Monday, July 27, 2009

Making Conversation in Barrio San Blas

In order to reach the San Blas neighborhood you need to climb up the somewhat steep (or maybe it's just the altitude) San Blas hill. After passing lots of shops and artfully avoiding the cobblestone street, while balancing on the mini sidewalk made of stone, you will eventually reach a plaza. This my friends, is the San Blas neighborhood. The neighborhood offers spectacular views of the city, as well as its signature red tiled roofs, white washed houses, and blue doors.

In the plaza there are a few art galleries featuring Peruvian artists. The artwork is incredible, as well as incredibly priced. I would suggest buying a few pieces if you are able to bring them back with you.

On your way up to the plaza there are also tons of tourists shops where you can shop for some souvenirs.

San Blas is traditionally where many artists lived and like most neighborhoods of its kind, it is quickly becoming a trendy area of Cusco, undoubtedly attracting travelers who are more interested in this bohemian enclave. Expect less crowds than in the Plaza de Armas but there are more and more restaurants and cafes popping up.

The Church of San Blas is also in the plaza. There will most likely be people sitting at the steps as well as vendors outside trying to sell you some handicrafts.

San Blas is known for having these brilliant bright blue doors and windows.

It is surprising how the conversation can flow so naturally with complete strangers, in particular while traveling, where I have had the good fortune of encountering many interesting and congenial people. While snapping pictures in the plaza, and completely engrossed in my surroundings, I didn't notice that I had grabbed the attention of two men selling bracelets and other handicrafts along a white fence. Luis and his friend (whose name has slipped my mind at the moment) introduced themselves and in a matter of minutes it seemed like Luis had really warmed up to me. He told me about his family and his child and his love for his country but also his desire to move away. Soon the conversation led to what I missed most about home; without any hesitation I told him my dog Nico. He smirked and asked if I was talking about a boyfriend. His cacophony of laughter proved that he was making a machista joke about men liking the company of many women or something similar. Latin men never cease to amaze me and make me laugh, especially since he clearly was getting such amusement from it all. I assured him that my dog was in fact of the canine persuasion. Luis made me promise I would send him this picture (his friend was a bit camera shy). Si estas leyendo esto Luis, espero que estes bien!


  1. Hi Elena! Your blog is very nice. The images are very beautiful. God is Great. Best wishes.

  2. Thank you Mahmood! I appreciate your input:)