Like every city, Cuzco has it’s interesting and strange things that make it different from any other place.
It is our last day in Cuzco today and we really enjoyed our time here. We are traveling with Cruz del Sur tonight to our next destination in Peru, Puno.
Here is a list of 10 things that we thought was unusual and maybe a bit weird in Cuzco. We call them “Cuzco Curiosities.” (My excitement each time I see a llama probably also makes me a curiosity!)
1. So many random dogs – This is not specifically just in Cuzco but also in the other places we visited in Peru, but Cuzco really has a lot of them! We haven’t seen a single cat.
2. Cows on the roof – Many houses in Cuzco and it’s surrounding areas have statues of two little bulls with a cross and water jugs on their roof. We found out that it’s a traditional house blessing and is known as Torito de Pucará. This is one of the many examples of the mixture of Catholicism and native religions. The bulls represent happiness, wealth and fertility and the cross keeps evil spirits away.
3. Music from the 80’s – Not many people in Cuzco speak english but there is so much english music (famous songs from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s) playing in the restaurants, in the street and on the radio.
4. Strange Cemeteries – I’ve written about our visit to the central cemetery and how the bodies are stored in “house-like” structures.
5. Huge busses in small streets – most of the streets in Cuzco are very narrow.(they give the city a romantic feel.) That does not stop big cars and busses driving in them and making U-turns as they please.(turning a romantic walk into a traffic dodging session.) Traffic robots also just seem to be a guide and stopping at a red robot does not seem obligated.
6. Cheap menu meals – Almost every restaurant has a “menu” option which is much cheaper than any other dish on the menu and includes starters, soup, main meal, pudding and sometimes even cooldrink. Who wouldn’t choose it?!
7. No flushing of toilet paper in the toilet – I’ve told you about this, but this is also not just in Cuzco and apparently also not only in Peru.
8. Same shops next to each other – In the city and in the markets people selling exactly the same stuff are located right next to each other. The price of what they are selling are usually also exactly the same and they all call out to you to buy from them.
9. Random gunshot / fire-cracker noises – I’m not sure if this is an every day occurrence or if it has just been happening in the 10 days we have been here. About 3-4 times a day we heard a very loud “BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG!” We have become accustomed to this sound as their seems to be no associated threat.
10. Red roofs and incomplete houses – The red clay roofs on all the houses gives the city a stunning appearance especially from a distance. Also, most of the houses have an “inka-wall” look at their base. I like this. There are many incomplete houses. I’m not sure why because they apparently don’t get an incomplete-house-tax-benefit like in some other countries.