Student Reflections: Aurea Cortes-Palomec - Copacabana

The last destination before coming back to Athens, was Copacabana, a small town established in the shore of lake Titikaka and whose main destination is the cathedral of the Copacabana's Virgin, which attracts thousands of tourists every year. As part of the religious environment that surrounds this village, there is a mountain where you can see "el viacrucis"; a place that has the 14 crosses representing the passion of Christ. It was a though ride up, but we made it to the top by the sunset, that was a really worth it experience.

In the lake Titikaka, the Bolivian sea, there are some islands; being Isla del Sol the most important. In order to get to Isla de Sol (Sun's Island), one has to take a 2 hours boat trip from Copacabana. It is an incredible trip, from the boat, you can see the Peruvian shore as you travel to the island (this lake is a border between these two countries). The water of the lake is very clear, you can even see the aquatic plants growing in the sand where the water is shallow enough to let you see. From this lake comes the trout, a famous fish in the region. There are many restaurants in the area where you can get them prepare in different ways, all of them delicious.

In our way to Isla del Sol we pass nearby Isla de la luna (Moon's Island), it is remarkable that in many cultures every time you find something name after the sun you always find the same thing (usually smaller) named after the moon, it is an interesting duality.

In the island, we walked through the Incan's trials and climbed to the top where we had a nice lunch while looking to the lake….. it was a raining day in Peru!!.

Copacabana and Isla del sol are two places that you definitely have to visit in your way to Bolivia. After a couple of days in this area, we travel back to la Paz.

La Paz is a city of contrasts. Indigenous people using their typical dresses can be seen walking through the main avenues where the modernity of the city is seen in the buildings. The traffic is terrible, as any good city, and the houses are build up toward the mountains, it is a city in expansion. In the background of the city you can see a beautiful mountain: the Illimani, whose magnificence enriches all the city. Close to that city there is Tiwanaku, amazing ruins from the Tiwanaku culture that flourished before the Incas' colonization next to the lake Titikaka. The culture and mysticism of this place made it the perfect place to finish our trip in Bolivia.

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