The Elitist Cemetery Of Recoleta

At the end of calle Junin, behind a restored neoclassical portal supported by four tall Doric columns, is the repository of the collective history, heritage and memories of the city of Buenos Aires. The last landscape of its founding fathers. A city of the dead. Built in 1822 in the garden appropriated from the monks of the Order…

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The Wooden Balconies of Lima

Glimpses of the Moorish imprint on Spanish colonial architecture can be witnessed on a walk through the UNESCO site of Central Lima. Most glaringly in the stylised Mudejar influenced covered balconies incorporated into the facades of colourful 17th & 18th century mansions.   Originally built as much for the same purpose as their Iberian counterparts…

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Cidade Maravilhosa From Above

We are not beach people, not by any stretch of the imagination. Add to that the prohibitive rates for less than appealing hotel rooms and we almost cut Rio de Janeiro out of our vacation plans, the main focus of which was Peru and Argentina. But with connections into South America via Sao Paulo we decided to allot a couple of days to…

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The Bohemian Barrio Of San Telmo

The barrio of San Telmo, named after the patron saint of seafarers San Pedro González Telmo, is where Buenos Aires began. Where the Spaniard Pedro de Mendoza founded the first settlement in the 16th century, that grew into one of the most important cities in South America. When its wealthy residents fled North and East after an…

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The Sacred Capital Of The Inka

Whether it is a resurgence of indigenous identity or as in recent times, just political posturing by populist governments, a number of places from Peking to Pondicherry and Bombay to Burma, have undergone name changes in the past decade. Could I locate a renamed city among the photos in my archives for the story challenge: letter Q? It…

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The ‘Old Peak’ Of The Inca

“Remember to bury these under the Sun Gate.” Frank, our guide, handed over a bunch of coca leaves…. “For luck.” I carefully tucked the leaves into my pocket before boarding our train to Aguas Calientes. Frank was going to await our return to the Sacred Valley, the next evening. We lucked out with front row…

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Buenos Aires – The Barrio Of Kitsch

It is edgy. It is seedy. It is touristy.  And it probably deserves all the bad press it receives. But there is no denying the sense of drama and theatre in the psychedelic barrio of La Boca. A throwback to its maritime history and the meshing of cultures of early immigrant settlers. The name is said…

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Cusco – The City Of The Puma

According to local lore Cusco city is said to be laid out in the shape of a puma crouched over the Saphi river. And its streets denote its body parts. For example: Pumakurko street stands for the “Puma’s Spinal Column”, and the head is supposed to be located in Sacsayhuaman or “speckled head”! Furthering that myth, (rather shiny) brass plaques…

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Edificio Kavanagh

The Edificio Kavanagh in the Retiro neighbourhood of Buenos Aires is ostensibly a monument to the wrath of a scorned woman. And a reminder that you mess with a woman, especially one of means, at your own risk!   Corina Kavanagh, an Irish heiress, fell in love with Aaron, the heir to the Anchorena family, whose grand…

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