Feet In The Square
Day 161 – December 31, 2011
Author’s Note: Yes, I am jumping back and forth in my timeline with this blog now. I’m going to try, with the advent of the new year, to make some of my posts of a more recent nature, while still writing about my early days in my Peruvian adventure. It will probably be confusing, but then again, so is moving to Peru. End Author’s Note.
On the last full day that we would have my sister-in-law in town for her visit, we took her downtown to the historic district of Lima to show her the Plaza de Armas.
Important Driving Tip: When attempting to navigate from one point to another in the City of Kings, you might be tempted to use some on-line mapping aid (e.g., Google Maps). If you do, please pay close attention to the disclaimer that is usually at the bottom of the directions and goes a little something like this…
These directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, weather, or other events may cause conditions to differ from the map results, and you should plan your route accordingly. You must obey all signs or notices regarding your route.
There is a reason this disclaimer is here and its non-technical name is called “CYA“. Simply put, our web-based mapping aid had us turn left on roads that had no capacity to turn left. Luckily, we had printed out a large map of the area so we were able to direct our car to the historic center without following the turn-by-turn directions.
So here’s the obligatory photos of the Plaza de Armas that if I went into great detail about would no doubt have me at the top of the Freshly Pressed page here at WordPress.com…but I couldn’t handle the fame, so here they are in minimal detail…
As Fate, Luck, or a well-read guidebook would have it, we were in the Plaza de Armas and in front of the Palacio de Gobierno at noon just in time to watch the mid-day Changing of the Guard (I’m positive this ceremony has a truly fancy name, but our guidebook was not that well-read) acommpanied by a military marching band.
With military (duh!) precision, the band came out, marched around the square (and all the while, my mind kept leaping to this scene from Monty Python and the Meaning of Life), and played some tunes.
For about twenty minutes, the band entertained the crowd with music. Try as I might, they would not take requests and my shouts of “Freebird” went on deaf ears. However, their version of “Tusk” did rival anything put forward by the USC Marching Band.
All kidding aside (and honestly, the band did play these next songs), it was a little strange to hear a Peruvian military band belt out the main theme from “Superman” and a ditty from Simon and Garfunkel (later identified as “El Condor Pasa”).
Even after a lovely display of musicality and precision stepping, and much to the crowd’s disappointment, the President of Peru did not come out onto the balcony and say hello to the band and audience (as one of the local gawkers told us happens from time to time).
I do have a penultimate thought about our trip to the historic center of Lima and it concerns footwear. I’m not sure when it happened or why, but the trend of toed-shoes has taken a foothold (groan!) here amongst the tourist class in Lima as evidenced by the below trio of photos…
Final Note: I would have paid good money to hear the Peruvian band play “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen but only to see how long the drum player could have kept up the opening solo.