The white city: Arequipa
Woke up in the charming city of Arequipa, nicknamed "the white city" because most of the buildings are made, almost entirely, out of sillar, a porous, white, volcanic stone. It is the second largest city in Peru and by far the most handsome.
We visited their Plaza de Armas, an elegant symmetry of gardens with a central fountain. Arched buildings line three sides of the plaza with a beautiful cathedral completing the square.
We strolled around the plaza and slipped into a cafe overlooking the plaza for some snacks and refreshments.
A huge vase of frozen orange juice, a plate of heavenly ceviche, and some much-needed flan. I have had such a sweet tooth on this trip, eating whatever desserts I can find. There are ice cream vendors on every corner of every block tempting you with their sweet cream goodness, I couldn't oppose. One day, for lunch, I made my rounds to three different ice cream vendors and made that my meal. I tried to justify it by telling myself that it was an ice cream experiment and I had to compare and contrast. Ice creams, hot chocolate, pastries, and cakes, everyday.. I don't know what's wrong with me. Everything was delectable, but what I really had a yen for, was flan. I had wandered into several restaurants solely because I saw flan on their menu. I'd sit down order a drink and when it was time for flan, they were out and it was too late to move on. I was on the hunt, flan was my prey of choice, and my hunger was finally satisfied.
I can rest easy.
We walked around a little more and visited a church named Iglesia 'La Compania' a 17th century Jesuit church made entirely of sillar stone, located right off of the plaza.
It was about dusk and the plaza was coming alive with lights and the photographer inside me was itching to click away.
I geeked out for a while and finally was pulled away with a new desire.. Food. We walked amid the arches, being pulled in different directions by walking menus claiming their restaurant was better than the next. As the bidding war began, we were offered free desserts, cheap drinks, two for one, and I think I heard one woman offer me her first born, however, the winning bid went to a woman who promised us rooftop access overlooking the plaza. SOLD! We cashed that chip right away and climbed three separate stairways to get exclusive access to the tip top, peering over the dazzling nighttime plaza. My inner photographer tugged on my heartstrings once more. Let the clicking begin!