As an archaeology nut, I had always wanted to see Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Elevated at 8,000 feet above sea level in the beautiful Andes, the site is believed to have been a sacred place rather than for military or administration use. Machu Picchu was a fully self sustaining community growing its food on terraces surrounding the city. One impressive aspect of its construction is the way they cut and fit large rocks together, needing no mortar. It was built between 1460 and 1470 AD and rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911.
I will never forget my first glimpse, Machu Picchu is, in a word, stunning. The green mountains surrounding frame the stone structures beautifully. I’d take two steps and feel compelled to take another photograph. It’s much bigger than I thought it would be, I wished that I had more time to explore. If you ever head to Peru, I’m requiring that you visit it.
We luckily did not hike up to get there, we would have been exhausted albeit probably more excited to see Machu Picchu. We did hike down which was an intense enough experience, taking an hour and leaving my calves sore for a few days. However, I greatly enjoyed the scenery on the way down, especially the river at the bottom. After all that exercise we gorged ourselves on hamburgers, fries, and alpaca meat. Yum!
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