Discovering Peru: Lima – The City of the Kings

When we departed Cusco, bid adieu to our International Expedition guides, Harvey y Miguel, and continued on to Lima. We were greeted at the airport by another IE representative who led us to our hotel. Most of our tour group would be departing for home the following day. We would be staying a couple extra nights on our own.

We discovered that we enjoy traveling with a group but also enjoy the flexibility and spontaneity that traveling alone provides. We wanted to see Lima – but we didn’t have any solidified plans or an agenda of any kind. We just wanted to relax and allow opportunity to present itself.

Lima: Ciudad de los Reyes @WellTraveledFamily.netLa Ciudad de los Reyes

Lima is the capital and the largest city of Perú. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as Ciudad de los Reyes, Lima is a fascinating city and a treasure trove of history.

Here tourists can explore ancient Incan archeological sites, stroll through the elegant cathedrals and palaces dating from Spanish colonial times, explore one of the many shopping areas, or spend the day at the beach.

Things to Do in Lima

  • Cathedral of Lima
  • Museo Larco
  • Plaza de Armas
  • Huaca Pucllana
  • Historic Center of Lima
  • Parque de la Reserva
  • Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco

wongmarketAfter a fast paced and exhausting tour first of the Galápagos and then Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, we wanted nothing more than to nap. We thereby didn’t venture far from our hotel, the Swissotel. I know – very sad considering all there is to do in the capital city.

We went for a couple of walks around the neighborhood to stretch our legs, enjoyed browsing the aisles at a local grocery, and caught up in our journals. We also found a wonderful pizzeria – where we actually dined twice. I don’t know if it was their pizza or their sangría that brought us back.

cirquedusoleilCirque du Soleil

One of the adventures that life presented during our stay in Lima was the opportunity to see a Cirque du Soleil performance. The company was on tour, presenting Corteo, a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

This was a fabulous introduction for the kids to the dramatic performances for which the company is well known. When we were shopping at a local mall the following day, we were able to see the magnificent costumes on display. Serendipitous!

Discovering Peru @WellTraveledFamily.net

This concludes my 5 day series Discovering Peru. In case you missed an earlier post,

Arriving in Cusco & the Sacred Valley

Machu Picchu

Ollantaytambo Temple & Peruvian Paso

Cusco – The Imperial City

travelguidesWhen we travel, I always purchase a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to familiarize myself with the country and the culture. Updated annually, each book provides a detailed description of popular tourist attractions, restaurants, and lodging options.

Each guide divides the country (or city) into color coded regions enabling quick browsing while on the road. The DK Eyewitness Travel Guides are comprehensive guides that provide everything to see at a location. While comprehensive, the books give just the right amount of information to spark interest in the particular sights you want to see. They are organized intelligently for the traveler, and they always provide a map.

As a special expression of gratitude to you, I am giving away one DK Eyewitness Travel Guide of choice to a lucky reader. The contest closes on the 20th of September at 12 a.m.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My post is one of many hopscotch link-ups. Hop over and see what others are sharing. You might also be interested in my post, 5 Misconceptions in Science & How to Dispel Them, on my homeschool blog.

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Discovering the Magic of Theater Arts: Cirque du Soleil

In the past few months, we’ve had the wonderful opportunity to see two Cirque du Soleil performances that captivated not only our hearts but also our imaginations.

We were fortunate to catch Corteo while we were staying in Lima, Peru in October. Corteo, which means “cortege” in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown. The show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth.

Corteo was a great introduction to the magic and theater arts of the popular Cirque du Soleil.  When we returned home and reflected on our trip, the kids stated that seeing Corteo was one of their most memorable moments.

cirquedusoleilIntrigued, my son began watching behind the scene documentaries and shared that he’d love to see another performance. When we had the opportunity to accompany Patrick on a business trip to Las Vegas, we selected Kà. Together my husband and I had previously seen O and Zumanity; he had also seen Kà. “The effects on stage of both O and Kà were mind blowing,” he stated. I was curious to compare the two.

These experiences provide entertainment surely, but I have also found that they have helped in creative writing assignments and art. For students interested in theater arts, dance, music, and even engineering, I highly recommend seeing a performance.

History of Cirque du Soleil

In the early 1980’s in Baie-Saint-Paul, a charming village nestled on the north shore of the St-Lawrence River, east of Quebec City, a theater troupe emerged. The performers walked on stilts, juggled, danced, breathed fire, and played music. Among these young entertainers was Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté.

During the 450th anniversary celebration of Jacques Cartier’s discovery of Canada in 1984, the province of Quebec sought an event which would bring the festivities to all Quebecers. Guy Laliberté convinced organisers the answer was a provincial tour of Cirque du Soleil performers. With resounding popularity and public acclaim, the Cirque du Soleil performers have not stopped touring and sharing their artistry.

To raise money, Laliberte convinced his partner, Mr Ste-Croix, to walk 56 miles in stilts.

 Global Citizenship

Ever since Cirque du Soleil began performing around the world, it chose to become involved in communities, particularly troubled youths. Concerned with the future, Cirque du Soleil turned its attention and resources to global issues, such as the fight against poverty. Working together with valued partners, Cirque du Soleil is making a difference in nearly 80 communities, in over 20 countries on five continents.

CorteoCirque du Soleil‘s citizenship principles are founded on the conviction that the arts, business and social initiatives can, together, contribute to making a better world. Cirque du Soleil utilizes a sustainable development approach. It furthermore treats its employees, partners, customers and neighbors with respect, as it does the environment, laws and cultures of every place it goes.

Cirque du Soleil strives to be a responsible agent of change and a citizen of choice with a view to sustainable development. For the beach scene in , for example, the sand is created using 350 cubic feet of granular cork from Portugal.

Bring it Home

For students interested in music, like my son, consider researching the instrumentation of a specific Cirque du Soleil show. For example, the unique string instrument heard in the soundtrack of O is an erhu, a traditional Chinese bowed string instrument.

KaMy daughter has developed a growing passion for art. While we were in Las Vegas, we enjoyed visiting the Art Gallery of Richard MacDonald. It reminded us of one of our favorite artists, Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland.

His work focuses on the spectrum of performing life, capturing a fleeting moment in time and immortalizing the grace, strength, joy and discipline of dancers and acrobats.

Engineering minded students may be interested in learning about the contraptions behind the scenes. Hanging 49 feet above the stage, the carousel and conveyor system in O carries tons of equipment as well as performers during the show.  Additionally, the carousel horses have a small propeller underneath their tails that are controlled by a joystick located on the back of the horse.

OOther students may be fascinated by the elaborate costumes. To create the 131 costumes for the 41 characters in Corteo, Designer Dominique Lemieux wanted to accentuate the artists’ natural beauty. She used some 900 different fabrics, including natural fibers such as silk, linen, cotton and lace.

Cirque du Soleil On Demand

While not everyone may be able to attend a live performance, Cirque du Soleil televevision specials and documentaries are available in North America, On-Demand through your local cable operator, as well as through a variety of online platforms including iTunes and Hulu.