I've given much thought to how I would try to describe this wondrous place and I must admit that I feel mere words are insufficient, too simplistic to try to describe a place of such magnitude and beauty. What did come to mind was something most, if not all, TV-watching Americans can relate to:
Intercontinental round-trip flight to Cusco - $500
Vistadome Train Tickets on PeruRail - $90
Taxi Cab from Cusco to Ollyantambo( who nearly killed us on the steep mountain roads) - $40
Finally standing in Machu Pichu - PRICELESS...
Yes folks a MasterCard commercial was the best method to describe just how invaluable visiting that peaceful-sanctuary- of-a city-built-within-the-Andean-Mountain-citadel-surrounded-by-majestic-mounds-of- rock-and-foliage...was.
Standing within the ruins and looking out into the vast grandeur of those intimidating and powerful peaks makes you feel completely vulnerable and insignificant; while somehow simultaneously feeling you are on top of the world. Quite the paradox of a confusing but thrilling combination of mixed emotions. All I could do was wonder, in awe, as to the original creators and inhabitants of this incredible city and marvel at their courage, strength and fearlessness. How did they do it? How did they build this city within the precarious heights of the cordillera at such a treacherous altitude? They truly were a powerful people.
I took a plethora of shots that day trying to capture the true essence of the city upon the mountains, but like I said before, pictures limit your experience. It took breathing that fresh mountain air and capturing the album of memories through the iris of my eye - to truly retain the vision of splendor before us. I hope however, that you have the opportunity to vicariously see one of the 7 wonders of the world through the following pictures I'll post for your viewing pleasure:
How we got there? From Cusco we hired two taxi cabs (father/son team) who charged us the approximate of $100 US in Sols for 4 people - for the round-trip ride from Cusco to Ollayantambo from where we took the Vistadome train into Aguas Calientes AKA Machu Pichu town. From there we took the bus up to the majestic MP. We booked the Vistadome 3 months prior to the trip and guaranteed our front-row seats. I was overall very pleased with Peru Rail Service.
Stay tuned for the next post that will be all abou the Highlands Of Ecuador, including Quito, Otavalo and Hot Springs of Papayacta!