Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lima so far...

So I checked out Happyland...LAME. It has a Swing ride, a mini train ride that has seen better days and is only 2 loops, a small jungle gym, video games, and bicycle like roller-coaster where you peddle yourself on its track. There was no admission fee, luckily, just a pay as your ride type thing.

Something I love about Lima is that almost everything is relatively cheap. $2 to go into churches with guided tours, $0.35 for 16.9 OZ of soda in a bottle, $8 bottles of "High Quality" wine, $3 combos at fast food restaurants. I do hate that anything under 10 Nuevo Soles (about $3.50 in US Dollars) is a coin, and my coins never add up to 10 Nuevo Soles so I have to carry around lots of coins which is annoying.

Anyways, my first in Lima I went with 3 friends around the majority of the city. We went to a lot of the churches and plazas. It was really cool! In the Church of Saint Francis, we had an English tour (lucky) which took us around the church. The most interesting part of the tour were the catacombs directly below the church. Here THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of bones were organized and laying in stacks. It's a sort of a mass grave for citizens of Lima who wanted to be buried as close to the church as possible. It has vents where about 2 feet above your head is the floor to the main sanctuary of the church. I can't imagine the service after a new body got put in the catacombs. Eww. There are over 75,000 people buried here and there bones are just laying around either stacked by type of bone, or arranged in bizarre geometric patterns. We were also walking on a dirt (ish) path in the catacombs that they said covers more bones underneath. Um creepy, I'd had to be the one that unearthed a new bone just because I dragged my foot on the dirt too much. Also in the church was a GORGEOUS roof, made out of wood with the most amazing pattern. So gorgeous. Lots of murals on the walls that were painted over that they continue to discover more and more every year. A lot of the previous leader figures' heads were scratched out once new leaders took power. Very interesting.

We also saw the changing of the guard at the Governmental Palace. It was super cool. I knew it was legit after seeing snipers on the roof. The guards walked SO SLOW with their high kicks that were synchronized. I accidentally deleted the video I took of it. Maybe I'll go back again so I can video it.

Since arriving in Lima, I've spent a lot of time relaxing and being "on vacation". A lot of people planned trips to Manchu Pichu, the US, home, or wherever but I didn't have time to do that. Instead I've stayed in Lima relaxing myself. I realized that this is the first time in 5 years where I've had more than a couple days to myself to do absolutely nothing. I haven't been setting alarms or had lists of things to do. It's so relaxing to have nothing to do, but I've noticed that I just sit around and watch TV, movies, and talk to family/friends from home. Regardless, it's a well deserved vacation!

On one of my days exploring the city, I found a quaint park called the Exposition Park. Here they have an Art Museum and its a gated park. It's my favorite place in the city so far. In a mini-amphitheater, it has small rooms, each for teaching karate, music, singing, dance, and other art forms. Lots of children go here to learn about the arts. There's even a board that says all the different classes they offer, what they are, who they are geared towards, and when they are. I think more cities should have this easily available to the public. Elsewhere in the park there are lots of old-fashioned buildings with little purpose but to look interesting I think. There's a lot of construction going on so I'm not totally positive. There's also a Puppet Island, aka a small amphitheater that puts on puppet shows for children. There's also lots of gardens (Japanese and Chinese) to walk through, feed the ducks and what not. In the park, there are a few small carnival rides like a train, bumper cars, etc and lots of small restaurants located under the largest amphitheater's seating. This is a huge theatre. You can tell they put on some amazing shows here based on its size. I wish I could see a show there but their sign doesn't say when their next show is. My favorite part of the park is actually in the center of the park around a big fountain. Here, lots of different artists come to showcase their art, sell it, or just entertain people for hopes of tips. I've seen many different types of art forms like spray painting pictures, mime, full band, chalk painters, face painters, break dancers....everything! It's super cool and changes all the time.

I've been making a small list of things I've researched that I would like to check out while in Lima. We'll see how much I actually get to do!

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