2013 in Review with Sincere Appreciation

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 56,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 21 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Machu Picchu – Entrance to Wayna Picchu

Machu Picchu - Entrance to Wayna Pichhu

Machu Picchu – Entrance to Wayna Picchu

Wayna Picchu (“young peak”) rises over Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. The Incas built a trail up the side of the Wayna Picchu and built temples and terraces on its top. The peak of Wayna Picchu is about 8,920 ft. above sea level, or about 1,180 ft. higher than Machu Picchu. A steep and at times exposed climb leads to the summit. Some portions are slippery and steel cables provide some support during the normal one-hour climb.

Machu Picchu – Stonework

Machu Picchu - Stonework

Machu Picchu – Stonework

The central buildings of Machu Picchu use the classical Inca architectural style of polished dry-stone walls of regular shape. The Incas were masters of this technique, called ashlar, in which blocks of stone are cut to fit together tightly without mortar. Many junctions in the central city are so perfect that it is said not even a blade of grass fits between the stones.

Machu Picchu – A Different Perspective

Machu Picchu - A Different Perspective

Machu Picchu – A Different Perspective

Since the site was not known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.

Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. The restoration work continues to this day.

Machu Picchu – Gate View

Machu Picchu - Gate View

Machu Picchu – Gate View

The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham.

Machu Picchu – Ruins of an Inca City

Machu Picchu - Ruins of an Inca City

Machu Picchu – Ruins of an Inca City

Machu Picchu was built around 1450, at the height of the Inca Empire. The construction of Machu Picchu appears to date from the period of the two great Incas, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438-71) and Tupac Inca Yupanqui (1472-93). It was abandoned just over 100 years later, in 1572 as a belated result of the Spanish Conquest.

Machu Picchu – The Remnants of a Civilization

Machu Picchu - The Remnants of a Civilization

Machu Picchu – The Remnants of a Civilization

Machu Picchu, located in Peru, is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 meters (7,970 ft.) above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley which is 80 kilometers (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas”, it is perhaps the most familiar icon of Inca civilization.