Thursday, 7 November 2019

DAY 1: MORE OF LIMA

The splendid churches 


Each church vied with one another to be more splendid, and determined not to be out done in the application of every shade of gold, bronze and silver. Statutes gazed heavenwards, or down upon us miserable sinners, strewn with lights, fresh flowers and candles at their feet.

Rest stop from cathedralling
Underneath the Cathedral Basilica of Lima, dedicated to St John, Apostle and Evangelist, we saw the bones and shrouds of the dead. Burying people under churches was common practise until the mid nineteenth; while the clergy were given coffins, the rest of us were just laid in earthen graves.

Traipsing around streets we saw Baroque standing shoulder to shoulder with French and Spanish Colonial, Gothic and Classical pastiche and occasionally a delight of Art Deco!

Our hotel is in Miraflores district, modern and populated by tall buildings, which look empty. However the area was not unattractive and round the corner from the hotel is a Starbucks serving great coffee. Our greatest find is a 24-hour supermarket called Metro. This is world-class emporium with its first floor delicacies of fresh produce, a bakery; meat counters displayed a dazzling array of pork and beef products.

Our journey with food reached a pinnacle in the evening, eating at Panchita. Only five minutes from the hotel. Quite wonderful, fish, beef, and for me pork tenderloin, all served with charm. Every permutation of cooking was on the menu, grills stews, roasts, mashed, spiced, very spiced, totally spiced. Each of our choices was bang on the money. Word to the wise, portion size was humungous! None of us finished our choices, yet plates were cleared from the table with a smile and a flourish. 

The Mercy Church: The service is about to begin 
The hotel, Jose Antonio Deluxe where we checked in on Sunday and leave on Thursday is very good. Much marble and trendy chairs, frequently large parties of tourists drift through like nomads, each with impossibly large suitcases.

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