Above Machu Picchu for Ailsa’s Travel Theme.

Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week, brought to mind the wonderful view from the top of Machu Picchu, the ‘Lost City of the Incas’, which I was privileged to visit in 2003.

(Click on photos for a larger, sharper view.)

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This ancient Inca city, 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 in 1911, when American historian Hiram Bingham, announced his discovery.

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

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Of course, to see the amazing views from above, you have to actually get up there, and we were transported at speed along this narrow winding road with many hazardous hairpin bends. Meeting another vehicle head on seemed a very likely possibility, but the drivers were fortunately very experienced, and although my heart was in my mouth most of the way up and down, we made it safely.

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To see more entries for Ailsa’s Theme, just click here.