Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Exploring the World of Machu Picchu

Hello! It's Amelia once again! My Mom really liked hearing about my adventure and asked me to write more about Machu Picchu today. My class required us to keep a nightly journal as a part of our grade, but I agree with my Mom. It is different when you see your thoughts written out with the pictures, so today I am going to write about our exploration day of Machu Picchu.

The day after our hike we woke up at 4:30am and were out the door by 5am to head back up to Machu Picchu. This time we were catching the bus up to the historical site. I have to say I was SO grateful that we did the trek because taking the bus from the town where we stayed that night to the top seemed like cheating! My classmates and I talked about how much we probably would have taken Machu Picchu for granted if we had not done the trek the day before. We felt more in touch with the history of the ancient city. We split up into two groups and had our trekking guides from the day before show us around Machu Picchu and explain everything we were looking at. It was so surreal. I could not believe where I was and all that I could see. The Incas thought of everything. There was not a detail in the whole city that did not have a specific purpose. Every rock was carried from a far away quarry and shaped to fit perfectly with each other. All the windows were perfectly aligned and some buildings were built with just the right angle to capture the mountain breeze and were thusly used as freezers. I was AMAZED with everything I saw and learned about. They even thought about the shadows! On the Winter Solstice (June 21st there) the sunlight will hit different rocks and make pictures. One rock becomes a lama and another rock completes the Inca cross. The sun also shines through the window of the Sun Temple and illuminates the altar. It was just so incredible how much they were able to plan for. They even mapped the stars and found Venus! I had the most fantastic day seeing Machu Picchu with my own eyes and letting my mind travel back in time. I was super glad we got up early too! By noon Machu Picchu was very crowded and pictures were harder to get. My class ended up finding sanctuary from the crowds by some lamas by a staircase. It was an amazing day that I will never forget. Definitely a BIG checkmark on my bucket list!
Here are some pictures from Machu Picchu:

I thought it was so cool that we were in the clouds
They added to some of the mystery and magic of Machu Picchu

I can't believe I took this picture and that I was there!
I needed my own proof that I was actually there!
The perfectly laid stones and terracing in the background
The sundial 
Half of the Inca Cross that is complete during the Winter Solstice 
In this wall (picture ^ above) there is a picture of a bird made out of the stones which represents the condor. A very important and spiritual bird for the Inca. 

I am hanging out with a Machu Picchu "lawn mower".
I was hoping to take this cute lama back to Yesteryear Acres :) 
I am so unbelievably grateful for the opportunity to visit such a magnificent place as Machu Picchu. I am so lucky to attend a university that provides so many different kinds of classes and scholarships. A BIG thank you to my family for allowing me to follow my curiosity and encouraging me to dream big! 

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