July 12, 2011
– Hola, Yellow Jacket Fans!
While the week was pretty intense with classes (four essays and two tests) it was rather easy to get through considering our weekend plans: free day and then Machu Picchu.Not to mention our host school bought us cake and hot chocolate to wish us a “feliz día de independencia” or Happy Fourth of July.
Saturday we had the entire day off to do as we pleased, so a group of students went into town to mingle with the Cusqueños and do a little shopping. It is kind of funny the difference it makes when you speak to the people in Spanish. Most tourists that come through Cuzco do not know the language, or know very little of it. The shop owners always address us in English and we can see the relief on their faces when we respond in Spanish. In the end I think it helps us with bartering, too. I have really perfected the art after being gone for so long.
Regardless of having a free day, the highlight of the week was defiantly going to Machu Picchu: the lost city of the Inca’s. Not only did we see one of the Seven World Wonders (according to the New 7 Wonders Foundation list produced
|Handstands at Machu Picchu|
by the Swiss in 2007), but we got to see this incredible structure on its 100th anniversary. Not just the same year, but two days after what is known as the scientific discovery for the site.
It is literally everything you can imagine and more (this includes the trip to get there, too). We had to take a 45 min bus, to take a 3.5 hour train ride, to take yet another 30 min bus ride up the mountain. The train ride had gorgeous scenery of the mountains and river and even the Inca Trail at times. The second bus trip (up the mountain) was much like a roller coaster. You look out the winder and see either six inches between the window and the mountain or six inches between you and the cliff of the mountain below. It was kind of nerve racking, but totally worth it to get to the top.
Once inside the site, it is stunning. The Google image search that you can do does not give the site justice. From the view of Huayna Picchu, to the Cuzco flag hanging in the background, to the tropical plants and running water. All of it is incredible. I think we were able to enjoy it more after having learned SOOO much about the Incan Empire (it really shocks me how much you can learn so quickly…).
The other amazing thing is that these pictures are mine/ on my camera. It really is impossible to not get a good picture at Machu Picchu; it does the work for you. The only problem is, now I not only want to return to Machu Picchu, but I want to go see all of the wonders of the world. After all, they get their names/ title for a reason.
If you’d like to see more about my time at Machu Picchu or any on my daily adventures check out my blog at gtraviswagner.wordpress.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glenn Travis Wager
Men’s Swimming and Diving, 2011