and had a shower and prepared for the day. We went to the second floor and had a good buffet breakfast of coffee, fruit, juice, eggs, bread, etc.

After breakfast, we got together in the meeting room and met our tour guide David M. Oliveira. He told us some of the rules and expectations. We all had a Pisco Sour and then filled out some forms. We then had 30 minutes before we would go out on the city tour with Maribel.

Lima was founded by the conquistadors in 1535, and became Spain's largest and wealthiest New World city. The city has a proud history, including the founding of one of the first universities in South America, the Universidad de San Marcos, in the middle of the 16th century.

Today, the city's historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visited the famous Archaeological Museum at Bolivar Square, where we viewed the eras of Peru's history through its art: from its pre-Incan turquoise figurines, to Incan textiles, to Spanish paintings. We saw a lot of students there and I got to take their pictures and they with me.

We took the van to a restaurant (San Remo - Carla) at the city center and there we had a very nice meal. Mom had the sea bass and I had Aji Amarillo with chicken, one of their creole dishes. We then walked to the city center and had a tour the Church of Assisi and the catacombs. Lots of bones.

We were continually besieged by vendors but we resisted. The police had to come and rescue us as a pickpocket woman continued to follow us. Lots of street kids. We saw many examples of Spanish Colonial-era Lima, where many elegant examples of Spanish architecture literally have their foundations in indigenous stonework.

Later we drove through and saw the Miraflores District, a wealthy and fashionable neighborhood of outdoor cafes and shops where one can take in the life of the city. The cultures and lifestyles of this neighborhood have been chronicled in the novels of Mario Vargas Llosa.

In the evening, we went for dinner at the Tanupa Restaurant - we left the hotel at 7 PM and took the van for a 10 minute ride. The food was excellent with the buffet. We were served a Pisco Sour, glass of wine and a bottle of water. The deserts were spectacular.

I had a chance to talk to the manager - a young lady from Argentina - and she was specially helpful and explained the foods we were eating. We got home about 8:45 and we got ready to go to bed and be out of our room by 4 AM.

Hotel José Antonio

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