In Lima, I met up with two of my fellow volunteers. Since we weren´t going to be in Lima for long, we took a tour of the city and saw many of the major sites. We started in the Plaza Mayor, which is at the heart of central Lima. On one side of the plaza is the Presidential Palace, which was the place where Francisco Pizarro—the founder of Lima—lived and died at the hands of an assassin. Some people consider the palace grounds a holy place because when the assassin slit Pizarro´s throat, Pizarro used his blood to draw a cross on the ground as he lay dying. On another side of the plaza is the main cathedral (b. 1535), which is where Pizarro lay entombed. We also visited the monastery of St. Francis of Assisi (sp?), under which are catacombs where the people buried their dead over 400 years ago. The bones are still there and archaeologists have collected many of them for display. I have to apologize for the quality of these photos…they had to be taken without flash and kind of “on the sly.” 🙂
After more sightseeing and a brief rest, the other two volunteers and I ventured out in search of the local cuisine. Our first stop: a bar. This is where I enjoyed my first Pisco Sour, which is the national drink in Peru. Pisco is a white grape brandy—the “sour” part is when it is mixed with lemon juice and sugar, then topped off with frothy egg whites. I know, that doesn´t sound particularly appetizing, but it´s really quite good. Afterwards, knowing that we were only on the coast for a short time and would not have access to fresh seafood in Cuzco, we enjoyed a hearty meal of ceviche (the national dish of Peru) and other seafood. Muy delicioso!