PE, Cusco: Beaten paths, yet to be discovered – wandering through the city

How to Peru in 2 weeks – Day #9: Museo de Arte Precolombino  – Twelve angled stone – Museo Kusicancha – Qurikancha Temple – Sacsayhuaman Fortress

 

At a high altitude of 3400 metres, Cusco is located at the west end of Huatanay Valley. Well protected by the surrounding mountains, the conquistadores destroyed the Inca buildings, and used the strong foundations for their colonial structures. But the solid streets and pathways remain unchanged, legacy of a strong civilization. Had they cars, maybe they would have built them wider, but they will remain in the same state for many years from now, even in this century when the city expanded so much, and the traffic in many areas looks impossible. The cobbled streets will stay famous for generations to come, and even though the Spanish maybe wished to destroy a culture, they couldn’t destroy the roots of it.

Cusco - view from plaza

Continue reading

RO, Tulcea: Danube Delta – Mahmudia, a little paradise for birdwatchers

With our newest adventure from Sulina still fresh in our mind and heart, we arrived in Mahmudia at a slower pace, making plans for a relaxing time while visiting the surroundings.

Mahmudia, a village located on the southern branch of Danube River, was our base for 2 days of exploring the vicinity. The main plan was to rent a boat and visit the wetland that has been recently restored from an old agricultural land, right across the river.

Mahmudia - Swans, Eurasian coots, ducks

Continue reading

AU, HU – Vienna vs Budapest – Two cities in five days, p1

Once sisters of the one of the greatest powers of the world, Austro-Hungarian Empire, both Austria and Hungary have now been separated for the last 100 years. Years that took each of them on different paths, even though sometimes they were intertwined. Part of European Union and part of UNESCO Heritage, Vienna and Budapest are 2 centerpieces of Europe that justify their fame, no need for an introduction.

Cityscape

Vienna, known as a capital of music welcomed us in a waltz pace, as all the airport hallways resounded with Mozart tunes. A hot August morning was beckoning to us after we picked up our luggage and Vienna Pass, which made us wonder how hot a day can be in the middle of Europe, which we found out later on, after visiting Budapest as well, but this is another story.

A city with so many architectural styles, Vienna’s roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements. Now it is known as one of the most developed cities in Europe, being selected one of the most livable cities in the world. From the abundance of baroque style buildings in city centre (which was designed in 2001 UNESCO World Heritage Site) to some of the most interesting, colourful, or bizarre buildings, Vienna hasn’t faltered to offer us unique views.

In order to protect the cityscape, high-rise projects are totally excluded in certain zones. In Vienna there are about 100 buildings higher than 40 m, reason the city maintains the old historical charm, the panoramic viewpoints, and existing lookouts.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue reading

CU, Havana: Best of Old Havana in pictures

 

In my previous post I was telling you about various facets of Havana. Now, I will show you the Old Havana.

El Morro Castle
El Morro Castle – The guarding fortress standing out at the entrance of Havana bay. Built originally to guard the city from pirates, the castle is a witness of history in Havana

Stopping point for Spanish ships, La Habana Vieja has a history of about 500 years. With 2 fortresses to defend the city, one on each side of the Havana Bay, the city became a safe place since 16th century. Continue reading