HAL 2019 World – Day 11 Lima, Peru

February 2, 2019 Paul Groves

We arrived at the port of Callao, a commercial port (as opposed to a recreational port) which meant that a visit to Lima began with an hour-long bus drive.  The bus was comfortable, however, and our guide used the time to set the stage for our visit.  Lima is the fourth largest city in Peru with a dry season and a foggy season.  It never rains in Lima. Water comes from melting glaciers in the nearby mountains.  

The colonial buildings we are visiting are built by the Spaniards in the 1500’s, although due to earthquakes, some of the buildings have been rebuilt in the original style. 

Our first stop was the Franciscan Monastery. The outside was intricate and interesting and the inside, where no photos were allowed, was even more so with beautiful tiles from Spain, carved woodwork, paintings and frescos which were found under the paintings. 

We visited the cloisters and had a peek at the catacombs. 

We walked to the Plaza Mayor and saw the impressive presidential palace. Our timing was right to catch a glimpse of the changing of the guard in front of the fenced building.  We also passed by the Hall of Justice where the Peruvian Supreme Court does its work.

The next stop was the Basilica Cathedral of Lima. The grand entrance led into a huge room leading to the main altar. Along the side were several small chapels, each with its own unique grandeur. Carved wood, statues of saints, and lots of gold and color made each chapel worth visiting. 

The last stop was to Francisco Pizzaro’s tomb.  Pizzaro is known for defeating the Incas. A sleeping lion guards his remains.  A large mosaic depicts Pizzaro at one end of the chamber. 

Our guide took us to one more place in the city, the Love Park.  Artists in the city constructed mosaics on undulating walls reminiscent of Gaude.  A huge sculpture of a kissing couple dominates the park that overlooks the city.

Our guide told us that each year a kissing contest is held in the park.  Couples can register for the contest and the prize is a stay at an expensive spa hotel.  The kisses are voted on democratically and are judged, not on the length of the kiss, but the passion.

We returned to the ship to drop off some items and caught a shuttle to a shopping mall in the San Miguel area about 30 minutes from the ship. Our guide told us that her favorite restaurant, Tanta, was in this shopping mall with good Peruvian dishes. We asked the waiter about the favorite dish served at the restaurant and he suggested Lomo Saltado which is a stir fry of beef, peppers, onions, potatoes, and served with rice.  It was delicious and the half liter of white sangria we had with it made a perfect meal. 

We returned to the ship where a Peruvian music and dance troupe performed demonstrating some of the culture and traditions of Peru.