Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lima, the gourmet capital of South America, and it never rains!


When we arrived in lima the sky was grey and the air humid. I asked the taxi driver if it was going to rain and he told me that it never rains in Lima. "Never?" I asked again, "Never!" he replied. Wondering if my Spanish was failing me, over the next two days I kept asking everyone I met the same question: at the hotel, the tour guide, the friends we meet for dinner... 

Apparently it doesn't rain in Lima, but its position and proximity to the Ocean means that the air is always humid, and in fact the trees were green, while hibiscus and other tropical looking flower bushes appeared in full bloom.


The historic city centre is quite grand and with a mix of styles, also due to various reconstructions after earthquakes (the Cathedral - top left, being the best example, with the original Colonial facade and then two neoclassic bell towers on the sides. 



I was also impressed with the Archbishop’s Palace in the Plaza Mayor (bottom right in the photo collage above), designed by the Polish Peruvian architect Ricardo de Jaxa Malachowski. This and other stone and marble building have incredible wooden balconies attached, quite a contrast. But the best surprise in the square is the fountain. We took a tour of the central city with a guide and she told us that on July 28 (Peru Independence Day) instead of water the fountain has Pisco! No rain and Pisco from fountains? 





We were not allowed to take photos of this, but the most intriguing site we visited in the city centre was St Francis Monastery and the Catacombs. The catacombs are full of bones and skulls, quite a sight! 

The centre was great to visit, but to stay we choose Miraflores, a district that used to be the sea resort of Lima, and it is now one of its suburbs. Safe and residential, Miraflores has parks and beaches that on the weekends are full of surfers and paragliders. Some of the small houses are really cute, although it is quite a sight seeing all the security fences around them.



Our hotel was the Hilton, brand new and a real treat, never mind that the sky was mostly grey and hazy, we enjoyed the infinity pool on the 11th floor, and all the little sweet treats that were in our room and in the executive lounge. 


And talking about treats: I have to tell you that Peru surprised me with its cuisine. I was told that it was good, but it even exceeded my expectations: definitely the best of all the countries I have visited in South America. We ate well in Cusco, and we ate well in Lima. Our friends took us to La Bonbonniere, one of the many cafe/restaurants that are based in Larcomar, Miraflores' fancy terraced shopping centre with great ocean views. It was too dark to take photos of the food, but I had to include the Pisco Sour photo, the obligatory drink if you visit Peru.



Anyway, we liked La Bonbonniere so much that Arantxa and I went back the day after (we really wanted to see what it looked like in daylight, especially the decor and sea view), but not for a Pisco this time: for a Peruvian hot chocolate. Smooth and aromatized with vanilla, cinnamon and cloves, hot chocolate is definitely another "must try" in Peru :-). I am sure that I will try a few more Peruvian recipes in the next few months!



Photos by Alessandra Zecchini © 


19 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures! And that pool... oh, it's pretty much amazing :)

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    Replies
    1. The kids loved the pool! So much fun for them!

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  2. Che belle immagini, e che bel reportage, chissà se mai visiterò questi paesi stupendi, nel caso tornerò a rileggermi tutto e segnarmi gli indirizzi!

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    Replies
    1. Spero che ci andrai un giorno, il Perù ti piacerà di sicuro!

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  3. Your photos are wonderful, Alessandra, and have me yearning to return. I also loved the photos your daughter shared with us. I hope you continue to enjoy your visit. Blessings...Mary

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  4. Ma è bellissima, non avevo idea!!!
    ...ma scusa Ale.....ma sei ancora in tour??????......mamma che invidia!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Bene, il prossimo è importante se andrà in alto: come sopravvivere a tremila metri!

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  5. Mia nipote Franci (anche lei) andrà in Perù quest'estate, credo che le stamperò tutti i tuoi post!!

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    Replies
    1. Ops, ho risposto di sopra a questa...

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  6. Alessandra, ma che meraviglia, mi stai facendo sognare con questo viaggio!
    Buon proseguimento e assaggia tutto :)

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  7. un viaggio sempre più ricco e colorato

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    Replies
    1. Grazie Lo, i colori non mi sono mancati!

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  8. Cara Alessandra, posso invidiarti benevolmente? Non sono mai stata in Latinoamerica ed il tuo viaggio mi incanta non sai quanto. Le foto parlano per te. Spero un giorno di poter vedere quei luoghi dal vivo.
    Un forte abbraccio, Pat

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  9. Sono sicura che ci andrai Patty, e che ti piacerà quanto piace a me :-)

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  10. My brother's girlfriend is from Lima. Thanks for sharing the pictures! I love that swimming pool. That is a cool pool!

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