Just for starters let me say that yesterday was absolutely incredible. We woke up at 3 am to be in line to catch the 5:30 bus up to Machu Picchu, which was an experience in itself. We went up the windy mountain roads before sunrise and arrived to a line of people already before us. We had no problem getting in though and began the climb to the city. It probably took about 15 minutes until we got to the summit and there it was—even more magnificent than I had imagined. You can see pictures of the place but they do not even come close to doing it justice.
Outside of the main city there are numerous terraces and structures that usually don´t get too much recognition, but we explored all over them. We actually met some llamas roaming around on the terraces above the city, so I can check petting a llama off of my list of things I haven´t done. Personally I think it´s more awesome because I touched a llama on Machu Picchu.
The masonry would blow your mind. There are parts of the city that are just stone on stone, perfectly fitted together so not so much as a sheet of paper could come between them. I can´t believe it´s still so grand and standing.
We hopped a train to get back to Cusco in the early afternoon. The tickets for the return trip were slightly more expensive than the ones for our departure (20 dollars more, which transfers to about 60 more soles) and we joked about the extra perks we were going to get. The seats were nicer than the first trip but we thought that might be the extent of the luxury. Wrong. Within then minutes our train attendants brought oput tablecloths and flowers for centerpieces. Surprise. Then they brought out our snack, which hapened to be sushi (good sushi at that) and a fancy little dessert. I was already amused by the happenings thus far, but it got even better. Mid-trip the intercom announced that Peru Rail was proud to present their line of alpaca clothing and with that some heavy techno mixed with the sounds from a Peruvian flute band blasted through the speakers. We all looked at eachother incredulously, and then our ailseway turned into a catwalk while our train attendants strutted out in alpaca clothing. I could have died. Hands down in the top 3 strangest experiences I´ve had here.
We got back to Cusco last night and the next few days are currently unplanned, but I´ll update when I can.