Thursday’s Special: Traces Of An Inca Empire


For Paula’s Thursday’s Special, ‘Traces Of The Past’, I’ve chosen this photo of one of the most important places on my Bucket List. The ancient city of Machu Picchu in Peru, is believed by most archaeologists to have been built as an estate for the Inca emperor, Pachacuti (1438-72). It had lain hidden amidst dense jungle-covered mountains until 1911, when American historian, Hiram Bingham, announced his discovery of it. Can you just imagine the excitement he must have felt on suddenly discovering this magical silent landscape for the first time?

The well-preserved ruins overlooking the Vilcanata river valley, and surrounded by colossal green mountains, seem to almost cling to the steep hillside. Even if you’ve seen photos of this wondrous structure, it doesn’t in the slightest prepare you for seeing the breath-taking and awe-inspiring sight, firsthand.

You realise when you get there, that you don’t just ‘visit’ Machu Picchu, you feel as though you are making a pilgrimage there. The Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda wrote, “Machu Picchu is a trip to the serenity of the soul, to the eternal fusion with the cosmos; where we feel our fragility. It is one of the greatest marvels of South America. A resting place of butterflies in the epicentre of the great circle of life. One more miracle.”


75 comments on “Thursday’s Special: Traces Of An Inca Empire

  1. A lovely post. Thanks for sharing! I have just started a poetry blog here on WordPress in case you have time to have a look? Today’s poem is about a mountain! Happy Tuesday, Sam 🙂

  2. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past Y2-03 | Lost in Translation

  3. la tua immagine è straordinaria! ho avuto il grande privilegio anche io di essere là e concordo con te che sia uno dei luoghi più interessanti che abbia mai visitato, ancora mi vengono i brividi!
    passa una felice domenica Sylvia

    • Thank you. I really love this photo and had it as my blog background for many years. I’m so happy that you too have experienced this wondrous place for yourself. My Sunday is just beginning, and hubby is working hard as usual. Tonight we will relax with our friends. Hope your weekend is a good one. xx

  4. Stunning photo and I enjoyed reading about Macchu Pichu….the quote from the Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda was really interesting, fascination that Macchu Pichu is a resting place for butterflies.

  5. It is such a mesmerizing place! Still on my bucket list too. Love the Pablo Neruda quote, the most beautiful description any place can get.

  6. I’d never read that Neruda quote, Ad. Seems pretty apt 🙂 When were you there? Any big trips planned other than to family? I know- the main focus is a finished house 🙂 🙂 Almost there? Have a good weekend!

    • It was about 10 years ago on one our round-the-world trips. We do plan to go to England and South Africa later this year, which is actually quite a ‘big trip’ in itself. 🙂 Nothing else planned at the moment, though. Happy weekend to you too. xx

  7. Also on my bucket-list, Sylvia. But I was reading the other day that they are letting less visitors there to protect the site. You’re so lucky to have seen this beautiful place first-hand 😉

    • Yes, I know how fortunate I am. When we were there, it was quite crowded in some spots although not too bad. I can imagine that in season it could get really bad though, and if people walk all over the stones, the beautiful ruins could get damaged.

  8. A beautiful picture of the place. It is marvelous works. I am wondering how people back then could build such complicate structure on the top of the mountain. I can see even today, it would not be a simple matter.

  9. Yes, this is definitely somewhere we are keen to visit. It must have been incredible to be the discoverer of this amazing place. I agree with you about pilgrimage. We visited Mont St Michel in France and walked all the way to the top. I felt like I had made a pilgrimage by the time we got there and said exactly that to Mr ET. It was a big effort but so worth it.

  10. What is more spectacular, the resting place of a butterfly, or the butterfly itself? I would say the butterfly. The resting place is a dead place, life gone and certainly beautiful, but not life. The butterfly is life. Let it use this site for a short time and marvel, about the Beauty of God’s creation.
    Of course I can watch a butterfly here at home any time but in winter, but not Machu Pichu in real, only as a preserve on TV.
    Therefore I can understand your emotions and I know of course, how you love your animals over there each day in your paradise, Sylvia. They are a wonder for you each day.
    Machu Pichu is but an Episode in your life…

  11. machu picchu evoke awe and wonder. Pablo Neruda’s words aptly described this magical place. what a great capture, Sylvia. beautiful! 🙂

  12. It’s not easy to get to MP, involves a long train ride and crowds, and due to the altitude it is hard for many people to breathe (including me). But having been there, I am happy to say it is a unique and sacred place. I hope you get there, Sylvia, it is worth it.

  13. Great photo, Sylvia. And so well written and described. It really does not matter how many times you have seen it in photos, books or on TV…When you enter…”you don’t just ‘visit’ Machu Picchu”. Neruda’s words captures the feeling. 1987 I was 20 years old, and went with my boyfriend – without a camera of my own. Every time I see pictures like yours, I think about that moment…when I first saw this landscape. It had been a dream of mine since I was ten. Sometimes i think…maybe there was a meaning to me not having a camera. I must stop regretting it…My inner eye will never forget.

  14. The best thing about visiting magic places ~> we take a bit of the magic away with us when we leave . . . to re-visit any time.

    Peaceful pic pick.

  15. I love Macchu Pichu Sylvia. My dad and I did the four day trek there back in 2000 and I still will never forget arriving there at sunrise. This is a glorious photo!

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