And these were some of the nicer things Tyler and I heard about Lima while working our way through Peru. Our guidebook diplomatically trashed the capital city, the largest city of Peru (clocking in at 7.7Million), but what really deflated our hopes are when all the books complaints were magnified by a couple Peruvians we met in Trujillo. Admittedly, they might have been a bit biased as they wanted us to stay there for longer, but we weren't exactly looking forward to visiting the capital. We decided to go for a few reasons. It is the capital city, over a quarter of Peruvians think its nice enough to live there, and finally geography. In order to get to Cusco, and Machu Pichu, we'd either need a 36 hour bus ride or we'd need to break it up somehow. Lima itself was a convienient overnight bus away so we threw caution to the wind and rolled into town. Once there we were forced to endure a colonial city (which we've seen before) but laid out on a massively impressive well maintained scale (which we haven't).
And everywhere we looked there were these spiffy enclosed balconies.
Even our hostel had one. But even more importantly our hostel was an old converted mansion complete with artwork, statues and free roaming turtles!
And finally, after seeing countless Plazas dedicated to Simon Bolivar for the first time we came across a square that paid homage to General San Martin.
While Simon Bolivar was freeing northern South America from the Spanish, interspersing his proud victories and massive defeats with vast huge parties and parades dedicated to himself San Martin calmly and methodically freed the Argentina, Chile, and Peru. One city after another, one country after another, never losing ground he gained. He wasn´t a fan of the spotlight so didn´t duplicate the media blitz that Bolivar had raging up north. He was just a better general; he freed Peru by doing the impossible feat of bringing an entire army over the Andes, an act often compared to Hannibal crossing the Alps
But the Andes are higher and colder than the Alps!
By the time Tyler and I made it to the huge, free, Botanical gardens in downtown Lima we decided that nobody gave us good advice about this place. This hyper, bustling, metropolis is awesome!