Warning: This post is REALLY image heavy. You’ve been warned.
I finally got around to editing and processing some of my pictures from the trip to Peru in April and as I was going through them I relived a lot of the awe and sheer wonder that I felt while we got to walk through this incredible place… which is why I’m choosing to cover it first even though it wasn’t the first part of our trip!
Although we would have loved to do the Inca trail (we totally want to go back to do it!), we didn’t have enough days on this vacation to get that done. So we took the train, which was also lovely… just not as adventurous!
Machu Picchu is an old Incan city that was “discovered” 100 years ago by an English archaelogist. In truth, the city was well known to the locals around who actually farmed right by the ruins. The true name of the city is not known so they named it Machu Picchu as that’s the name of the peak next to it (Machu Picchu means Old Mountain). The peak on the other side (most popular for pictures) is Huayna Picchu meaning Young Mountain.
Being one of the only cities not found by the Spanish Conquistadores, it’s well preserved as the Spaniards didn’t get a chance to destroy any part of it. It’s very humbling to think about what the city looked like before the elements and plunderers (although the Spanish didn’t get a chance to destroy it, many others did plunder it later on) got a hold of it. Some say that parts of the city walls were covered in solid gold sheets and others say that the houses were colorful and painted. I loved walking around and trying to imagine what it looked like in its heyday!
There are many theories as to what Machu Picchu was used for… a royal estate, a sacred city, an agricultural center, a place where doctors, holy men and important men lived… all just theories. But I found it beautiful no matter what it was used for. And just being able to think of real people living and breathing there was so inspiring to me.
When I first laid eyes on the city I was immediately moved by the beauty of the locale, the amazing buildings that still stand today, and the thought of how absolutely incredible it is that they were able to build this in such a high mountain ~550 years ago. It’s truly breathtaking!
I also loved seeing the llamas that hang around! The baby llama was particularly cute!
As Machu Picchu is celebrating its centennial this year, my pictures have been linked by Yahoo to show off this wondrous place to others. I read a comment on Yahoo where someone was calling me biased for taking pictures of “fat people, white people, goats (umm… they are llamas!) and stuffed animals” and not taking any pictures of the Inca people. I just wanted to comment on this for a second here. First off, calling me or my husband fat is not only rude but incredibly unfeeling. In addition, there are NO INCAS LIVING UP THERE ANYMORE. They aren’t around at all in Machu Picchu! Seriously. So get off your high horse and understand that if I’m taking pictures of MY vacation I’m allowed to have myself, my husband and my sister in them. And, yes, even a stuffed animal if I so wish it. And now I’m done… and will leave you with a few of my favorite pictures of my fat self, my hubby and sis at Machu Picchu. 😉
And as for the stuffed animal? Stay tuned for a new mini-series called “Little Loopy Travels” featuring Little Loopy from The Loopy Ewe, who joined us for the trip. 🙂
If you’re interested in seeing more pictures (there are a LOT more) you can check them out on my Flickr account here.