After trekking 6 days through multiple micro-climates, all of us in the group had the same feelings about Machu Picchu - it was anticlimactic and crowded. We all loved the hiking, however hard it was, but we had gotten spoiled, I guess, being just in a small group. Because it seems like everyone in the world has this place on their bucket list, you have to expect crowds, but we sure didn't like it. OK, enough grousing... on with the pictures!
This is the majority of the complex, with the terraces for farming down off on the right, the general housing in the middle, and the rulers area up to the left. The mountain towering at the end is WaynuPicchu, which we were given tickets to climb, as part of our admission, but I bowed out. Steve climbed it, with the other Lisa in the group, and they said it was unbelievably tough (straight up, with almost all stairs, and at times they were climbing with both hands and feet) but the views were stupendous.
Both Steve and I were most taken with the intricacy of the stonework on the walls which were on the parts for the rulers. Huge stones fit tightly together without mortar.
Doorways were always trapezoidal, to withstand earthquakes, and outer walls of buildings slanted inward, again giving stability.
I'll close with my personal favorite view, as it shows how lush the surrounding mountains are, and how the complex is perched.
See you tomorrow!