The best part about Arequipa? The food! How long had it been since I'd walked down a street and felt forced to stop at a restaurant because it smelled so delicious? The last I remember is Chicken Rico in Highlandtown (which not coincidentally is Peruvian), and although it's good, holds no candle to the food in Arequipa. I was warned about the good food by the lady sitting next to me for several hours at the gate in Miami. All of that weight I lost while my husband was on vacation, let's just say it came back in the four days. I had my first meal watching Peru beat Colombia in the Copa America, seco de cordero. So big that I didn't eat dinner, although at 2300 meters digestion was not an easy feat to accomplish.
|Alfajores, with chocolate from La Iberica in the background that didn't last very long|
The second best part of Arequipa, known as the "white city," is the fact that it is beautiful. The view of the mountains, the volcano, all combined with buildings made out of sillar, a white volcanic rock. I spent a morning in the Santa Catalina monastery, which covers various blocks in the centro histórico of Arequipa. Even the airport was made of sillar. I'd forgotten how dry it is there (flew through last year as well), how hard the sun hits (the teachers I worked with were complaining about the rising rate of skin cancer there), and the fact that buildings are not heated. It was a great place to try out my new alpaca coat!
Shout out to Peruvian Airlines and the flight back to Lima. The captain was a great tour guide! And thanks for not charging me more as a foreigner than you would for a Peruvian (unlike LAN).
|View of El Misti from the plaza de Yanahuara|
|Entrance into Santa Catalina|
|Looking down into Santa Catalina|
|Plaza de armas|
|View from the airport|