Friday, May 29, 2009

El Centro de Lima Photo Journal


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Miraflores Photo Journal

Miraflores was one of my favorite neighborhoods in Lima, primarily because of the vibrant colors of the buildings. Part of my travel experience is wandering around streets and neighborhoods and Miraflores makes it easy to appreciate. The flâneur will feel at home walking the quiet residential streets as well as the busy squares and center.

Lima proved to be a great city to start off my South America tour. I felt comfortable walking around on my own (during the day) and with friends at night. Miraflores is a safe neighborhood in Lima, therefore you should be cautious and avoid other neighborhoods at night (and even during the day). At my hostel one of the employees highlighted on a map which area I should avoid. You can ask your hostel or hotel to do the same. Below are some pictures of the Miraflores neighborhood.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Larcomar in Miraflores

One of the popular places to go out in Lima is Larcomar. Larcomar is a small mall in the Miraflores neighborhood. It is nice because it is right on the cliff overlooking the ocean. At night you can hardly see the water, but you can smell the salt in the air and feel the breeze that blows in from the ocean. It´s nice to step outside for a breath of fresh air, especially because some of the clubs allow smoking.
I was a bit surprised to see this restaurant in Lima. Apparently Hooters translates into Spanish.
Fountain at Larcomar.
Larcomar at night.

Mama Batata is one of the bar/clubs in Larcomar. The sign suggests the bar is open from 8pm until whenever you choose to leave, however don´t let it fool you. The bars in Lima close around 4am.
There were a bunch of baskets hanging from the ceiling. Don´t know why but it made for an interesting atmosphere. There were much more tourists here than other bars we had gone too, however there is also a local crowd.
Don´t believe the sign. The beer is not free!
For more information about the restaurants, clubs, and stores at Larcomar you can check out the Larcomar Website.

Bars and Discos
Food Court
Plaza Gourmet
Deck Food Court
Mamá Batáta
Mezannine Plaza Gourmet
Sótano de la Plaza Gourmet Tda. 302


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Central Lima

It took us about half an hour to get to Central Lima from Miraflores. Lima is a lot bigger than I had anticipated. In fact it is the 5th largest city in Latin America, behind Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro.

Plaza de Armas

Around the Plaza de Armas, many of the colonial buildings are still standing, however earthquakes in 1687 and 1746 left many buildings damaged.

Decorative balconies are a feature of the colonial legacy of Lima. Around the city, in particular the city center, you will notice these ostentatious balconies.

There were lots of school groups in Central Lima. All of them were wearing some sort of uniform. Must say I´m glad my Catholic school days are over.
One of the most interesting sites we saw in Central Lima were the catacombs in the Museo del Convento de San Francisco. You aren´t supposed to take pictures inside the catacombs, but I tried my bestto provide one. As you can see by the quality of the photo I didn´t do such a great job. I was scared of the tour guide! Not to mention all the possible curses from the skeletons buried in there. Definitely not taking any chances.

Just outside the catacombs there was a group of kids were playing a game. Basically they surrounded one another in a circle and two people were in the middle. One of the kids struggles to take a cloth from the other kids while everyone else cheers on. Then if they end up getting the cloth another contender comes into the circle to compete.

Plaza San Martin
When you look around the Plaza San Martin, it seems almost as if you are in Europe. The buildings have a French style and lack the color of other plazas in Lima.
The Gran Hotel Bolivar is the oldest hotel in all of Lima. Today it certainly doesn´t have the splendor of its past, however it is typical to get a pisco sour within the hotel or tea. As soon as we entered we were offered pisco sours by a couple of hotel employees, however their upfrontness turned us off and we decided to get our piscos somewhere else.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

What Lima does best: Ceviche and Pisco Sours

Peruvian food is famous throughout the world, and if you go to Lima you will see why. It is one of the most diverse cuisines and has currently become a popular cuisine to study by top chefs. Since Peru has such a diverse culture and multicultural background that includes, pre-Inca, Spanish, French, and Japanese to name a few, the food combines a variety of flavors. Not to mention the homegrown local ingredients that make the cuisine very unique. One of the highlights of my trip has been the soups we have eaten, where even a typically boring chicken soup (which they call diet soup) is just so good.

It seems like no matter where you go in Lima the ceviche is incredible. We ate some ceviche at a small restaurant in downtown Lima. The fish is fresh, as it should be considering how close you are to the ocean. If you look closely at the picture above you can see some Peruvian corn, or as I like to affectionately call it ´giant´corn. It is much larger than I´ve ever seen and has a softer texture.

The Pisco Sour is Peru´s national drink. It is pretty yummy, and made from Pisco, brandy made from grapes. Our bartender made a few Pisco Sour for us and showed us the process on how to make one.


3 parts Peruvian Pisco
1 part lime juice
1 part sugar syrup (jarabe de goma)
1 egg white
a drop of Angostura bitter

Astrid y Gastón is a popular restaurant in Lima and always written about in the guidebooks, however I can assure you that the food is incredible. Seriously I want the chef Gastón Acurio to be a part of my family so I can have his dishes whenever my little heart desires. He was born in Lima and has helped make Peruvian food a popular cuisine around the world, not to mention make little tourists such as myself smile with glee.

Of course we had to try the ceviche at Astrid y Gaston´s and so far it has been the best I have ever tasted. We tried the ´travieso´ceviche which was a mix of the catch of the day. I cannot reiterate how goooood the ceviche tasted.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Love In Lima

El Parque Del Amor

El Parque del Amor (Love Park) is along the Malecon. Guidebooks lead you to believe that the colorful ceramic, design is very similar to Park Guell in Barcelona, and it is, but on a much smaller scale. Couples sit on the walls as if no one is watching them. It´s a little voyeuristic. My gringa sensibilities make me a little uncomfortable to show that emotion in front of a bunch of picture taking tourists, but these guys seem to ok with displaying their amor in public.On Valentine´s Day people go to the park and compete in a contest for the longest kiss. Not really sure what the winners get as a prize, but you can use your imagination.

There are quotes written into the walls of the murals.
Mi sangre esta alcanzando a las estrellas (My blood is reaching the stars) - Jose Maria Arguedas

Some othe quotes found in the park:
Te desvisto como quien pela una fruta
(I undress you like someone peels a piece of fruit)- Jorge Diaz Herrera

A ti como la luz del mundo a las ventanas
(To you like the light of the world in the windows)- Juan Gonzalo Rose

Somos un poco la sombra de lo que fuimos
(We are a bit like the shade of what we used to be)- Oscar Valdivia
In the center of the park is a statue of a couple fully embracing, seemingly pre-coital. It stirred up some contreversy since Peru is a fairly conservative country. The creator of the stautue is Peruvian artist Victor Delfin.Someone wrote this quote on the ledge of the wall along the Malecon.
(The views of a lighthouse are distant. Just like love, it seems far to never return).