Monday, December 26, 2011

White Christmas In The White City

Christmas traditions are a bit different here in Peru than those in the States. After Mags and I enjoyed a delicious Christmas Eve dinner, the most obvious difference was impossible to ignore. At midnight on Christmas Eve the sky was instantly filled with light and sound like we've never experienced before. We quickly made our way to the rooftop of our hostel to witness thousands of exploding fireworks in all directions, as far as we could see. It was organized chaos at its finest (more chaos than organization, but soooo fun). Even though we are currently living an endless summer, we awoke to a white Christmas here in Arequipa, Peru. There had been some light rain which left the surrounding volcanoes blanketed in snow. It was my first white Christmas in years and a first ever for Mags.

Candlelit Christmas Eve

The guy on the panflute was awesome

Midnight Lights

White Christmas in Arequipa

After breakfast and opening presents we relished in a mellow Christmas day. Arequipa is a wonderful city for walking, which we happily did. We cruised throughout the fairly empty streets and made our way to the main square, Plaza de Armas, which also houses the Basilica Cathedral. There were families hanging in the park as usual, most lining up to be photographed with the large Christmas Tree in front of the Cathedral. Looking for lunch, we were so lucky to happen upon a customary procession of elaborately dressed groups singing and dancing from church to church. We followed the reverie for a while, mesmerized by the spectacle. One of our favorite restaurants was open and offering up a delicious menu, or set lunch. With our bellies full we relaxed and chatted with our families. We are so happy we decided to spend Christmas in Arequipa. The white city not only provided us with a white Christmas, but a very, very merry Christmas as well.

Present Time!

Basilica Cathedral

Plaza de Armas

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