Cusco: Temple of the Sun

This morning I let Tom sleep in a bit while I worked to catch up on my blogging. Our hostel only gives us free breakfast until 10:30 AM, so when he didn’t show up by 10:10 I started worrying that he was still cocooned in bed. Just after I packed up my gear and got up to wake the sleepyhead, he emerged up the stairs. Pushing it a little close don’t you think babe? Whew!

After a late start, our first stop was Qorikancha, which means gold enclosure (quri kancha) in Quechua. Quechua is an ancient Incan language that is still the most widely spoken language by the indigenous peoples of the Americas. There are about 8-10 million speakers worldwide and 13% of Peruvians speak Quechua. While our guide the previous day mentioned that it is not a formally taught language in school, it is commonly used at home and parents teach their children who continue to keep the language alive with their children. 

On the foundations of the original Qorikancha now rests the Church of Santo Domingo as the Spanish conquistadores demolished the original Incan building to make way for, you guessed it, more Catholic structures. Interestingly enough some of the original Incan masonry remains intact inside, which allows you to see how artful and intricate their stone working skills were.

The walls of the original temple of the sun were once covered in golden sheets, and the courtyard filled with statues. Unfortunately, the Incans themselves were forced to harvest from this richness when the Spanish demanded a gold ransom for the life of the 13th Incan emperor Atahualpa.

After leaving Qorikancha, we stopped by to visit the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (CTTC) right next door. An organization established in 1996 by Andean weavers, it provides a free museum to the public to educate visitors on how the coat of an alpaca, lama, or sheep etc., is made into yarn and than transformed into a final product in the form of bags, clothing, and accessories. It’s main mission is to preserve cusuqueñan textile traditions and support the indigenous artisans. 


We then roamed through the local San Pedro Market before heading back to the Plaza de Armas to visit the Church of the Society of Jesus, once again a religious church (this time Jesuit) built on the remains of a former Incan temple. It is best known for a painting depicting the wedding of Martín García de Loyola, the nephew of Ignatius Loyola to Beatriz, the great-niece of the Inca ruler Tupac Amaru. (Tom was very grateful that no pictures were allowed).

After a brief reprieve in the hostel, we went to Kion, just off the main square to try some Chaufa, the Peruvian version of fried rice. It was very tasty and filling and we were both happy pandas. 🙂
 

We then took an evening stroll through San Blas and were able to successfully locate the infamous twelve angle stone. The stone is carved from diorite and it is the precision and finishing of the fit that make this rock a national heritage object. A passerby mentioned that it was 2 meters deep (about 6.5 ft) and that the 12 angles actually refer to the 12 Royal Incan families, 6 of which lived on the north side of the wall and 6 which lived on the south side. 

P.S. The Qorikancha had a fourteen angle stone! It was cut such that 3 sides of the stone served as the different faces of a door jamb. 

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Lima: Ode to Central

When one of Tom’s coworkers found out that we were going to Peru for our yearly vacation, he could not stop gushing about the country. One of the things he mentioned was that Central, the current #5 best restaurant in the world, was based in Lima. (Although some would say that the validity of the judging is questionable as the food critics, despite needing to remain objective, are technically not obligated to actually pay for their meals). Additionally, Astrid Y Gaston #33 and Maido #8 who also made the most recent The World’s 50 Best list are also based in Lima. 

We opted to only visit one of the three, although we did consider trying at least two of them. It’s only due to the USD to Soles exchange rate that we would have even considered this splurge relatively “affordable”. If it had been in Europe, or even Copenhagen, where the previous #1 restaurant was located (before it closed a few months after we left Scandinavia), we would have had to pay an arm and a leg, or sell an organ on the black market, to justify the expense.

The USD to Soles exchange rate is roughly $1 to S/ 3.25; We do obviously get slightly less favorable odds when we have to be at the mercy of our banks and credit card companies. This allowed our 1105 Soles meal to balance out at approximately $340 USD ($170 pp). It is definitely agreed that this is an irrational expense for the average person, but since our daily costs in Peru are lower than typical, and we don’t expect to return to Lima anytime in the near future, we were able to justify the once-in-a lifetime splurge. We also only share a big fancy meal about once every year or two…

And what an experience it was! The 17-course menu brought us from the highlands of Peru to the lowlands, from the jungle, to the dessert, to the Andes mountains. As the third largest country in South America, Peru is an incredibly diverse country with a multitude of ecosystems and climates, and Central’s menu celebrates the unique abundance of natural resources and wildlife that can be found in these ‘altitudes.’ (The only unfortunate side note being that we ate our lunches a little later than we should have for our 8:00 PM reservation and were therefore struggling a little bit towards the end.)

The below pictures are roughly broken up by ‘course’ and the key ‘flavor’ components. I’ll try to explain the textures we experienced as well, but with 17-courses, you can imagine that we were both starting to mix things up LOL.


Appetizers:

I-10 M Rock Molluscs: Sea Snail, Mussel, Sargassum, Limpet. We were instructed to use the algae crackers, which had a similar texture to that of traditional Chinese ‘crab chips,’ and the dowel to spoon the mixture of snail onto it before taking a bite. It was a little like a firm ‘salsa,’ but surprisingly not too fishy in flavor.

180 M Desert Plants: Huarango, Cactus, Sweet Potato Leaf, Loche. This one was our favorite! We had to sequentially eat the ‘Loche cake,’ then consume the fried sweet potato leaf befor taking the cactus shot. Tom and I both experienced a surprise in our mouths because we expected the cake bite to be warm, but it was actually cold! The crunch of the sweet potato leaf followed by the warm cactus shot melded all the textures together perfectly. The shot tasted just like kale to me Lol.

3900 M Loft Andes:  Potato, Tree Tomato, Alpaca, Muña Mint. We dipped the potato in a mixture of the tomato, dried alpaca heart, and Muña mint. It was an interesting mix, kind of like what you’d expect if you shredded beef jerky and mixed it in with some moisture. I didn’t not enjoy it, but like everything on this menu, it was unexpected.

3400 M Thick Stems: Olluco, Chincho, Onion, Field Mustard. I can’t quite remember the sequence for this one. We either had to eat the flowers first and then the onion crisp roll stuffed with mustard and maybe Chincho, or the other way around. I really enjoyed the contrast of textures from the crunch of the fried onion crisp to the smoothness of the herbed mixture inside.

450 M Waters of Nanay: Piranha, Cocona, Achiote, Huampo Bark. This one was eye opening for sure! You’ll notice that some of the pictures include elements that are clearly not edible and were provided only for plating aesthetics. I was definitely thrown off by the frozen piranha heads sitting in front of me Haha. First we had what seemed to be fried piranha skin followed by a veggie cake topped with piranha meat. To be honest, it tasted just like pretty much any other white fish to me. 

300 M Forest Cotton: River Shrimp, Llanten, Huito, Pacae. The cotton-like bite you see definitely felt like we were eating a cotton ball. We then ate the leaf wrapped shrimp (Tom’s was subbed for fish since he is not a shellfish fan) before finishing off with the shot. My memory is clearly getting hazy as I simply cannot remember what is what anymore. The leaf was either the Llanten or the Pacae as was the shot mixture. 

1900 M High a Jungle: Macambo, Cassava, Copoazu, Air Potato. The potatoes in one of the breads in this picture actually grow on trees instead of in the ground! Do you think it still classifies as a root vegetable then? We were brought a a spread of breads made from an interesting variety of vegetables including the Macambo Bean, a relative of the Cacao bean in transition for the next phase of our meal.

Entrees

0 M Marine Soil: Sea Urchin, Pepino Melon, Razor Clam, Seaweed. The texture of the sea urchins, the gooey pinkish things, was very tender and melted in your mouth. The Melon added a bit of crunch and acidity to the plate. This was the first time that either of us had sea urchin, it was not….unenjoyable, but I probably would not go out of my way to have it again.

1200 M Tree Points: Avocado, Kiwicha, Arracacha, Lake Algae. The avocado was warm! They made little beads of the three other veggies and topped it with a warm milky sauce. Once again it was very different as it’s pretty rare to eat warm or even hot avocado. In the US we normally have it in the form of guacamole or as a topping for tacos. 

2010 M Land of Corn: Kculli, Purple, Chulpi, Piscorunto. Peru has an abundance of corn types that are impossible to find in the US. These chips were amazing, all had their own unique flavor. They were artfully laid out on a bed of sauce made from the purple corn.

600 M Amazonian Plain. Churo, Cecina, Black Chili Pepper, Bellaco. More sea snails with differently flavored foams.




20 M Coastal Harvest: Scallops, Yellow Chili Pepper, Milk, Tumbo. As expected I ended up having to eat this course for Tom, and it made me fuller at a faster rate than him. I swear that it is unfair that I ended up eating his food even though I am clearly the smaller person with the smaller stomache. (In his defense the broth was really quite fishy)

-10 M Sea Coral: Octopus, Crab,  Squid, Sea Lettuce. I think I forgot to take a picture of this one because I can’t seem to find it in my camera roll T.T!…I blame Tom because he gave me a one picture per plate limit. 😦 Frankly I am glad that Tom tried a bite at all! I, myself, am not really a fan of Octopus or Squid since I find the texture to be too chewy for my taste, but I am also a staunch believer of not wasting food unless absolutely necessary. This time around however, I refused to finish Tom’s portion. 

4100 M High Andes Mountains: Pork, Black Mashwa, Macre, Kañiwa. The chips on top were made from the Macre, a type of squash, and Kañiwa, a type of grain. They were artfully draped over a 7-Hr braised pork belly and lightly dolloped with a Black Mashwa sauce. This last one was a welcome change from all the seafood and river flavors we had been experiencing. I felt that the flavor of the pork was a little too subtle for my tastes though, as I am used to a more Asian flair when it comes to pork bellies. 

Dessert:

4100 M Humid Green: Caitura, Cushuro, Sweet Lemon, Chaco Clay. This one reminded me of Taiwanese snow ice. Essentially it was a sweet lemon sorbet (frozen into small shards, potentially with liquid nitrogen) topped with ‘tapioca balls’ flavored and dyed with the Caituro, Cushuro, and Chaco Clay.


400 M Amazonian White: Cacao, Chirimoya, Bahuaja Nut, Taperiba. The white fluffy stuff you see is comprised of shaved Bahuaja Nuts, the petals were thinly sliced Chirimoya and Taperiba fruits, and under the petals was a chocolate mousse. The Bahuaja nut tasted similar to a macadamia nut and gave the combination of mousse and fruit a nutty texture and flavor.

3050 M Medicinal and Plant Dyes: Congona, Matico, Malva, Pilipili. This one was a palate cleanser to wrap up our night don’t remember what was what anymore, but we were told to eat it in an order we pleased. 

In short, our visit to Central was, in a single world, an experience. Chef Virgilio Martinez , who has also appeared on Netflix’s third season of “Chef’s Table,” has artfully managed to bring new life to classic Peruvian ingredients. His choice of flavor pairings and textural combinations, in addition to his implementation of molecular gastronomy allows each component to successfully stand out as an individual, but also meld together in ‘one perfect bite.’ The dishes were truly art!


We finished off our night with a quick visit to the kitchen and a picture with the artistic team behind the dishes that were now settling in our very full, but very happy, bellies.  

Lima: Before The Incas

Before the Inca Civilization became so pervasive in the 16th century, with origins dating from the 13th century, a multitude of ancient civilizations preceded it. We explored the history behind a number of these societies with our first stop of the day, Huaca Pullcana.

Huacca Pullcana is a great adobe and clay pyramid in the Miraflores district of Lima. It is built of seven staggered platforms and served as the ceremonial and administrative center of the Lima Culture. The complex, now diminished from its original extents due to urbanized construction and disrespect for the value of history, is surrounded by a plaza with a large structured wall dividing the sections. 

The Lima’s main source of sustenance came from the sea and the land. This is exemplified by excavated deep pits that show evidence of fish and marine life being used as offerings. Young girls between the ages of 15-25 were also used as sacrifices to the gods (thankfully I have already passed the age cut-off). The pyramid provided a location for these offerings, and once space became scarce or a new generation arose, a new terrace was built directly above the former one.

As the layers were built-up over a long period of time, roughly every 15-20 years, the evolution of brick design is easily seen. Interestingly, instead of being stacked horizontally, they were stacked vertically with an air gap between each brick. It is believed that these air gaps were left in order to allow the pyramid to “rock” when an earthquake hit. As a structural engineer I thought that this was pretty cool! The Lima Culture had essentially designed their very own basic, but assumedly effective , earthquake proof building. (Essentially a fixed base with a very flexible structure)

After visiting the archeological site, we returned to our hotel to check out and switch over to a nearby hostel. We then grabbed lunch at La Lucha Sangucheria (Again!) before heading for a stroll along the cliffs to see the beach and visit El Parque de Amor, Love Park. The park is said to have been inspired by Park Guell in Barcelona. It features a sculpture called “El Beso,” which is said to depict the artist, Víctor Delfín, and his wife kissing. 

I tried to get Tom to kiss me in front of the sculpture and selfie it. Unfortunately he refused on the grounds that it was too cliche. :(. Honestly I was happy that I was able to get him to agree to a selfie at all! I blame him for why most photos I post contain no traces of him or even myself. I swear that it is like pulling teeth.

After walking along the cliffs for a few hours, with a stop to watch the paragliders lift off and land high into the sky and one to roam the Larcomer Shopping center (including a pit stop), we returned back to our hostel for a brief reprieve. 

Our feet somewhat rested after an hour or so, we caught the bus to visit the Park of the Reserve and the Magic Water Circuit. The park is the current world record holder for the largest fountain complex in the world and is home to 13 distinct and interactive fountains with ever changing color schemes. 

We arrived just in time to watch the main show at the Fountain of Fantasy which included projections onto the misting water, moving animals and shapes made by 3-dimensional layers, and of course, synchronized streams of water shooting left and right to synchronized music. After that, we visited the other 12 fountains and stopped at a vendor to try some Picarones, a squash and sweet potato donut covered in molasses syrup. 

After a long day, with over 28,0000 FitBit steps, we returned to our hostel to grab dinner, after which Tom promptly passed out while I stayed up to diligently write my blog. 🙂 

 

Lima: Ciudad de los Reyes

Lima is also known as the “City of Kings,” because Francisco Pizzaro, the Spanish conquistador, founded the city in 1535 on the Catholic holiday of Epiphany, the day when the three kings visited the baby Jesus. Pizzaro was also the one who established the location of the Plaza de Los Armas, our next stop. He did this to follow a mandate set by King Charles I of Spain in 1523, Procedures for the creation of cities in the New World. It required that, after outlining a city’s plan, growth was to radiate outward  centered on the square shape of the plaza. 


Our guide then pointed out some key buildings surrounding the square including the Lima Cathedral, Archbishop’s Palace, Municipal Palace, Congress of the Republic, and Presidential Palace. (I’ll write more on these later as I’m hoping to find the opportunity to visit the interior of some of these buildings).

We then strolled through the Peruvian Gastronomy House, visited the interior of the Saint Dominic Church, stopped in Post Office Alley, and paused to view the Rimac River. The tour finished off with a sampling of four different varieties of Pisco, the national drink of Peru. (To be honest this free walking tour was less enjoyable than others that we have taken. The first guide felt cold and stand-offish, and the second kept having to switch between Spanish and English, so I felt that the information and history got lost in his struggle). 

We were able head back to visit the interiors of the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo. And for only 10 soles, I’d say that it was worth it! As usual, Tom got frustrated with my habit of excessive picture taking, but I couldn’t stop myself. I’m entranced by the concept of cloisters, and how an individual can have so much faith that they devote their entire lives to an order; In this case, the Third Order of Saint Dominic

The complex was originally built by Dominican Friars in 1549 but has been rebuilt or remodeled in the time since. It is recognized as the oldest religious site in Lima, and the land was given to Friar Vicente de Valverde, Francisco Pizzaro‘s right-hand man,  the one that Inca Atahualpa’s execution is attributed to. The baroque and Spanish influence of the structure is blatantly obvious from the paintings to the painted ceramic tiles. It is in this church that the remains of three very notable saints were found, San Juan Macías, Santa Rosa de Lima and San Martín de Porres.

After our first day with lots of walking (or training our cubicle feet to evolve into travel feet with 20,000 steps per my FitBit), we were both exhausted and starving. After some debate we settled on visiting La Lucha Sangucheria for dinner which was conveniently just around the corner from our hotel.

They are known for their juicy Chicharron Sandwhiches and man was I a happy panda! The roll was crispy on the outside but soft on the inside and the Chicharon was just the right amount of juicy on top of a bed of sweet potato and topped with lime marinated onions. It was soooo incredibly tasty. (Tom got a shredded chicken sandwich which he really enjoyed as well). We also split a Chicha Morada between us. It’s a traditional Peruvian Drink that is made from Purple Corn.  

After dinner we wandered through nearby Kennedy Park to explore the happenings going on. There was an outdoor flea market, a community dance night, and street artists selling their paintings. Tom and I both purchased caramel stuffed churros for dessert and then returned to our room where he promptly passed out (Who’s the older one now? :P), while I stayed up to finish my blog. 

Lima: City of Kings

After a quick breakfast this morning, we hopped across the park to withdraw Peruvian soles. Despite online sources stating that US dollars were widely accepted in Lima, I’ve found that carrying the local currency always works to your benefit. (And something any international traveler should practice). We then used our newly acquired soles to….you guessed it! Grab our lattes! ^_^

After savoring our daily caffeine, we joined a free walking tour to downtown Lima. I, myself, am still on the fence about walking tours, but since Lima’s public transportation was confusing to us first-timers, and the taxis questionable at best, we decided that this was the best way to dip our toes in. 

On our way to grab a Metropolitano Bus we stopped by the local market for some free wandering time and tried some Aguaymantos from a vendor. (#1 below) It’s a fruit native to the high altitude regions of Peru, and is commonly known as a Peruvian Cherry or Cape Gooseberry. It grows inside a paper-like shell which had to be folded back to access the fruit.  The flavor was akin to that of a sour orange with the texture of a cherry. It was quite interesting and unexpected. 

I really love visiting local markets because they are always humming with life, expansive flavor options, and vibrant colors.

It took us about 30 mins to ride the bus downtown. And I cannot sing enough praises about how well-designed and efficient their system is.  The buses have designated lanes going in each direction in the center of the main streets that are completely isolated from local traffic. This means that the buses don’t get backed up by traffics or accidents and are able to run continuously without delay. I wish Houston would take some notes! (In Houston, the metrobuses share a carpool lane with public traffic, and it is only one lane that switches directionality depending on the time of day. Basically if some idiot has an accident, you are not any better off in a bus than a car when it comes to sitting still).


Our first stop was Plaza San Martín. It is a square designated to José de San Martín, the man celebrated as being the original, and first, Protector of Peru. José is seen as the prime leader behind southern South America’s struggle for independence from Spain and is seen as a national hero by both Peru, and his country of birth, Argentina. The statue we are standing in front of is his, and the lady below has a llama on her head. It’s a bit of a pun really, since llama means both Llama and Fire in Peru. 😂

Stockholm: Ticking Hands of Time

 We woke up first thing this morning and grabbed breakfast to-go during our walk to City Hall. Stockholm City Hall is the center of governance for the municipality, and also the location of the Nobel Prize banquet every year on December 10th. You may recall my previous post from Oslo concerning the Peace Prize. However, it is the only Nobel Prize that is presented in Oslo rather than in Stockholm. This is because Alfred Nobel specifically wrote this request into his will. Originally there were only 5 awards, Chemistry, Physics, Literature, Medicine, and Peace to award individuals who had made significant contributions to the progress and welfare of humanity. The Economics award was added by the Swedish Central Bank in 1968.

Interestingly enough, City Hall is not an old building. It’s celebrating only its 93rd birthday this year. Designed by the architect After City Hall, we stopped for lunch before heading over to the Vasa Museum. The Vasa is a the only almost fully intact Ragner Östberg in 1923, he desired for the building’s structure and facade to look old without actually being old. Ragnar drew inspiration for the interior rooms from a variety of historical eras, but also made major design changes as the building progressed and his whims of fancy changed. 

 

The Blue Room (although not actually blue) recalls the elegance of a wide open Italian piazza, an assembly space for various events and banquets. Knowing that patrons would be making their entrance via the grand staircase, Ragnar included a star on the far-opposite wall. It is said that if a person focuses on that star as they descend, they will maintain proper posture while all eyes are focused on them; and so far, no Nobel Prize winner has ever tripped or fallen as they enter a banquet in their honor. 

 The Gold Room is opulently decorated in colorful gold mosaic, bringing to mind the glitz and glamour of the Byzantine Empire. The artist and his assistants only had two years to complete the room’s walls prior to a certain event that had to take place on a specific date for historical reasons. As a result, some mistakes were made with no time to correct them. The depicted castle is missing one of the three crowns (this was supposed to depict Tre Kronos, the Castle of Three Crowns), and the king riding the horse is without a head due to scaling errors (although it is historically accurate since the king was eventually beheaded). 

After City Hall, we stopped for lunch before heading over to the Vasa Museum. The Vasa is a the only almost fully intact (98% original) 17th century ship to ever be recovered. The ship was built on the orders of King Gustavus Aldophus in due part because of a military expansion campaign he initiated with Poland-Lithuania and his desire to enter the Thirty Years War. At the time, Sweden’s political and military power was an afterthought and neighboring nations barely acknowledged its presence. Gustavus is widely regarded as one of the greatest military leaders of all time. He was progressive in his governance, innovative in his military weaponry, raised Sweden to be a Great Power.

 The Vasa would have been the first double-decker war ship of the time, and one of the most powerfully armed vessels in the world. She was constructed under contract by private Dutch entrepreneurs between 1626 and 1627. The ship was richly decorated in symbolic carvings illustrating his ambition for Sweden. However, due to severe time constraints, and a lack of expertise (as no one in the country had ever built a double-decker), the Vasa’s final design proved too unstable and top-heavy. 

 On her maiden voyage on August 10, 1628, she was only 1300 meters out of port when a wind caused her to keel and ultimately sink. Fortunately for us, the ship-channel she sank in has a low salt content. This allowed her to lay relatively undisturbed and remarkably well-preserved for over 300 years. The Vasa did not sail again until her hull was lifted from the harbor floor in 1961.

 

I was personally astounded by the size of the ship. She is the first thing you see when you enter the museum, and she simply dominates the room. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of her intricate carvings and exquisite detail.

Our take-away from the day is that time is a double-edged sword. For some, time is a luxury, while for others, time is a looming specter. In both the cases of the Gold Room and the Vasa, had the designers had sufficient time to complete the tasks at hand, we believe that the inherent flaws could have been avoided. 

 Speaking of time, Tom and I spent the rest of our afternoon enjoy the Swedish tradition of Fika. Fika is equivalent to the British Tradition of tea-time, where people take a break from their day to savor some coffee and sweets. We went to Vette-Kaffen a traditional Fika institution. It was both tasty and relaxing. 🙂

Hammerfest: The Northernmost City

 We took a long day trip to visit Hammerfest, Norway. This city was originally our destination of choice over Alta, but for various reasons we’d decided not to permanently stay there. An interesting fact is that Hammerfest lays claim to the title of “The Northernmost City in the World,”although Honningsvag has disputed this title. There is also technically the town of Barrow, Alaska that is further north than both of these places. It was roughly a 2.5 hr drive for us from Alta, but there were plenty of exquisite snow-capped mountains for us to enjoy. 

  Once we finally arrived, we immediately geared up for a hike up Mount Salen. I was happy that Tom finally got to make use of his utilitarian snow boots (he does have a propensity to favor those boat shoes of his 🙂 ). In good weather, it’s supposed to be an easy 45-minute trail hike up a steady incline that spirals towards the summit. However, as it is March, the snow was still quite deep, so we followed footprints up the trail, carefully trying to place our boots in the existing footholes, and making our own where there were none. 

 Eventually the snow drift became steep enough that we found ourselves gripping the chain-link fence. If it had been a rigid, full-height fence we would have been comfortable continuing our hike. However, rigid posts with only two rows of chains did not give us a high level of confidence. When I found myself almost sliding through the bottom of the fence, after the snow underneath my boot had given way, we decided it was time to turn back. The sun was starting to drop from the sky, and neither of us liked the prospect of descending in the dark. Fortunately, we managed to get to a rocky outcrop just shy of the summit for a gorgeous view of the city and the archipelago. 

 

After returning to the car, we grabbed dinner. I had some Norwegian Fiskesuppe which I found really creamy and flavorful.

 We then stopped by for a quick visit to the Northernmost station of the Struve Geodetic Arc. It is a chain of triangulations that stretches through 10 countries all the way to the Black Sea in Ukraine. Completed between 1816 and 1855 by the German-born Russian scientist Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve, it was the first accurate measurement of a meridian. Tom wasn’t as excited about it as I was, but then again, I just spent the last year having to study the topic of Surveying for my P.E. licensing exams.

Then it was time to head home to Alta. The skies were generous and once again performed its dance of light for us.  

 

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