Monday, December 22, 2014


Our first stop on our two-week adventure was the capitol city of Lima, a bustling metropolis of nearly nine million inhabitants.  We stayed at the Belmond Miraflores hotel, in the upscale Miraflores ("look at the flowers") district.  The hotel is near the trendy multi-level Larcomar mall that hugs the face of the windswept cliff affords a panoramic view of the Pacific.  From the mall, we could see the La Rosa Nautica restaurant situated on a pier far below.  We enjoyed dinner there one evening, consuming our fair share of Lima's justly famous ceviche. 

La Rosa Nautica

We had limited time to explore Lima and, with the help of a great guide, packed in a full day of sightseeing, beginning with the massive Plaza Mayor.  We enjoyed a stroll through the Plaza and viewed the changing of the guard at the President's residence, the Palacio de Gobierno.  Subsequently, we walked along the pedestrian thoroughfare, Jiron de la Union, and toured the Casa de Aliaga, the oldest piece of family-owned real estate in South America.  Jeronimo de Aliaga was one of Francisco Pizarro's lieutenants and erected the home in 1535.  It is still occupied by his descendants and is a spectacular showcase of Colonial architecture. 

                                                                       Plaza Mayor

Jiron de la Union

                                                             Interior of Casa de Aliaga

Our lunch was at the Café de Museo restaurant, housed within the Museo Larco and overlooking the beautiful gardens.  The Museum houses a spectacular collection of gold, silver, and textiles and is organized so that a visitor may appreciate pre-Incan cultures as well as the scale of the Incan empire.  There is also a popular display of erotic sculpture, a testament to the imagination and flexibility of ancient Peruvians. 

Museo Larco

Cafe de Museo

Traveler's Tip:  Municipal law bans the sale of alcohol 48 hours prior to any election.  Unfortunately, we arrived just before the mayoral election and encountered the ban.  But...we learned of the no-alcohol rule prior to arrival and averted disaster by scoring bottles of our favorite beverages at the duty-free shop before leaving the U.S. 

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