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Fondest memory: . The waiter returned and said the chef would do something quickly for us. We made our orders and were dismayed when the waiter returned and said we needed to pick something simpler. We did so quickly without argue, as it was late and happy to get anything at this point. The meal was superb and very big so really good value. The service was the best I have ever had in South America too. The waiter, perhaps feeling bad for out not getting our first choice, brought out a free desert at the end, explaining it was a real local treat and leftover from the wedding reception earlier. It was an odd looking frozen concoction, with a milky yellow custard type liquid over thin sheets of ice and was absolutely delicious. We were upset with ourselves for not paying closer attention when he told us what it was, as we were determined to have it again before we left.
We returned a few days later from a three-day trip to the nearby Colca Canyon, still with that delectable desert on our minds. We walked around town taking photos and Doreen suddenly saw a sign that said, “leche helado,” and said she thought that was it. Of course, we went in and ordered one to find out. We sampled a few other local specialties as we waited for what seemed like ever for our mystery item to come out. We were a bit perplexed when the yellow liquid arrived in a glass, sans ice. It was the same flavor but not frozen. We left half satisfied and as we did, I noticed a huge copper wok-like bowl at the front of the small eatery, but thought little of it. That is until later that same afternoon when, in another part of the city, I saw a young Peruvian girl stirring madly with a large wooden spoon in the exact type of metal bowl. I grabbed Doreen's hand and quickly brought her over to investigate and soon saw the sign that said, “queso helado.” (concluded below in Fondest Memory)
Written Mar 5, 2003
Favorite thing: The architecture of Arequipa is among the finest in South America and a walk down any street will provide great rewards but the Santa Catalina Convent will take a full afternoon to explore.
Fondest memory: One of the great joys of travel for me is trying the different foods of that culture. When I look back on all the trips I have done, I am surprised that often what I remember best is a particular meal I have had or some fruit or street snack I came across. But it’s not just the food I remember; it’s the experience surrounding it. Peru offered a variety of foods and Arequipa a particularly interesting city in this regard with many items not offered elsewhere in the country. Another great thing about food for me is it brings me to parts of a city I might otherwise not see. I had read about a restaurant on the outskirts of Arequipa and one fine afternoon decided to walk to this nearby village to watch the sunset. They had a mirador or viewpoint from which you could see the impressive volcanoes that provide a dramatic backdrop to the already stunning city of Arequipa. We arrived in perfect time to not only see this but the charming square of this suburb resplendent with absolutely massive palm trees and a 500-year-old church. It was so magnificent we nearly forgot the reason for coming in the first place: the food. We quickly made our way to the restaurant and I was a bit disappointed to find a big fancy building. We had been to so many great little local places and that was what we expected, but went in just the same, as we were hungry. The food was supposed to be excellent and we had come so far, it would be silly to not splurge a little. It was nearly empty and appeared a wedding reception or birthday had just come to an end. We asked if it was still open and the waiter said to come in and he would see if the chef would prepare something. It was a beautiful place and we had the whole place to ourselves so we sat and looked over the extensive menu. It was a little expensive by Peruvian standards but really not too bad. They had a lot of specialties of the region that I had been looking for so it seemed a great choice of places to eat. (more below in Fondest Memory)
Written Mar 5, 2003
Favorite thing: I´m not absolutely sure which peaks we can see here, but there are several around the city. These snowcoverde ones could be "El Misti", "Chachani" and "Pichu Pichu". There are near the Canyon colca some more to see as the Mount Corupuna (6425 m high) and Peru´s second highest mountain, the Ampato with 6310 m altitude. Here at this peak in 1995 "Juanita" was discovered, the sacrificied Inca maiden.
Fondest memory: It´s such an outstanding view from Arequipa up the snowcovered mountains.
Updated Feb 20, 2003
Favorite thing: I´ve been 1997 in Arequipa last time. After the big earthquake in June 2001 a lot of buildings in Arequipa wher destroyed, fortuantely the colonial style buildings in oldtown survived few damaged, that´s what me told a peruvian friend. This old town of the second largest city in Peru is very beautiful, a lot of buildings are made out of a volcanic white stone named "sillar". This gives the city a very special look and is the reason for the name: "la ciudad blanca" (white city). Very beautiful and so worth to visit in Arequipa are the cathedral, the convent St. Catalina, the amazing plaza de armas and much more.
Fondest memory: From Arequipa you have to go to the cañon colca to see the Condors flying!!!!!!!!
Updated Feb 20, 2003
Favorite thing: General info:
Within Santa Catalina, the rustle of the long habits of the nuns seems to be impregnated into the walls. The alleys that run through the monastery -a city within a city- reveal its past, trapped between the sillar stone blocks and colonial oil paintings, between the high vaults and granite plazas. Located in the center of Arequipa, Santa Catalina is the pride of its townspeople, covering an area of more than 29,426 square meters. It is a masterpiece of colonial architecture, and houses some of the finest examples of Spanish American religious art.
Founded in 1580 under the rule of Viceroy Toledo, the Private Monastery of Nuns of the Order of Santa Catalina of Sena was opened to the world nearly 400 years later, in 1970. Since then, visitors have been able to stroll through the streets and cloisters that during colonial times were the refuge of female nobility who had decided to shut themselves away from the world and dedicate themselves entirely to prayer. Possibly because of their aristocratic background and the wealth of their families, the convent was decorated with valuable works painted by the Quito and Cuzco Schools, including many others signed by grand masters from Italy and Spain, while special attention was paid to the finishings of the buildings.
The main square, whose gates still preserve the magic of their fine finishings and images carved from wood, features a fountain brought from Spain and crafted entirely from granite. The ochre and blue colors of its streets and patios -named after Spanish cities- are decorated with bright flowers such as scarlet geraniums.
Today, it takes around an hour to tour Santa Catalina, an hour to discover centuries of tradition.
Written Jan 16, 2003
Fondest memory: The Santa Catalina Museum - wonder and peaceful reminiscences
Also the Garcilaso Home -a splendid palace
Written Sep 15, 2006
Favorite thing: unfortunately I don´t remember where exactly this patio is ubicated. I think it´s not Santa Catalina, but near to it.
Updated Feb 18, 2003
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