The other White City

Jan. 20, 2015. Clear until mid afternoon, high of 23 C, and a beautiful day.

Chicago was called the White City because of the dazzlingly white plaster used on the exterior of buildings at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. Arequipa is called the White City because the oldest buildings were constructed of a pale cream colored volcanic tuff, called sillar locally. It may once have made the city look white, but there is so much newer construction that though the old buildings are lovely the city doesn’t really look white. Some of the historic structures are preserved by their current tenants–banks that have taken pride in restoring the ornately carved facades.


Jesuit church, 1698


20 th century theater

Jonathan and I enjoyed a relaxing day both to let his stomach settle and to get used to the altitude. 2000 m is not painful, but we did feel a bit dizzy standing up at first. I also forgot that I had only been able to get Diamox pills in 250 mg size and the dose is half that. Before I remembered that part we had each taken a double portion. Who knows what that caused. My fingertips tingled a bit but now I’m fine. Our hotel, Los Tambos, is very small but nice–possibly because we seem to be the only guests. There is a cafe and balcony on the 4th floor with a view over the rooftops of the city. It’s not Cuzco–the rooftops are pretty miscellaneous, but I enjoyed it very much.

We had coffee at La Boveda, a cafe frequented by old men who drink tiny cups of expresso and debate–everything. If we stayed for more than two days Jonathan would be sitting with them. No, we did not visit the Starbucks. We had dinner in another restaurant that overlooks the cathedral and Plaza de Armas. They offer guests ponchos to keep warm while sitting on the terrace–a great idea.



Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

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