This was a day spent in the city, but at a more relaxed pace. We visited two museums, one at the main cathedral and one called the museum of contemporary art (although it felt more like a gallery. All Bolivian artists. Some staff felt truly contemporary, but most seemed like twentieth century ‘modern art.’ the most successful work in my view incorporated Bolivian themes with a strong statement/perspective by the artist. I especially like Judith Ordonez and another guy–Culli, I think. In any case, I still want to try to tell you about the siting of this city. Check out these photos.
Both are taken from the roof of the cathedral. In the first one you can really see how the town charges up the hill; it extends many times as wide on both sides of the canyon. In the second one, see that horizon way in the distance? That is the lip of the altiplano, and the million strong neighborhood of El Alto is up there, along with the road to Lake Titicaca and thousands of square miles of terrain. Not only that, but today we went to the Zona Sud, or southern portion of the city. The canyon drops another thousand feet, rather precipitately, and opens up a bit with side canyons appearing on one side, all built out, and there are hundreds of thousands more people down there. It was noticeably warmer and the air was noticeably thicker. It’s sort of like building a city in the grand canyon.
The top photo here shows the density in some detail. The bottom one shows what the grade has to be for someplace not to get built on! Finally, the architecture here is….fanciful? Bizarre? Check this out: it’s a popular style.
Yes, it’s one building. Mirrored glass is quite popular, both in hybrid buildings like this one and in more standard buildings like in my earlier post. They also like color in their highrises. You see stuff like this all over the place.
We went to the Zona Sud to have lunch with Sophie’s friend Lotem, a Bolivian-Israeli. Lovey young woman, preparing to move to israel and study psychology.
And finally, Let me show you what I had for breakfast, Alissa’s favorite Bolivian food. Her face dissolved in bliss as she ate. It’s called a saltiena, kind of like a knish, but way better. Just ask Alissa.
Off to the Pena dance/music performance tonight, which may get its own post, then up at 5 to head to the airport and Peru. Thanks for reading.