Friday, August 12, 2005

It´s a nuns life in Arequipa

After a 12 hour bus trip on a bus with seats made for dwarfs and more Patrick Swayze movies than any sane person can handle we arrived in Arequipa, Peru´s second largest city. For the first time on the trip so far we really felt like we hit the Gringo trail. Foreigners in silly zip off pants, and stripey ponchos everywhere. But must admit they are all in Arequipa for a reason. It´s a beautiful city surrounded by 3 beautiful volcanos. Yes devastating earthquakes and horrific eruptions are common here too. The highlight of the city though is the wonderful Monasterio Santa Catalina as seen in the pictures. The place takes up an entire block and used to house 450 so called Nuns.
It was here that Nuns really knew how to party. Looking more like the prettiest streets of Cordoba or Sevilla in Spain, here the nuns had their own houses, slaves, visiting musicians and parties. Wealthy families wanted to ensure the virginity of their daughters to enable a higher dowry and the best way to do so was to send them off to the convent. They arrived with mucho dinero which ensured they had a good time on the inside.

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