From La Paz we flew to Cusco. In Cusco we were going to meet Matthijs & Karin; Sjoerd’s brother and his fiancé are traveling by motorbike from Alaska to Patagonia. They surprised us by picking us up from the airport; it was so great to see them again! The rest of the day we talked a lot and enjoyed some beers on the terrace of Norton Rats and later in the evening some cocktails at Museo del Pisco.
Next day they continued their travel to Bolivia and we spend the day looking for a good language school, because we wanted to improve our Spanish skills. We visited Excel language center and Amigos. We choose Amigos, since we really liked Jesus, the owner. We had a great week there, with lessons every morning from Maria and Diego. That week we stayed at a guest family; Gabriela and Carlos and their lovely kids Estefano and Lorena. They were so nice and we could talk with them in Spanish every evening, after we finished our soccer games with the kids.
In the afternoons we had time to check out the city; we walked around Plaza de Armas (beautiful square but too many venders trying to sell you ‘masajes’ and tours), visited the Cathedral and Museo Inka and tried some nice restaurants. We had great lunch at the Italian restaurant Cicciolina and we returned a few times to La Bodega 138 for good salads and pizza. Our favorite lunch spot was Panam, where they have delicious sandwiches and also some great cappuccinos and lemon pie.
We slept at 3 hotels in Cusco, which were all good value for money: El Andariego, Hostería de Anita and Amaru Colonial.
Since we were in Cusco during our Spanish class, and we visited Machu Picchu and Manú National Park from here, we spend quite some time in this city. The buildings are nice and the food is great, but the central area is so focused on tourists that it can get quite annoying.