Day 5: Peru

And then it was our last day in Peru. We spent half the day in Cusco and the evening in Lima. In the morning, I decided to check out the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art in Cusco. After seeing a few pieces of pottery of the Nazca and Mochica at the Inka Museum, I decided that I really should check out this other museum. It turns out that the museum is affiliated with the Museo Larco in Lima, which was highly recommended to me. Sadly, I didn’t have a chance to go the Lima museum. Next time.

Anyway, the Cusco museum was wonderful. I highly recommend it over all the other museums. It is not a large museum but they beautifully display its amazing collection. It struck me that the museum was making a convincing argument about how these pieces are really fine art. It had lots of wall quotes about people talking about art and these pieces of art. Each tag talked about the aesthetic experience of the piece. I think it is trying to move away from the thinking that these are just history, not art pieces in their own right. I think it’s a legitimate claim. These pieces of pottery and sculpture are really exquisite and up there with the traditional masters of art.

One of my favorite pieces were two painted pots from Paracas. They looked like two regular pots but what made these bowls exceptional was that they were made without a potter’s wheel or mold. Incredible! There were about 10 rooms. One had the earliest ceramics, another had wood pieces. There were my rooms of Nazca and Mochica pottery. One of my favorite pieces was a Mochica pot of a deer with its tongue sticking out. Brilliant. There were also rooms for shells, silver, and gold. There were these amazing collars made of shell that I really wanted to wear.

Pot

Shell Collar, Cusco, Peru
Shell Collar, Cusco, Peru

I can’t wait to go to the main museum in Lima someday.

Then we had an evening in Lima. We hired a car to take us around the town. We first went to the Cathedral located in this lovely square. Unfortunately, we got there just as the Cathedral closed. We had a pleasant time people and horse-drawn carriage watching. Then we went to the Monastery of San Francisco; the church was still open. (Actually, we walked in at the end of mass) Inside there was this lovely white and red lacing all over the church. There were a dozen altars in elaborate gold leaf, wood, and even silver. There were some additional sites in the monastery to see but we’ll have to go back next time.

Church of Monastery of San Francisco, Lima, Peru
Church of Monastery of San Francisco, Lima, Peru

Then we drove out to see the Pacific Ocean. While the sun had already set at this point, it was really neat to see the Pacific Ocean from South America. Also, we realized that Lima is on a plateau above the beach. I had no idea!

Clearly, I need to spend more time in Lima in the future. Until then, that’s all for now!

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